A Walk Down Forsyth - It's our Business!

    (SCROLL DOWN HALF WAY TO READ ABOUT MAIN STREET - THE ORIGINAL BUSINESS SECTION)

Click on the picture to be redirected for the history of each building

Forsyth, looking north. In the 1930's Marmora was still known for the porches on the main street. The road was wider, the sidewalks narrower, and cars parked on an angle.

                                       West Side

 1 McGill St.

1 McGill St.

 1 Forsyth St

1 Forsyth St

 3 Forsyth Street

3 Forsyth Street

 5 - 7 Forsyth Street

5 - 7 Forsyth Street

 9 - 11 Forsythe Street, now an empty lot

9 - 11 Forsythe Street, now an empty lot

 13 Forsyth Street

13 Forsyth Street

 15 Forsyth Street (Empty Lot)

15 Forsyth Street (Empty Lot)

 19 - 21 Forsyth Street

19 - 21 Forsyth Street

 23 Forsyth Street

23 Forsyth Street

 25 - 27 Forsyth Street

25 - 27 Forsyth Street

 29 Forsyth Street

29 Forsyth Street

 31 Forsyth Street

31 Forsyth Street

 33 Forsyth Street

33 Forsyth Street

 35 Forsyth Street

35 Forsyth Street

 
Big Fire in Marmora             March 29, 1900
A fire at Marmora early on Saturday morning last caused the destruction of several business places and one dwell- ing, and a loss of about $30,000. Be- tween two and three o'clock in the morning fire was discovered in the butcher and grocer shop occupied by J. Rose and spread to John Green's harness shop adjoining, and from there to the large carriage shop owned by Dan Dunlay. From there it spread to the block owned by Capt. John O'Neill, and containing the general stores of Mark Keyfetz, and Lavine & Co. and the hardware store of Frank Carscallen. Over these stores were residences of a number of families, who lost part of their property. A residence in the rear of the O'Neill block was also burned.
Some of those who were burned out lost everything. Among them was Mr. Samuel Hatton, who had just re- moved all his household effects from Stirling to Marmora the day previous. They were stored in the rooms over Mr. Rose's shop, where the fire origina- ted, and were a total loss. Mr. C!inton Hogle had his goods all packed for re- moval in the same building, and also lost everything. The origin of the fire is unknown.
Stirling News-Argus
 
 
 

Population Statistics

  • 1839 - 369
  • 1879 - 400
  • 1893 - 700
  • 1911 - 865
  • 1915 - 877

 A TRIP DOWNTOWN

CLICK ON THE PHOTOS!

Some footage of downtown Marmora in Hastings County taken in late summer, 2011.

The earliest commercial sectors of Marmora had been clustered around the dam,  at what had been called the High Falls.  As the years went by,  the blacksmith shops,  wagon makers and taverns,  needed by a growing town,  were constructed southerly,  along what is still called Main Street.

It was a time when all heating was done by wood and fire spread it hand of destructionpredictably and all too often.  Without pressure water or an organized fire department,  the villagers had only bucket brigades to douse the flames.

As the old downtown was inevitably lost to age or fire,  a new one was built on Forsyth Street.  Shortly after the turn of the century,  Marmora boasted a string of new buildings on the west side of Forsyth Street,  north from what would become Highway #7. ByOctober 1911,  street lights were installed on Forsyth St. 

But it was still a long way from being a highway.  Indeed,  Marmora's wooden sidewalks crossed both main streets uninterrupted.  Even in 1914,  the delivery of a new Russell or Ford motor car would cause a stir in the village.  The usual means of transport was by horse and rig.  And,  given the rutted,  muddy road,  it was still the best.  The first 5 gas buggies to arrive in 1914 were owned by Dr. Crawford,  Thomas English,  Ernie Bell,  Bert Horwitz and Ralph Neal's father,  Alfred Till Neal.

Throughout the village,  the bustle of the marketplaces,  the noise of the blacksmith's shops and over it all,  the dust and smoke of the Pearce Lumber Mills gave the smell of success.  It was an active and prosperous little town.

Dan Shannon suggested you join the "Brighten Up Club",  and buy your paints and supplied from his general hardware.

E.M. Gladney tailored "Hoberlin suits" for $20.00 and up.  Mrs. Marrin announced a display of Summer Millinery.  More modest dresses for children were offered by F.N. Marett & Co. for 35 cents to a dollar.  Ladies coats ranged from 5 to 10 dollars.

1907 looking north

Celia Murray" Our awning looks huge! I remember cranking it up (or down) to keep the sun off the window display to keep the clothes from fading in the windows."

Reeve Hubbell himself ran a business central to the success of any country town - the feed and flour mill.  He offered "an abundance" of seed oats for sale,  free of noxious weeds by Government test. If you wanted good bread,  he offered five varieties of flour and "settings of eggs from selected pen of S.C. White Leghorns".

Four miles from town,  opposite the railway station,  the O'Connor Hotel was set back by the decision that Marmora Township was going dry.  As it turned out,  the whole country would follow.  The train station and the Central Ontario Railway connected the community to a web of steel rails crossing the province.  Trains came and left at least three times daily.  The rig drivers meeting them occasionally fought for fares and,  at least once,  ended up in court for doing so.

 

Corner of Highways 7 & 14,  with Dale House in the background, where the post office now sits.

Leo Provost writes: I would say 1941 by the looks of that Dodge car & the one on the left is about a 38 or 39 dodge trunk lid.  Where the Imperial Sign is in front of the Dale house was a City Service Station in the 50s.   I worked there in 1953-54.  Ed Armstrong,  from Madoc,  was the owner. The Mine was just starting. It sure was a busy town then.

Forsyth St. looking south to #7, Marmora Hotel

1914,  Jim Gehan the Blacksmith

While reminiscing about the old days, Jack Grant mentioned Jim Gehan,  a harness & carriage maker.  The 1914 Belleville Intelligencer,  in their Industrial section, wrote:

"This is one of the leading black smithing. woodworking and carriage making shops in Marmora. Mr. Gehan has had many years experience in this trade and established himself In business here eight years ago. He has acquired a high reputation for the uniform excellence and reliability of his products which comprise every description or first class carriages, buggies, rubber' tired rigs, light and heavy wagons, cutters, sleighs, etc., or the latest and most approved designs.

The premises occupied are of ample dimensions, utilized for black smithing and wood working shop, equipped with all necessary machinery. Black smithing, tire setting, , etc., is promptly attended to. All kinds of work, light and heavy, is done. both machine and hand made shoes are used, while special designs or shoes are made to order when required. Repairing and general jobbing work in all its branches is done here. All work turned out is of a superior make and quality and is conceded to be first class in every particular. The trade extends all over Marmora and surrounding country, and several experienced hands are employed. Mr. Gehan is also agent here for Cockshutt and Frost & Wood farm Implements. Personally he is a gentleman well known and highly regarded In the community."

 

 

                                        East Side

 2 mCgILL sT.

2 mCgILL sT.

 2 Forsyth Street

2 Forsyth Street

 4 Forsyth Street

4 Forsyth Street

 8-10 Forsyth St.

8-10 Forsyth St.

 12 Forsyth Street

12 Forsyth Street

 14 Forsyth Street -                    The Hubble/Marett block

14 Forsyth Street -                    The Hubble/Marett block

 16 Forsyth Street

16 Forsyth Street

 18 Forsyth Street the dempseyshannon block- north end

18 Forsyth Street the dempseyshannon block- north end

 20 Forsyth St the Dempsey Shannon block - south end

20 Forsyth St the Dempsey Shannon block - south end

 22 Forsyth Street

22 Forsyth Street

 26 Forsyth Street

26 Forsyth Street

 28 - 30 Forsyth Street  THE DUNLAY BLOCK

28 - 30 Forsyth Street  THE DUNLAY BLOCK

 32 Forsyth Street

32 Forsyth Street

 36 Forsyth Street

36 Forsyth Street

 38 - 40Forsyth   The Se corner

38 - 40Forsyth   The Se corner

Fire in Marmora   May 18,          1905,  North Hastings Review
Just as we go to press we learn of a disastrous fire in the village of Marmora, which occurred last night. The fine "Arcade" Block, containing several stores, The "Herald" printing office, and up-stair offices, was totally destroyed, entailing heavy loss to the occupants. J. W. Pearce, M.P.P., occupied the largest premises in the block, with a large general store and he will be a heavy loser. Chas. McWilliams, merchant tailor; Wm. Sanderson's harness shop, John Shannon's dwelling, and the Herald printing office are completely wiped out. Parts of the stocks were saved. Further particulars can not be obtained before we go to press.
The Review particularly extends its sincere sympathy to Bro. Snell, of the Herald, in his loss, "knowing how it is ourselves"
Since the above was put in type, a note has been received by The Review from Mr. Rendol lost everything, amounting to about $3,000. with no insurance. Through our columns Mr. Snell wishes to say to Herald readers that at present he has no definite announcement to make, but that he will in a short time give them information as to the future.
Aftermath of the Fire    May 25, 1905
Main Street since the fire is desolate enough. Nothing remains of the Arcade block but the cellar walls and debris. Mr. Pearce has bought out Bleecker Bros. store and has this week commenced a fire sale to dispose of the goods saved from the fire and also the stock bought off Bleecker Bros. His insurance on the building and stock amounted to $6500., his loss is heavy. Mr. Charles Mc- Williams, tailor, saved practically all his stock and contents. He has opened out in the up-stairs part of Bleecker Bros. store, now J. W. Pearce's. Mr. Sanderson, harness- maker, saved most of his stock and has fitted up a shop in the implement shed across the street. Mr. John hold goods and his daughter, Mrs. " Drennan, lost a purse containing about $75. Mr. Shannon and family have moved into the house formerly occupied by Mr. D. Conley. The "Herald" plant was completely destroyed, loss about $3000. with no insurance.                                     North Hastings Review
Marmora Herald                      Sept. 13, 1906     Mr. J.D. Narrie has a new spic and span shoe store.
Dec. 1907 -   George Clapp,  former barber for Mr. V Pringlehas opened up a barber shop in the store formerly occupied by J.D. Narrie.
 

Bob McKeown WRITES:   hey! looks like cruise nite....left side is a 53 Ford, a blue 50 Nash, and a red VW bug driving northward.....right side is a new looking green 61 Pontiac, a blue 59 Vauxhall, a black 53 Ford, a light blue 49 Henry J, a big blue American? 59 Pontiac, a light blue 52 Plymouth.....pic date is about 1962

GALAUGHER PHOTOGRAPHY

(and watches, clocks & books)  was located opposite 3 McGill Street in the late 1800's, evidenced by his photograph (1884)   referred to as the first train arriving at Wolfe Station from the north.  This photo is marked with the Galaugher Photography stamp.  Click here to see the 1884 Coe Hill Mine collectionwhich we received with this photo and believe to be Galaugher's.

 

Possibly "Alex"  Galaugher

T. STEWART -  PHOTOGRAPHER   1900-?

Located in a frame building on the site of the Memorial building.

                                Vansickle Farm                                              Photograph by T. Stewart

Excerpt from Industrial edition, Belleville intelligencer, 1914

A well known and popular studio in Marmora which embraces all the modern improvements is the one conducted by Mr. T. Stewart.  The studio located on Forsyth St. is nicely arranged and possesses all the modern conveniences. He is an experienced and practical artist who gives his personal attention to every department of the business and allows no work to leave his establishment that does not come up to the highest standard of excellence. Notwithstanding the high quality of these pictures the prices are moderate and promptness In the fulfillment of all orders Is a distinguishing feature of the business.

All kinds of portrait enlarging and large groups given careful attention. Finishing for amateurs promptly attended to.            Mr. Stewart established himself in business in Marmora fourteen years ago.

(Birth registration, Ancestry.com states #018509-03 (Hastings Co) STEWART, Roy Graeme, m, b. 1 Jun. 1903, father – Thomas STUART (sic), photographer; mother – Florence E. BOOK (Booth), infm - Dr. Mackecknie, Marmora)

George Barrons left and Haoward Hamilton at Cordova Mines  (Geo. Barrons collection)

Wiggins & Marett 1915.JPG

THOMAS STEWART PHOTOGRAPHY

25-27 Forsyth  Photo by Thomas Stewart

Wilma Bush wrote:  LEFT  is my great Uncle Pete Connors (brother of my maternal Grandmother Maggie (Connors) Gallagher. Pete married Gertie Cook - they moved to Saskatchewan where they farmed & raised their family! I met him a few times when he returned to Marmora to visit relatives.  The Connors family were raised north of Marmora past 'Long Swamp'.

                          Forsyth Street                                                   Photograph by T. Stewart

YET MORE FIRES -  1914 & 1915

BUSINESS DIRECTORIES

1857-58 Canada Directory

1879 Business Directory

1888 Marmora BusinessDirectory

  • Bell, T.M.                 Undertaker,        
  • Miss Bentley,        Postmistress        
  • Bigelow,  Wm,                 Stoves 
  • Bleecker G.W. & Sons,Dry Goods
  • Bleecker, S.W.    Merchant/tailor   
  • Boyd D H,                          Livery
  • Campion Mrs.                Millinery 
  • Carscallen & Gladney Dry goods
  • Clairmont C,               Blacksmith
  • Clairmont C Jr,          Shoemaker 
  • Cook I J,                 Cheesemaker 
  • Devlin I                      Shoemaker
  • Dunlay Daniel,           Blacksmith 
  • Eastwood E,                    Butcher
  • Gallagher A,                   Jeweller  
  • Green,John,         Harness maker 
  • Hilton, Wm             Cheesemaker
  • Hipperson, A.J.              Hardware
  • Jones, Hugh                         Hotel
  • Jones, H.M.                   Physician  
  • Kelly, Wm                     Dry goods 
  • Loucks Adam,              Dry goods 
  • Loucks G,                            Bricks
  • McWilliams. Gorden,           Hotel
  • MitchellD,               Woollen mill 
  • Nicholl, Mark,                    Bakery 
  • Outwater J R,                    Stoves
  • Pearce I W,                  Dry Goods
  • Pearce T. P.,                   Flour mill
  • Pringle M,                            Hotel
  • Shaw,V H,                           Baker
  • Voilick Oscar,             Shoemaker
  • Warren J H,            Wagonmaker
  • Warren John,             Blacksmith 
  • Wilkinson J,               Shoemaker