Welland History .ca

a project by S & B

Hello Visitors!

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

Frances Caroline Turnbull, self-portraitMuch 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]:Frances Caroline Turnbull, self-portrait

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..

  • TOWN PROPERTIES - [Welland Tribune, 10 June 1898] TOWN PROPERTY FOR SALE- That eligibly situated property on corner of Hellems avenue and Division street, comprising butcher shop, double and single dwellings and barns, &c., will be offered... read more
  • WELLAND’S NEW PUBLIC SCHOOL - FIRST STREET SCHOOL [Welland Telegraph, 13 August 1912] The new public school now being completed on the site, donated by the Plymouth Cordage Co., is the most modern and up-to-date school in the city. The building measures 6... read more
  • A COSTLY FIRE - Taylor & Crow’s Hardware Store Gets a Roasting Bad Enough, but it Might Have Turned Out Calamitous-Cool Management Counts-The Water Works a Property Saver-Loss Heavy by Damage to Stock. [Welland Tribune, 10 March 1893] ... read more
  • MANY NEW BUILDINGS NEXT YEAR - City Engineer Believes That Amount of Buildings in Welland Next Year will Amount to Three-quarters of a Million. [Welland Telegraph, 31 December 1912] D.T. Black, town engineer, is optimistic of Welland’s possibilities next... read more
  • PLYMOUTH CORDAGE COMPANY WILL DOUBLE THE SIZE OF THEIR PLANT - Four Other Factories Have Decided to Make Extensive Additions- Next Year to See Great Development of Town [Welland Telegraph, 31 December 1912] That the Plymouth Cordage Company has definitely decided to spend $350,000 in the... read more
  • WELLAND MUST CEASE TO DUMP ITS SEWAGE INTO THE RIVER - Chief Health Officer of Province Advises Municipality that No More Sewage Should be Emptied into Provincial Waters. Septic Tank Must be Built. [Welland Telegraph, 30 July 1912] Dr. J.W. McCullough, the Chief officer of Health... read more
  • 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
  • WILLIAM E. HUTTON - DEATH OF WILLIAM E. HUTTON [Welland Tribune, 27 January 1893] In the death of William E. Hutton, son of late Wm. Hutton of Thorold township, one of our brightest and most intelligent young men is removed from a sphere of grea... read more
  • Francis Caroline Turnbull - {The Evening Tribune 24 July 1990} Francis Caroline Turnbull died at her River Road home Sunday, July 22, 1990, in her 90th year. Born in Port Robinson on Nov. 5, 1900, Mrs Turnbull came to live in Welland in 1910, after a sh... read more
  • Friends pay tribute to Frances Turnbull - Renowned local artist ‘saw beauty in everything’ By Marie Chamberland, Tribune Staff Writer {The Evening Tribune 24 July 1990} Welland- Glowing memories of local artist Frances Turnbull are seeping through the shock felt ... read more
  • Smoke Inhalation claimed artist’s life. - By Marie Chamberland, Tribune Staff Writer {The Evening Tribune 24 July 1990} Welland—An autopsy revealed Frances Turnbull, a well-known city artist died of smoke inhalation. The 89-year-old’s body was pulled from the sec... read more
  • One of my favourite outings - [Submitted by: B] One of my favourite outings is walking the boardwalk on the Friendship Trail through the old Erie Beach Amusement Park. Running parallel to the north shore of Lake Erie, it is an historical treasure. In the ... read more
  • GEORGE WILLIAM STALKER - WEDDING BELLS Stalker-Igoe [Welland Telegraph, 5 July 1912] Many friends in Welland will be interested to learn of the marriage which took place in Seattle, Wash., on Thursday, June 27, when Miss Helen Louise Igoe became the ... read more
  • CATHERINE BROWN - MRS. CATHERINE BROWN [Welland Telegraph, 20 December 1912] Mrs. Catherine Brown, relict of the late David Brown, died on Tuesday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John Buchner, Welland. Mrs. Brown, who was in her 80th... read more
  • PETER HENRY DAMUDE - [Welland Telegraph, 20 December 1912] Peter Damude, a former resident of Fonthill, died at his home in Niagara Falls on Saturday night at the advanced age of eight-one years. Mr. Damude spent the greater part of his life here... read more
  • JOHN HENRY THOMPSON - [Welland Tribune, 14 April 1905] Expressions of sincere sorrow were heard on every hand when the announcement was made last week by Dr. Emmett, the family physician, that John Thompson of Ridgeville would not probably recover... 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


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.