Monday, April 26, 2010

More Simpson Street Commercial Property from way back when....

I am very lucky to have the Wally Young and Scalzo collection of brill bus photos to help date many of the businesses around the Lakehead cities of Fort William and Port Arthur. This post is divided into 3 parts, the first one dedicated to the East End Service Station which is actually still at the same intersection at Simpson St. and Pacific Ave. at the base of the East End overpass which spans all the railroad tracks east of Simpson street.

The red arrow here shows East End Service as an Esso station in 1969 and the very unique blotter at the right(you remember blotters?...that's what you used to blot up the wet ink from using actual pen and ink...before ball point pens.) The blotter is from 1949 and shows quite a bit of information throughout the US and Canada regarding people population, automobile population, # of commercial vehicles etc etc. A very interesting read.

This next photo shows Simpson Street in about the same place as the Brill Bus photo above, the arrow pointing to where East End Service is today...just behind the clump of trees. The last photo here is of East End Service showing the East End overpass. Note that there are no gas pumps here now. The last photo below shows where it is on a map of the Simpson Pacific Ave area.

The second part to this post shows the corner Simpson and Bethune Streets.

Simpson and Bethune St. was a very busy place in 1913. Here is L. W. Goodall's Bakery "pastry specialties". An unusual combination being a bakery and a billiard hall...but here it is. The next(coloured) photo is how the building looked on the north side in 1970 with a very vivid Coca Cola sign and Mario's Custom Tailors next door.

This is how the building looks today only being used as an apartment block. The first picture shows the same angle as the Coca Cola photo above and also shows where Mario's Tailors was. The second photo shows the full corner of Simpson and Bethune.

Finally, thanks to the Scalzo collection is another Brill bus just north of the Simpson and Victoria Ave intersection. The first 1969 photo shows how much more vivid the James Murphy Coal company sign was then compared to now. Further down the street you can see how one would be forced down Victoria ave as Simson curves to the right. Today this street cuts right through the buildings at the end. The last photo taken just recently shows the faded James Murphy Coal Co sign of the past. Our city shows many signs like this of times past.
Click on photos to enlarge!


Ha Mbg said...

Hi . The building showing the James Murphy Coal Company sign was called the Kam View Apartments . I don't know if it is still the Kam View Apartments . My family and I lived there from 1959 until 1963 . I attended the old St Patrick's High School . It is now located in the buildings formerly called Selkirk High School and the old St Patrick's no longer exists . I remember the buses going by just outside our apartment window with the noise of the electric sparks from the overhead power lines ( especially in the winter ) . The New York Bar and Grill was located just across the street and I remember watching their neon sign flashing from our window . There were many pool halls on Simpson St then as well as elsewhere in the city . There was a pool hall across the street but I don't recollect its name . The T & M Grill was just up the street and it had a pool hall in the basement . Albert's Pool Hall was just around the corner on Victoria Ave ( it was located upstairs ) . The old Odeon Theater was also just around the corner on Victoria Ave . I saw many great movies there in the very early sixties including Spartacus . There was a bank on the corner of Simpson and Victoria ( I am not sure what bank it was ) . I also remember the James Murphy Oil Company has a large neon sign at the front of the building where their store was . I was wondering if you might have other photos of Simpson St from this era . Perhaps some of the opposite side of the street showing the New York Bar & Grill or perhaps the T & M Grill ? In fact any photos of Fort William from that era would be great . I remember when I was older in the 60's going and having a few draft beer at the West Hotel shown in the photo . Would you also have access to a phone book from the 60's ? Seeing your photo brought back many nostalgic memories . Thank you very much .

Dave Cano said...

Ha Mbg...always a big thank you for anyone's added informative comments. I remember everything you have mentioned here as well. Much appreciated, Dave at HR&J
ps...I have many old phone books and Henderson directory's from the 1950's and 1960's...they help in solving arguments and are very useful for research. D.