Welland History .ca

a project by S & B

Hello Visitors!

WHY are we doing this project? ..To Preserve History.

Much information is being lost, newspapers destroyed, historic buildings being torn down, bridges disappearing. The children of today need to know the history of the towns where they live. We the people are the ones who can carefully preserve this precious history for them. It is our responsibility as the older generation to leave stories, pictures and artifacts for them so that when they become older and wonder what went before, it will be available.  That is what this website is about. Preserving the history of Welland for future generations.

An article from the The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 11 July 1922, describes what we are trying to present with this website.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: We thank the The Welland Tribune and Telegraph for their contribution.

[IMAGE AT UPPER RIGHT]: “C.B. Willson was an early Welland photographer on East Main Street who had the distinction of being known as “the man who wears the smile that won’t come off.” Extremely popular in both business and social circles, he was known for his first-class workmanship, aided by his expert assistant, Miss M. Canniff.”

Search Tips..

Use the main Search box at the top of this page for your general research. When you need a narrower search, you may like to use the Search feature above to limit a search within a Family group.

What’s HOT Off The Press..

  • 1931 GRADUATING EXERCISES ATTRACT LARGE ATTENDANCE - Students, Parents and Friends Present at High and Vocational School Event PRESENTATIONS MADE Diplomas, Medals and Scholarships are Awarded Valedictory Address Given [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 26 November 1931... read more
  • ANNEXATION OF CROWLAND IS “ALL OFF.” - [The Welland Telegraph, 27 February 1912] Welland’s ambition to take in a section of the township of Crowland, from appearances at the present time, will end in a dismal failure. W.M. German, town solicitor, is said to have... read more
  • ALL DRESSED UP; NO PLACE TO GO - [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 25 November 1931] New coats, new boots, new hats and new fire hose but no fire to allow the Humberstone firemen to use them, is the case with the members of this company of fire-fig... read more
  • MORTGAGE ON HOLY TRINITY IS DESTROYED - PAPERS HELD ON CHURCH SINCE 1912 ARE REDUCED TO ASHES LARGE ATTENDANCE AT RAYMOND HALL FOR CEREMONY-W.A. PRAISED [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 16 December 1931] Raymond auditorium was well filled last night when... read more
  • ACCIDENT - [Welland Tribune, 30 May 1872] On Sunday evening last, whilst Mr. Ralph Rice and his sisters, Miss Belle Rice and Mrs. Henry Garner, of Pelham, were proceeding homeward from attendance at the re-opening services in the Wesley... read more
  • VETERAN TICKET AND TELEGRAPH AGENT RETIRES - O.H. Garner Closing Near a Half Century in Those Services [The Welland Tribune and Telegraph, 29 December 1925] With a service record of nearly half a century-forty-nine years to be exact- O.H. Garner, Welland’s veteran tel... read more
  • SWITCHBOARD FIRE MAPLE LEAF MILLS; DAMAGE IS $5,000 - Blaze of Unknown Origin Breaks Out Early Today at Port Colborne-Mill Closes for Fumigation [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 1 October 1931] A fire of unknown origin broke out about 7.30 a.m., this morning behind  ... read more
  • REFUSE TO PAY GAS BILLS - Residents East of G.T.R. Claim They Are Not Liable Say Meter Kept Right on Ticking Whether There was Any Gas or Not [Welland Telegraph, 16 February 1912] Incensed because the gas pressure had been very low, a number of citize... read more
  • ALTERATIONS AT ROLLING MILL - Canadian Steel Foundries will Acquire More Land [Welland Telegraph, 30 January 1912] The Canadian Steel Foundries will likely commence shortly alterations to their rolling mills, which will enable them to use this part of the... read more
  • P.O. RENOVATIONS WILL BE CARRIED OUT BY B. TIMMS - SIX WEEKS’ JOB HERE IN PROVIDING MORE FLOOR SPACE ATHERTON WOODWORKING CO. TO SUPPLY THE CABINET WORK [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 19 November 1931] Bert Timms, 122 Dorothy street, has been awarded the contra... read more
  • SERGEANT ROBERT HARRY BEST - SERGT. HARRY BEST KILLED IN ACTION Eldest Son of Reeve W.J. Best of Welland His Service on the Field Had Been Rewarded by Promotion and He Was Just About to Leave for England to Take Lieutenant’s Course [Welland Tribune, 12... read more
  • JOHN FRANKLIN BEST - DEATH CLAIMS J. FRANK BEST Was Seriously Ill for 3 Weeks; Funeral Monday [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 16 October 1942] The community today mourns the death of John Franklin Best, who passed away at 11 o’clock... read more
  • JUDSON COMFORT CROW - PROMINENT MEN OF WELLAND COUNTY [Welland Telegraph, 1904/05] Registrar of Deeds, Welland County, was born in the Township of Pelham in the year 1854, the son of John B. Crow, who was clerk of that township for 28 years. His s... read more
  • JOHN HILL - JOHN HILL COMES TO WARDENSHIP AT MOMENTOUS PERIOD IN THE COUNTY’S HISTORY [Welland Telegraph, 26 January 1912] Brief Biography of New Warden John Hill, Reeve of the township of Wainfleet, was elected Warden of Welland count... read more
  • GIRLS’ NAMES - What They Mean-Famous People That Bore the Name-The Name in History, Literature, Etc. By Henry W. Fischer [Welland Telegraph, 1 March 1912] VIRGINIA Virginia has been called “Jennie with a head and tail to it,” but of cou... read more
  • A GOOD CITIZEN PASSES ON - EDITORIAL [The Welland-Port Colborne Evening Tribune, 31 December 1931] Only a brief illness preceded the death of Dr. S. Nixon Davis of Welland who passed away yesterday and it was a shock to his friends to realize that his ... read more
  • …Wife Returns Home - Welland county woman who eloped with the hired man a fortnight ago. {Welland Telegraph 1900} They were traced to Chicago by Constable Dowd, who prevailed on the woman to return to her husband. Detective John R. Dowd went to C... read more
  • Wellander’s Medal in Alaska - {Welland Tribune 1940} From Ketchikan, Alaska. Frank Blasher, writes Welland city police department, saying he has found a gold medal owned by Corporal W.K. Chapman, who was formerly a police constable in Welland. The medal w... read more
  • First Welland Woman to Receive Notice - {Welland Tribune  1941} Miss Verna Lane is the first Welland woman to be called for service with the Canadian Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and leaves on December 13th to report for duty in Toronto. Miss Lane enlisted with t... read more
  • DR. SIDNEY NIXON DAVIS - CITY SUSTAINS SEVERE LOSS IN DEATH TODAY OF DR. S. NIXON DAVIS Widely Known Medical Practitioner Succumbs to Pneumonia-In 64th Year CAME HERE IN 1912 Deeply Interested in Welfare of County Hospital-Had Notable War Record [The... read more


A Pair of Convict’s Trousers and a Live Turkey

[The following is the last article which Mr. Field wrote for publication]

[People’s Press, 27 December 1898]

During the entire period of my connection with The Chicago News it was the benevolent custom of the proprietors of that paper to give a turkey to all their married employees at Christmas time. When the Christmas season came one year, I found that turkeys had palled upon me, and I thought I would rather have a pair of pants. I therefore sent a polite little note to Editor-in-Chief Stone, saying that if it was all the same to him I would take a pair of pants instead of a turkey for a Christmas gift, as my soul felt no longing for a turkey, but sighed for pants.

Now, Editor Stone was a bit of a joker in his way, and, liking the modest tone of my petition, he obtained from the warden of the penitentiary at Joliet a pair of striped pants such as are worn by the convicts in that institution. On Christmas eve the package containing them was sent to me with the best Christmas wishes of the concern, just as the turkey had always been. Editor Stone and the entire writing and business force, whom he had taken into his confidence, thought they had played a splendid practical joke. I turned the laugh on them, however, by donning the pants the next morning and wearing them constantly every day for a week, expressing my gratitude for them, and telling everybody about the office that I never had a pair I liked so well and that thenceforward I would wear no other kind.

When the next Christmas came I again addressed a polite little  note to editor Stone, stating that I did not care for the mere corpse of a turkey, but preferred to have one animated by a soul, or in other words a live one, in order that I might keep it in my yard for a pet. On Christmas eve I was sitting at my desk when suddenly I heard what the classics call “a strong noise” above my head, and down came a bouncing big turkey over the partition dividing the editorial rooms. The bird gave abundant evidence that he was strongly endowed with life, and there could be no question that my desires had been gratified, and that I was at last the proud possessor of a live turkey. I did not want him in my room just then, so with great presence of mind I leaped upon my desk and “shooed” the bird out of my room. He went flapping, jumping, gobbling all through the editorial and reportorial rooms, knocking down ink-bottles, scattering and destroying copy, overturning and breaking the shades on the drop lights, and doing many dollars’ worth of damage. At length, after a long and exciting chase, the entire editorial and reportorial force, with the single exception of myself, succeeded in capturing the bird. Thus I once more secured the laugh on my associates, and after that no further attention was paid to my petitions at Christmas time.

Eugene Field

2 September 1850-4 November 1895


How She Kept a Contract Made For Her by Her Father

By F.A. Mitchel

Copyright 1910 by American Press Association

[Welland Tribune, 16 February 1911]

Dorinda Childs and I were born the same day. My father and my uncle, Dorinda’s father, made an agreement that we two children should marry on our twenty-first birthday-that is-if such a result could be brought about. When we came of age my father had been dead ten years. A few months before I came to my majority I received a letter from my uncle informing me of the agreement made twenty one years before. We lived a thousand miles apart, and I had never seen either him or his daughter.

I am of rather a romantic disposition, and the idea of this marriage was fascinating to me. I wrote my uncle that I would be pleased to make the acquaintance of the young lady to whom I had been pledged and would as soon as convenient go to pay them a visit. Meanwhile I would like a photograph of Dorinda. My uncle replied  that he had told her to send me the likeness, and it arrived soon after his letter, inclosed with a very few words which did not refer to the contract, but the writer asked for my photograph which I sent her.

I was delighted with Dorinda’s picture. She looked out of a pair of tender eyes at me, either blue or gray, while in the expression there was indication of character. I found myself looking at the picture a dozen times during the day I received it, went to sleep with under my pillow and dreamed of the original all night. I spent several days framing a letter of thanks.

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Successful Closing Exercises of the Public Kindergarten

The Kindergarten Children invite you to their Closing on

Tuesday, December the twenty-second at 10 oclock, 1903.

[Welland Tribune, 25 December 1903]

Neat little dimity cards with the foregoing and a miniature drawing of an Xmas stocking filled with presents, were the invitations received by the children’s parents and a few friends.

The kindergarten being now a branch of our public educational system, there was more interest than usual taken in the Christmas closing, and it was truly a delighted audience which gathered at the Central school on Tuesday morning to see the little tots go through the different exercises and drills, the result of the term’s  training. The visitors were warmly greeted by Miss Mackie and her assistant, Miss Willson, and seated in the kindergarten room.

The kindergarten children present numbered 24, and were grouped together at two long tables at the front. On the blackboards were many beautiful and artistic colored illustrations by Miss Mackie. An Xmas tree covered with presents by the children was in one corner.

Shortly after the appointed hour the proceedings opened with a beautiful prayer by the children. Then they sang many songs all of which were descriptive of some occupation or fact, and were asked questions concerning each song, which they answered promptly and correctly. Each song was accompanied by representative motions. Singing is one of the best methods of impressing a thought on a child’s mind. The Christmas hymns taught the children about the birth of Christ, and his mission to earth. The “Good Morning” song was a very pretty one, and told of the opening of the day and the rising of the sun. Then came several songs of the approaching winter and signs thereof, such as the blackbird’s flight, etc. The appearance of Jack Frost brought out the need of warm woolen clothing. From what animal the wool is obtained, and who kept the sheep, and where and how they were kept, were among the questions asked and correctly answered. Several songs all closely connected, told of the transformation of the grain to bread. The farmer’s work in preparing the soil was first taken up, then the sowing of the seed, the growth of the grain, the harvest, the grist mill and its propelling power, the flour, and then the baker and his products. The song about Santa Claus, describing his person, occupation and manner of distributing presents, was entered into heartily by the pupils, who fairly shouted for joy. Several Christmas songs, including one about the presents the children had made throughout the term, were next sung after which the presents were taken off the tree and given to the pupils who gave them to their parents. They were neat little sachets and napkin rings and really showed wonderful skill considering the age of the pupils making them.

Marches and drills were next in order, all of which was extremely interesting to the spectators, and in which the children excelled and took great delight. Sewing cards were then distributed with outlines on them, which were traced out by the children with needle and thread.

The children were then asked what game they would like to play, and chose the ball game without hesitation. This consisted of trying to roll the ball so that they would stop in a ring in the centre of the room. Each successful effort was applauded by the children. They were then asked to pick out among the various colored balls the two colors that went best together, then to arrange them so that the colors blended, forming a rainbow. These developed the color test and taste. A test for the hearing was that one child was blindfolded, when another spoke, the former to recognize the voice. Another test was, one child was blindfolded and another left the room and the former being unmasked was to speak the name of the missing one. The art of deportment was taught in the dancing game and it was really surprising to see how well the little ones acted their parts. Other games which developed both body and mind were played but which we have not space to describe it.

A “Good Bye” song by the children closed one of the most interesting and pleasing events ever transpiring in Welland, and those who were present are now stronger than ever of the opinion that the Kindergarten under the able management of Miss Mackie, is a splendid institution for the town.

Christmas in Welland..

We’ve collected some wonderful Christmas postcards.  Click HERE.

Book list..

We’ve added a comprehensive list of books and other resources about Welland.  Select BOOKs from the top menu.


Valentine 1912That Was a Long Time Coming

By Edna Winthrop

[People’s Press, 18 February 1913]

              In 1849 Edward Poindexter left his home in the most east and his ladylove, Ellen Crane, to join the gold hunters in California. She received several letters from him, the last at the beginning of the new year, the mid-year of the nineteenth century. In this letter, Poindexter said: “I shall send you a valentine, calculating to mail it so that it shall reach you on the 14th of February. The mails are the surest means of transportation from here to the east, but, even they are not very regular. If you don’t receive my valentine, say, within ten days after Valentine’s day, go to the postoffice and inquire for it, writing me at the same time.”

             The 14th of February came, but no valentine. Instead a letter came saying that Poindexter had been taken ill a fortnight before and had died. He had struck a vein of ore, which he had instructed the writer to sell and send her the proceeds.

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[Welland Telegraph, 5 January 1912]

             We have here a handsome portrait of Alex. Brown’s team of oxen, Buck and Bright. This speedy pair was engaged for the summer on the Lyon’s Creek Drain contract, but has since been sold to a Jordan man. It is many years since Welland saw a pair of real oxen. The exhibit here is probably the last of the species. West Main street can be seen in the background.



Welland Telegraph, 23 December 1910

[Welland Telegraph, 27 December 1910]

             The streets on Saturday night were filled with parcel-laden people. Many did not heed the “shop early” advices and the stores on Saturday night did a rushing business.

             The manner in which Christmas Day was celebrated in the different homes varied. Christmas services were given in the churches and were attended by large crowds of Christmas worshipers. The weather was real Christmas weather, with plenty of snow on the ground. The sleighing was good.

             Hundreds from out of town spent the holidays with relatives. Others went out of town for Sunday and Monday. The Christmas travel on the trains surpassed all other years.

At the Post Office

             Business at the local post office during the holiday season just passed reached enormous proportions being double that of other years in some lines.