Sunday, November 10, 2019

"ALL GAVE SOME, BUT SOME GAVE ALL"....Remembrance Day in Thunder Bay, Ontario - Monday Nov. 11 2019....

This 2013 post is more relevant today in my mind and feel it needs to be seen again.

We only have a few veterans left from the second world war and none from the first world war so if you encounter a veteran be sure to thank him or her for their sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today.  "All gave some, but some gave all!"

The first world war, "A WAR TO END ALL WARS" was sadly not enough of an impact on Canada and its allies to actually make it such, as on Sept 11, 1939, Canada again declares war.

Below are two articles firstly from the Port Arthur daily news and another article from a Fort William newspaper both printed in August of 1914.  If you click once or twice on these and all the other pictures, they can be read and seen in better resolution.

Canadian Soldiers in the trenches....would you want to be there?


"A different 9-11 back in 1939"
     This is an incredible photo of the Algonquin Regiment leaving Port Arthur, Ontario on June 4th 1941.  In the background is a steam engine at the Port Arthur Canadian Pacific Railroad station torn down many years ago and today, Water Street near Marina Park runs right through this property.  Off to the left in a gold square is the Hydro sub-station which still exists today as seen in the next photo.  Look hard and you may recognize someone you love....also look at those young faces heading off to fight for our freedom.  Click on photo for a closer look!

The Hydro sub-station as seen today.
The following picture is an unknown regiment.  They are gathered to march in McKellar Park.  McKellar Park's present location is where McKellar Park school is today, just to the north of the Fort William Curling sure to look at the rest of the photos below.  These soldiers are marching with Lee-Enfield British rifles (a closer photo of one is below). 
When I was in sea cadets back in the 1950's we would shoot these in rifle range at the old Fort William Armory which would be located to the right and behind in the following photo. 
These rifles weighed 8.8 imagine carrying one of these around on parade or in the battle field with all the other gear a soldier would have to wear.  I could barely lift it to take one shot!
This McKellar Park field was used for local baseball, football, and was the starting point for many a Fort William Parade.  Off in the distance with a gold square is the Sweet Caporal score board for the sports field...more data on that below. 

Below is an old Sweet Caporal cigarette package which actually displayed WWII planes so as to help identify what you may see flying overhead.  My father(still living today at 94 years) was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army then and stationed in Victoria, BC. where they were guarding the west coast after Pearl Harbor was bombed.  They thought the Japanese were going to do the same to Canadian Naval bases along the coast.  While there, he also taught an aircraft recognition course.

McKellar Park and school as it looks today.
Sweet Cap aircraft recognition package WWII.
Here is a colored picture of a Sweet Caporal Cigarettes scoreboard.

If you want more data on the Lee-Enfield, you can go to Wikipedia here then come back to view the rest-

You can also view other years of Remembrance Day posts with some incredible local photos on this blog as follows -

A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL VETERANS OF ALL WARS for their unselfish service....

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Streetcars and Advertising from The Civic/Electric Railway era in our hometowns of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario

Yes....I'm still here with the Hot Rods and Jalopies Facebook page.  Many apologies for being so preoccupied with other things that I have been negligent in my writings here on my blog.  Myself and my family have had a very busy summer....but no more excuses...I have a new post for today which I have been working on on and off during the summer months.

My good friend Des Stolz is also an eclectic collector and like myself was lucky enough through the years to find some very interesting and valuable items that stimulate the mind and the memory.
If you are old enough to remember, many buses and streetcars through the years used advertising which were displayed inside to help with the cost of running bus and streetcar services.  Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario was no exception.  The colorful streetcar generation and I mean the rail type, not the trolley Brill bus generation with rubber tires, had the most diverse and and vivid advertising considering that the printing press and lithograph were the only means to reproduce colored advertising in that era.  The rubber tired electric trolley buses were introduced in our home towns in 1947 and sadly the electric rail streetcars stopped carrying passengers in 1948.  Both Fort William and Port Arthur until amalgamation ran their own civic/electric railway independently of each other.

This post is not a transportation history but mainly about our street railway era.  It begins with a series of electric railway photos from my own collection which I purchased on-line quite a few years ago now (a few of which have been on this site before).  These photos were all taken in 1941, and edited for this blog.  Following that will be photos from Des Stolz electric railway advertising days collection for you to enjoy.  Be sure to click on each photo for a nice screen size view then return to the photos and continue right to the end.
All the streetcar photos are titled and all photos are copyright.

This one also shows the J.M. McCartney store with the very famous clock below it, Mahon Electric, the Woolworth's and Kresge's five and dime stores, as well as a number of era motor vehicles in what used to be Fort William's bustling downtown.

Port Arthur and Fort William painted their trolley's different colors in the day, but many ran in both cities, so both colors of Trolley's were seen everywhere.   Vividly in view was Quinlan's and the F.W. Woolworth five and dime store, the Prince Arthur Hotel, the Pagoda and the head and chest of our famous Sleeping Giant, as well as what looks like a Lincoln beside the streetcar and a Model A Ford sedan waiting for the light.
 The Chapples Store (Grain Exchange Building) was the anchor store for the Fort William downtown area.  The building does still exist today, but inside a mall called Victoriaville.

Many a family excursion headed out across the swing bridge and down Mission road to Chippewa Park for a picnic, kids rides and the zoo, for many who couldn't afford a car in the day.

If anyone can tell me the exact spot for this next would help.  Note the Orange Crush advertising sign on the front of the store, and the new home or business being constructed.

Other family excursions also headed north on Memorial Avenue in Port Arthur to go to Boulevard Lake for a swim and/or picnic or to Current River Park for a family day or the Casino Dine and Dance near the Current River Dam.

The Car Barns or Transit sheds in Port Arthur were located at the foot of Van Horne Street on Water Street where the recycle depot is today.  The next three photos were all taken at the Port Arthur Sheds.  
There are no photos of the Fort William transit building here, but it was located on the south side of Walsh Street between Franklin and Selkirk Streets.

 The advertising was viewed by passengers while riding the Trolleys....some as shown here.

The first group of advertising cards are likely from the 1920's and show a few companies that are still in business today such as Wrigley's and Buckley's.  The Chevrolet dealership was handled by the Badanai family for many years in Fort William and Port Arthur, but in the 1920's, Roach and Irwin ran the dealership in Fort William and Ernest Parker in Port Arthur.
 Just by looking at some of these advertising cards, you can guess that most were from the 1920's and 1930's
 In this group as well as just above some of the same companies as mentioned are still in business almost 100 years later.  Also there are two more beautiful Roach & Irwin and Ernest Parker Chevrolet ads.  The art work is spectacular.

 Another local one is shown in this group.  The Scollie's Ice Cream ad with the phone number of S.128.  Scollies had a few different locations in Fort William....the first being "Scollie's Locker Service" which was located on Catherine Street in Fort William.  I remember my parents sending me there to pick up some fresh meat back in the day.

My favourite poster of the lot is this Sellers & Jones Limited.  This poster brought back a huge memory of my father telling me that the Kam Motors building which was on Leith Street(the building is still there) was once called Sellers and Jones.  Up until I started this blog and communicating with other historians from our area I had never seen an advertisement or photo of Sellers and Jones until this advertisement in Des Stolz collection turned up and also a photo below which was on the Facebook page Thunder Bay Then and Now.  Obviously this was very exciting for me to see.

Thanks to Richard Mark...Thunder Bay Then and Now for finding this great photo of the main portion of the original Kam Motors Limited building.  This photo is looking east down Leith St towards the corner of Leith and Simpson St.  At the lake end of Leith Street and Hardisty stood a huge Elevator which I can't recall the name of.

This is Kam Motors as it looked in and Advertisement in it's prime.
 ...and this is how the building looks today as Ace Automotive and Diamond-Lacey's Taxi.  Both the words "Diamond" and "Lacey's" were always icons in the taxi business back in the day as well as now.

 Many thanks of Des Stolz for letting me photograph his Streetcar Advertising Posters, to the original photographer of the Streetcar photos and to Richard Mark of Thunder Bay Then and Now.
I hope you have taken the time to read the attached stories and view all the photos.  Thanks for being loyal fans of The Hot Rods and Jalopies generation blog pages.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Ralph Darling's Service Station 1954 and it's Significance at 906 Victoria Ave in our home town of Fort William, Ontario....

Looking back through photos and documents in my archives I had some photos that mentioned Darling's Service and I knew where it was located but the best help was in finding this photo clipping of Darling's Service Station's Grand Opening from a local Facebook page (Sorry I don't recall whose...but thank you).  The address at 906 Victoria Ave. has had a plethora of service stations including the most important in my life span as Ray Charles Texaco owned and operated by old friends Ray Defoy and Charlie Miller.  But on to this May 22, 1954 clipping that someone saved from our Fort William Times Journal.  Those years were extremely significant due to the resurgence of organized Stock Car Racing the year before in 1953 by the Lakehead Stock Car Club.

Mayor Gordon Carson was the Fort William Mayor of the day, and here we see him cutting the ribbon with Ralph Darling and staff for the grand opening with the old Pilkington Glass building in the background. 

Here is a clipping cut from the main one showing the expertise of the lessee and his staff all under the Texaco Sign.  “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star, the big bright Texaco star.” ....remember that one?
Ok now...It's important to know a few things here, Ralph Darling ran the service station for the owner Bud Heidrick.  Bud personally sponsored Barry Kettering's first and many stock car jalopies with the number 47 on the side, hence the words "Bud's Thing" on all the #47 cars that Barry drove.  When Barry changed his colour combination to red and white and his number to #57 in 1957, was when Norm Hogan (noted here as a member of the staff) took over the 47 number, then no longer sponsored by Bud.  Hope this makes sense...and the story continues.
Click all pictures to enlarge.

Below is one of or possibly the first Barry Kettering piloted "Bud's Thing" #47 with an unknown person at the front.  If you know who this person is, let me know.  The tall building in the background is Chapples Ltd and you can read Hurtig Furs on the sign just across Victoria Ave.  This is the present day corner of McKellar St. and Victoria Ave.  The original name of McKellar St. was John St. which was changed after the amalgamation to Thunder Bay in 1970.  The similar photo directly below this is one with the one and only "Bud" Heidrick, and as mentioned, the owner of Darling's Service and the sponsor/owner of the #47 car.

"Bud Heidrick" with his sponsored Barry Kettering car

Here's a fairly recent photo of the old Hurtig Furs building with the light green trim and the new courthouse being built behind the old Chapples building and sitting partially on the old YMCA property.

This photo of the "Bass Ackward" #47 was taken along what was John St. in the day, now McKellar with a number of old homes which were removed to build Centennial Plaza...this would be the rear portion of the stores originally with a bank building on the corner.  The photo to the right shows how the street looks today.

This one was also taken along McKellar St, with none other than Norm Hogan looking on to the right.  In 1957 Norm would then drive the famed #47 himself.  Also in the picture on the right behind Norm is the original Fort William Clinic....later to be rebuilt then after that moving in recent years near our new Regional Hospital.  Royal Triton Motor Oil was THE racing oil of the was actually purple in colour and was actually endorsed in commercials by Marilyn Monroe.  There is much more about Marilyn and Royal Triton in another post here on Hotrods and Jalopies.
This is how the very spot looks today with the newer Fort William Clinic building in the background now I believe empty.  Most of the trees that decorate the above photo are long gone.

Here's one last photo of Norm Hogan sitting in Barry's car parked a little closer to Victoria Ave.  The old home in the background was replaced by the Bank Building on that corner.

The next phase of this story is the #10 car which was driven by Ross "Pappy" Fowler.  Here you can see it parked right in front of Darling's Service.  Pappy's #10 car was directly sponsored by Darling's Service, so both the #47 and the #10 cars resided here for a year or two.  Pappy drove the #10 car for a couple of years then also a #98 car.
Pappy would later quit racing and be the flagman for a few years as well.  When Pappy quit driving the #10 car, it would be taken over by Don Marsh who had tremendous success with his #10.

While looking at the pictures of Pappy's car here, you can see other landmarks such as Billboard row on the north/east corner of what was called John St. and Victoria Ave. with the YMCA in the background...of course now long gone to accommodate the court house downtown Fort William.  Be sure to click on all the photos big and small to get them screen size.

There have been many tenants in the old Safeway building that was on Victoria Ave., including Canadian Tire.

Here is the last photo of Pappy Fowler's #10 again on the original corner of Victoria and John St. in Fort William.  There was also a small grocery store called Star Fruit and Vegetable Market just a little down the street toward where Victoriaville is today and you can just make out the large Buckingham cigarette sign on the side of that building, and right on the corner a Mr. Bill Smith lived.  (Information from Henderson's Directory)

How Darling's looked from the front....

Darling's model "B" service truck with R "Pappy" Fowlers name.

How the property looks today....The building is the same structure.

Across the street is the old Safeway/Canadian Tire photo

Next is an overview of the area to help you recognize the area as it looks today and what was there.

Finally a huge thank you to the people who took the marvelous photos so that we can spend time reminiscing about our past.......
.....“You can trust your car to the man who wears the Star, the big bright Texaco Star” It would be nice to have real "service" like we had in the day.    

As once mentioned, I don't do as many posts as I used to do, but they are much longer with more story content....hope you enjoyed this post.  thanks, Dave