A Walk Down Forsyth - It's our Business!
Click on the picture to be redirected for the history of each building
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.
- 1839 - 369
- 1879 - 400
- 1893 - 700
- 1911 - 865
- 1915 - 877
A TRIP DOWNTOWN
CLICK ON THE PHOTOS!
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.
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.
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."
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.
(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.
T. STEWART - PHOTOGRAPHER 1900-?
Located in a frame building on the site of the Memorial building.
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)
THOMAS STEWART PHOTOGRAPHY
YET MORE FIRES - 1914 & 1915
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