Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas and Other Winter Memories mainly from Our Home Towns of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ont. Last one for 2016....

Be sure to check back on the last two posts to view the 2016 group of Christmas Memories on our blog pages then come back to read this one.
Dave and his entire family wish that your holiday be blessed with Love, Peace, Joy, and Happiness, and may it extend the whole year through.  MERRY CHRISTMAS.

      This old 1939/40 Christmas Telegram is one of my favorite Christmas pieces.  It was a very important means of communication particularly overseas through the early years of WWII.  Obviously I removed some of the personal data.  Click on all to enlarge.

Here are a couple of old CPR Telegraph office signs...the second being a bit older than the first.

The CPR Telegraph office in Fort William was located on the corner of George St., and May St. in the old Royal Edward Hotel building.  The corner later became a restaurant which is presently closed after the building was renamed The Royal Edward Arms. 

 "The Royal Eddy" still stands without the CP Telegraph office to this day....a few pieces are broken off the top facade of the building but it still stands like a fortress from our old town of Fort William, Ontario.  The Queen actually stayed in this building.

Quite a few years later in about 1961 we were celebrating our Christmas at home like every typical middle class family did with our tree, usually cut down in the Oliver Lake area and an abundance of gifts that we were supposed to be extra good to receive, but even if we weren't so "good", we would receive them anyway.  We were very fortunate kids and never got too greedy with our Christmas requests.  My kid brother Corey and I loved trains since we were small, as our uncles and grandfather had worked for the CPR.  We still both share the interest.  With left overs from my own model trains, in about 1961, I built a little layout for my kid bro, and as you will see he was overjoyed with his gift.
Christmas Eve circa 1961


Now for some history circa 1949....The photo below is of my wife's Aunt Phoebe Bishop with her two sons Martin and Billy.  You have to imagine where they are today with only a few landmarks available to locate the spot.  They are sitting on a snow pile about where the lobby area of the Fort William Gardens is today.  The building on the left is the Fort William Armory,  and there are three buildings in this photo which still exist today to help us locate the spot.....the two houses on the right are on the corner of Leith and McKellar St., and a little store on the corner of Archibald and Leith St., near the right center of the photo.
 The photo to the right courtesy of Google Maps shows the two homes that are in the photo above, however the store is not visible here but shows up in the next two.

This one shows Syd Bishop with his two sons Martin and Billy as mentioned above.  They are standing beside a Brill Bus Float waiting for the start of the 1949 Winter Carnival Parade here in Fort William, Ontario.  In the Orange Square is Min's Grocery Store and Confectionery at 220 Archibald Street on the N/E corner of Archibald and Leith Sts. in the day.  That building still exists today.

Syd Bishop was the Fort William Transit manager for many years.  He is shown in the far right of the photo below near the original spot where the transit building was located on the south side of Walsh St., between Selkirk and Franklin Sts.

The new Thunder Bay Transit Building on Fort William Road is dedicated to my wife's uncle Syd Bishop.

 Most of the Fort William parades during the winter time and/or summer always began where this skating rink was located in the middle 1900's.  This is McKellar Park where McKellar Park school stands today.  Many kids hockey games were played on this rink and many other rinks around our twin cities in the day.  I played goal for the Elks Pee Wee Hockey organization in the early 1950's, just before I found an affinity for downhill skiing.

The following picture was also taken on the same ice surface as the one can see the high windows of the old Armory building....the kids are having some fun with an ice skating race.

 One more last family picture of our Christmas mornings back in about 1958.  Pay close attention, not to my kid brother playing with my service station again but to the box on the left top of the photos which reads....yes you guessed it...."Hot Rod Kit".  I think every kid my age got one of these at least once in their life for a Christmas gift....and as you know, the words "Hot Rod" never left my vocabulary ever since these days....LOL   That is me in my jammies on the left and my kid sister above my kid brother....but wait, what was in that box.  Here is a present day photo that someone had on ebay for sale...Imagine someone keeping it all these years.  I never kept mine or my service station, but I've found a Marx service station which I still have.
This is what was inside that box.

One more Christmas treasure....a 1952 Woolworth's Christmas book dated 1952....A Trip in Santa's Ribbon Candy Rocket.  Many people don't even know what Ribbon Candy is....

There is one more story to tell, but I won't tell it, It's about what the "Ford Rotunda" was.  The image below says Christmas at the Ford Rotunda.  The final three images below are free books that a kid would receive if they actually visited the Fort Rotunda during the Christmas Season.  Please Click on this link to view the Wikipedia story of the Ford Rotunda -

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THANKS FOR WATCHING ALL YEAR.....Many more posts to come in the new year including some local stock car photos not yet seen..... D.


kyllimarjaana said...

This blog is the best ever!!!

Dave Cano said...

Thank you very much....