Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Port Arthur Ontario Centennial 1857-1957 plus 55 more years....

It sure is wonderful that my parents saved so many things through the years.  The fact that just last week was Port Arthur, Ontario's actual 155th birthday went by without a tweet(no pun intended) in the local news media.  The button to the left is in mint condition and also the program itself which made it through many years in boxes and drawers and survived the last 55 year test of time.  The actual programme of what went on 55 years ago is below, so be sure to click on it and all the other photos to enlarge them to reading size.

We sure did celebrate much more in those days as defined by this 8 day programme.

Many pages from the program were used for local advertising of the day, and its nice to see what those buildings look like in today's standards, as shown by these two photos.  The colour photo to the right is from google earth and was taken in the summer of 2009.

The ad above is of course S. J. Hill and Sons Ltd as it looked in the early 1930s and also as it looked in the early 1850's.  They also sold Ramblers at their American Motors Nash Division Dealership's here in Port Arthur and Fort William.
This is the present day building at S. J. Hill and Sons used car
lot on May and Dease street in Fort William.

This is the present day building of the
Fort William dealership.

This is the approximate present day area
of the Port Arthur Dealership on the
corner of Strand and Red River Road.

This of course is the original Port Arthur Town Hall with location as stated under the photo.

The following two photos are from the 1950's and also present day.  By clicking on the pictures to enlarge them you can see Birks Stitt Jewellers on the left with Corporal Taxi to its left on the Court and Arthur Street corners as noted above.
The following picture is the corner of Court and Arthur Street(now Red River Road) showing more than a 150 year transition at the same location.

Simpsons-Sears and Eatons were the mainstay of business here in Fort William and Port Arthur for many years including such other places as Chapples Limited in Fort William.   

Reid's Tire and Battery on Bay Street...the building still exists today

The following ads are all from the 1957 Centennial program booklet mainly to tweak your memory back to some good old days in our once great on-their-own cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, here at the head of the lakes. 

Shop-Easy was another well known Grocery Store here.
Most of the small box stores were soon to be bought out or
sold to whoever was larger, eventually leading to bigger box
stores such as Walmart, K-Mart, Zellers, and Super Store.

CFPA was originally at the site of
the present day CKPR radio and
Television at 87 N. Hill Street.
The Mariaggi Hotel also known as the Marina Inn was demolished
to make room for the Provincial Government building across from
the present day Marina Park.

Remember the original Scollie's was actually
on Catherine Street in Fort William long before
the latter day ice cream bar which was on the
corner of Walsh and Waterloo in Fort William.

Finally it is an ad from the original Loblaws store which was located in the intercity area before the massive renovation had started.  This was my actual first real job in 1961, and at $14.00 a week, I had a car, a girl-friend and extra bucks in my pocket...
I still don't know how I did it.


Lisa Miller Grant said...

This is a great thing you are doing by posting all of this nostalgia, and I thank you for doing so! I have that same Belle Centennial button, and my Dad had his first job when he was 12 (!) working for Scollie's! My Dad was from Fort William and my Mom from Port Arthur and they both had ancestors who arrived in the respective areas in the 1800's and so all of this history means a lot! I am putting together family history in time for my Dad's 80th next month and I am learning a lot from your postings and my memory is being jogged as I lived there from 1965-1973.

Dave Cano said...

Thanks for your comments Lisa....I am very happy that you are enjoying my blog posts.....and anything you can add via email would be nice...such as photos of memories.