THE TOWN OF PORT HOPE
A series of articles from The Guide, July-August 1853, describing many of the industries in Port Hope.
from the Guide, July 9th, 1853, page 2.
We purpose availing ourselves of the calm, which now pervades the Province, and during the interim
which will occur before the next session of our Provincial Parliament, intend occupying a portion of our columns with local matters, in which most of our readers feel a lively interest, inasmuch as anything which affects the welfare of our thriving Town or its surrounding country, can not fail to be interesting to at least those of our readers who reside or hold property in these United Counties. The Provincial Parliament, after an unusually long and tedious session, extending over a space of
some six months, has at length been prorogued. Many useful measures have been passed and much good been done for the country during this session,
likewise some Acts which to us seem very objectionable; however we must acknowledge that great honor is due to the present administration, and particularly to the Premier — the Honourable F Hincks — for having placed the financial affairs of the Province in their present favorable
position. The credit of Canada never stood as high at any previous period as it now does. Canadian debentures now command a higher price by ½ percent in the English market than they ever did at any former time.
Toronto City debentures never before at par now sell in the English market at 5½ premium;
Hamilton and Toronto Railway six per cent, bonds 107½, at which figure the London papers of the 18th ult., state they were in demand. The Daily news says: — "Amongst the stocks in request may be enumerated the Quebec and Richmond, Ontario, Huron, and Simcoe, and St Lawrence and Champlain six per cent, debentures. Great confidence is felt in Canadian investments," and again "that in the event of the Eastern question leading to war, American — among which we suppose we may include Canadian — stocks would not fall like European stocks; but on the contrary, while European investments would be shunned, American would be sought for investment in that surplus capital which the withdrawal from insecure stocks would occasion." The Morning Chronicle, referring to the high price which Canadian debentures command says: —"The increasing prosperity of that colony and the yearly improvement of its revenue, naturally tend to induce investments in these securities." Upon the whole the Province never was in a more favorable position than at present. Farmers and mechanics, the bulwarks of Canada, are becoming rich. Merchants are prospering in their business. There never were so few failures amongst mercantile firms.
The Bankrupt Court has grown into disuse. The deposits of private individuals in the Banks are unusually large. Public improvements are being effected on a very large scale. We hear of railroads in every section of the country.
It is true we cannot tell how long this position of affairs may last. The first shot fired in Europe might put a stop to all our Government works; or if they are continued, there must undoubtedly come a revulsion after their completion; when the tide begins to turn and instead of English capitalists laying out money in the country they begin to pocket the profits and carry them out of it. But the extent of this evil will depend upon the manner in which the finances of the country are managed and the provision which is made for meeting the emergency. Let the men who are at the helm of affairs take proper precautions and make suitable preparations for the coming of this crisis and we do not fear the result. The province now enjoys a sweet repose, which we hope, by the blessing of providence, may long continue. The country is free from political strife, and the religions flame lately kindled is gradually dying out. We trust the present peace and prosperity we enjoy will not be disturbed by European convulsions, although the late English papers do not hold out very strong hopes of an amicable settlement of the difficulties between Russia and Turkey. We sincerely hope the matter will be honorably arranged without recourse being had to arms, as it would be difficult to predict the termination of a war thus commenced.
As we before mentioned we purpose laying before our readers the most reliable statistics which we can procure as to the resources and the condition of our flourishing Town. We have obtained our information on all points from head quarters
and we think it may be depended upon and will be found generally to be correct. As to the natural beauty of Port Hope, it is admitted on all hands to be one of the prettiest towns in the province. If any there be who are disposed to disagree with us, we would earnestly request them to rise at three o'clock some of these fine summer mornings and witness the beauties of sunrise from the summit of Fort Orton. The natural beauty of our town being admitted we shall proceed to establish its commercial importance, and in doing this we think we shall not have much difficulty.
We shall commence with the mills belonging to Thomas Molson, Esquire, of Montreal, which are situated about a mile from the business part of the Town, upon the stream which enters the lake at the mouth of the harbor. The flour mill,
a fine four story frame building, contains six runs of stones and is capable of turning out ready for shipment, 300 barrels of flour a day.
The sawmill is one of the best description and turns out 6,000 feet of lumber per day. There is also on the premises an excellent stave factory for the manufacturing of flour barrel staves, capable of making 7,000 staves per day. This factory effects an immense saving of manual labor,
turning out the staves curved and beveled ready for being put together. Those staves which are thrown out as culls, being unfit for flour barrels, are made up into plaster barrels and are readily disposed of. In addition to these mills there is, upon the same premises, a lath and picket factory, and also a planing machine. There is an abundant supply of water at Mr Molson's mills; sufficient, we should think, to admit of the erection of several other branches of machinery, which will no doubt be done at no very distant period.
We next come to the new flour and plaster mills owned by F Beamish, Esq., of this Town, which are situated upon the same stream about half-way between Mr Molson's mills and the centre of the town. Mr Beamish is here erecting a fine flour mill, which will be a three and a half story building; the first story stone, the remainder frame.
This mill will be fitted up for doing custom work in a speedy and satisfactory manner, and will, it is expected, be in operation this fall. He is also erecting a mill for grinding plaster of paris, capable of turning out 10,000 barrels of plaster in the year. Next comes Mr Craig's Morocco factory which has been in operation about ten months, and has turned out 10,000 skins of morocco of a fine quality.
Mr Craig expects to manufacture 30,000 skins during the ensuing year. We have next to speak of Mr William Barrett's extensive water privilege, upon which will be found a number of factories of a first class, and here there is water power sufficient for as many more, Mr Barrett has in connection with his own department, on the west side of the river, waggon and carriage making machinery for doing all parts of the work; sawing and planing the felloes; turning the spokes and axletrees; boring mortising, &c.; — with which is connected an extensive blacksmith establishment. In
addition to this machinery there are upon the premises two or more bedstead and chair factories, also several turning lathes, which Mr Barrett has leased to different individuals. There is here as well a carding and cloth dressing establishment upon a very large scale. Mr Barrett has also an extensive saw-mill in full operation, and also machinery rented by enterprising tenants for last and sash making, and for manufacturing fanning mills and threshing machines. There are in addition two cylinder planing machines, which have active employment. We may here state that one of these machines was manufactured by Messrs Barrett & Hamlin, at about one fourth the cost of the imported article, and we are informed that it does work equally speedily and well. Mr Barrett is about to erect a three story brick building to be devoted to cabinet making.
THE TOWN OF PORT HOPE (continued)
from the Guide, July 16th, 1853, page2.
We last week promised to furnish our readers with further information on the subject of the
commercial importance of our rising and rapidly increasing Town, and we now proceed to the discharge of that obligation. We commenced in our number with the mills and manufactories situated to the northward and westward, and shall now proceed in a southerly and easterly direction,
confining ourselves within the limits of Port Hope, and dealing only with those manufacturing establishments which are situated inside of the prescribed bounds of the town. After we have given all the statistical information we can obtain in reference to our town, we shall take a cursory view of the amount of business done in the Townships tributary to this place; and we will feel extremely obliged to those persons owning or having possession of mills or factories of any kind, for any statistical facts as to the capabilities of their respective establishments, with which it may be convenient for them to furnish us.
In continuation of our last week's article, Mr Chalk's waggon making and blacksmithing establishment first presents itself to our notice. Mr Chalk does a very
extensive business in the manufacture of lumber waggons, and has established his credit in that department upon a firm basis. His waggons find ready sale and command a good price in all parts of the country, and being made of well-seasoned timber and strongly ironed, are peculiarly adapted to this section of the country, where time is such an object that it is necessary that waggons should be strongly and well
made, to be capable of bearing as great a load as a good team of horses can draw over such fine roads as we now have leading into our town. Mr Chalk's machinery is propelled by horse-power and gives employment to six hands.
Messrs Morgan's Foundry and waggon and plough factory, with which is connected a blacksmithing department, form the next subject for our consideration. This establishment is situated on the west side of the beautiful little river whose meandrous current wends its way through our Town towards the broad Ontario. The messrs Morgan here carry on an extensive business and have lately raised the credit of their plough factory to a high point by the favorable notice which their ploughs called forth at the late ploughing match of the Hope Agricultural Society. The machinery in this establishment is also worked by horse-power.
Mr Sherin's Carriage Factory attracts particular notice and demands especial attention at our hands.
This is an establishment which all lovers of pleasure-driving, and all who can appreciate the solid comfort to be taken in an easy and well made carriage, are peculiarly interested in. This factory is entirely devoted to carriage making, and from it buggies of all descriptions, and pleasure sleighs and cutters, are turned out equal in quality and style to any imported.
Mr Sherin gives constant employment to fourteen hands and turns put two finished carriages a week, and will be prepared to manufacture one hundred next season. It is needless to enlarge upon the
superior manner in which work is done in this establishment; for if there be any disposed to doubt us, they will be satisfied of our correctness by an inspection of the carriages made here, not a few of which may be seen everyday passing through the streets of our town. Mr Sherin is now commencing to manufacture sleighs in the best American style for the ensuing winter. There is a blacksmith shop in connection with the above factory, so that the iron work of the buggies is also done under Mr Sherin's own superintendence. Mr Sherin is making preparations for introducing a steam engine to drive his machinery this fall, or early next spring.
Mr Porter's foundry, waggon and plough manufactory next demands our attention. The machinery in this factory is propelled by horsepower at present, but it is Mr Porter's intention to introduce steam power for that purpose. The proprietor of
this establishment deserves great credit for the enterprising spirit he displays in competing (and not unsuccessfully) not only with the province but also with the United States, in the manufacture of ploughs, for which he has more than once received the favourable notice of the Hope Agricultural Society.
In addition to these we must mention Messrs Spry's, Parson's, Wilcox's, and Ballamy's blacksmith and horseshoeing establishments. Mr Spry we understand, did all the iron work of the schooners Leunder, Admiral and one or more others.
Mr Wilcox has in connection with his blacksmith shop a gauged lathe for turning iron. All these shops are on a large scale and are of the best description.
THE TOWN OF PORT HOPE (continued)
from the Guide July 23, 1853, page2.
Agreeable to promise we again return to this subject so full of interest to those of our readers who have the welfare of our flourishing Town at heart, and who strive to assist the natural course of events in order to hasten that period, not far remote, when the name of Port Hope shall be engraved high on the pillar of fame, when she shall have no successful commercial rival between Toronto and Montreal. There is no reason why this should not be so, and it will be so, even in the natural current of events; however let us not await that time but exert ourselves to hasten it. Perseverando vineemus. Our Harbor By-law has received the almost unanimous vote of the Town, and though some discussion took place at the meeting, no personal violence," as our juvenile, pedantic contemporary the Peterborough Review has it, was threatened to any gentleman. We would not thus take up the valuable time of our readers and our columns, which can be better filled, by offering a contradiction to the false and malicious statements of the above mentioned journal, but that missiles, no matter by how mean and despicable a hand they are cast, will always find forwarders in some persons of the same stamp as the original thrower. With regard to the second falsehood contained in the article above alluded to, we doubt not the gentleman to whom reference is made, if he deem it worth his while, will give it on early contradiction. Our young contemporary is altogether too greedy of popularity. He quite forgets the old adage, "Festina lente"; and in trying to please certain parties in Peterborough at the expense of truth and justice, it escapes his mind that there is such a thing as" falling between two stools." In future we would thank him to get his information from some better authority than the giver of his last before he makes assertions which are utterly without foundation. But we are digressing from our original subject, as the hunter in pursuit of a deer is sometimes induced to fire at a chip-monk. We shall now dismiss the Review, trusting that we shall not again have occasion to contradict such willful and malicious perversions of truth as that contained in last Wednesday's number of that paper.
In noticing Mr Barrett's mills in our issue of the 9th instanc, we were unable to give the number of buggies, waggons, sleighs, manufactured by him the course of the year, not being in possession of reliable information on this point.
We have since learned from that gentleman that he can and does turn out on an average forty buggies and fifty waggons, besides a large number of sleighs, cutters, &c., in the year. We will only further remark that Mr Barrett's work will be found second to none in the town for quality
Mr Allen's Wool Carding, Pulling and Cloth-dressing establishment is in full operation, and finds constant employment. Mr Allen has two carding machines which are kept continually busy, and the work done here is of a superior quality.
Mr Hamlin's Fanning-mill Factory is situated on the east side of the river, and turns out mills equal to any manufactured in the Province. We do not exceed the bounds of truth in thus speaking of Mr Hamlin's Factory. His fanning mills are distributed over the whole surrounding country, and their superiority is best attested by the ready sale they meet with. Mr Hamlin also manufactures threshing machines and the improved cider press.
Mr Richard Misson's sash factory, and Mr Garnett's Carpenter Shop deserve some attention at our hands. In the latter will be found a planing machine of a very approved description, and for which Mr Garnett has constant employment. There are also two last factories here, in one of which
belonging to Mr A B Allen, lasts of a very good quality are manufactured for home consumption, while the other makes for the Rochester market. The lasts made at this factory are equal in quality to any made in the Province or imported from the States.
Mr John Helm's Foundry next claims our notice. It is impossible for us to convey a perfect and full
idea of the works to be found in this establishment, therefore we would request those of our readers who take an interest in this line of business, to visit this foundry, and we assure them they will be amply repaid for their trouble. Mr Helms exercises every branch of foundry and blacksmithing business; the manufacture of steam engines, boilers, reaping, mowing & threshing machines; and has several lathes for the purpose of turning, and planing machines for planing, both iron and wood. This establishment is upon a very extensive scale and finishes work in the best style giving employment at present to twenty hands, and Mr Helm is desirous of engaging several more steady young men, to whom liberal wages will be given. The machinery in this establishment is all propelled by a steam engine.
We would next direct the attention of our readers to the marble factory of Messrs Wolfenden & Farquharson, where all kinds of work in this line are executed in a really superior manner, not surpassed by any other factory of the kind in the Province. Messrs W & F have now on hand a splendid assortment of monuments, tombstones, tablets, chimney-pieces, vases,
of their own manufacture. Quite a number of tombstones, made at this factory, may be seen in the cemeteries in this town, and they are distinguishable by the neatness of their polish and the symmetry of their parts.
We have next to mention the large flouring and grist mill belonging to R N Waddell Esq., of this town, situated on Mill Street near the harbor. There are two largo mills upon these premises, the one a four story high frame — the other a five story high stone building. The frame mill is in full operation, and is capable of turning out 200 barrels of flour per day. The stone mill is not used at present, but we believe it is the intention of the proprietor to fit it up and furnish it with six runs of stone and it will then be capable of turning out 350 barrels a day, ready for shipment 550 barrels of flour per day. The proprietors of these mills is now making various improvements upon the premises, and the credit of this brand is too well established both here and elsewhere, to need comment at our hands.
THE TOWN OF PORT HOPE (continued)
from the Guide July 30, 1853, page 2
We resume with pleasure the agreeable task of laying before our readers such reliable information as we have been able to obtain, with regard to the present condition and future prospects of our flourishing and rapidly increasing town. That Port Hope is progressing as fast as any town with no greater advantages in Canada, we think no one will attempt to deny. But a few fleeting years have fled by since this town was only a small village, containing but four or five stores of an inferior description and but a handful of inhabitants; nor is that time beyond the recollection of many of our townsmen, when parties here were obliged to take their wheat down to Consecon to have it ground — now we bare mills in the heart of our town, which manufacture flour second to none made in this Province, which fact is attested by the superior quality of the bread made at our bakeries, which, the hotel keepers say, is anything but economical,
their boarders eat so great a quantity of it.
Our object is not to establish the credit of our town by empty boasting, and mere assertions upon paper; but to present to all who may take the pains to give a little heed to our affairs, a plain, correct and unexaggerated account
of the present capabilities and future prospects of this town. In doing this we have endeavored to give, as nearly as we have been able to
learn, the actual business now done in our manufactories; if we have overrated some and underrated others, we will at all times be happy to
amend or repeal our assertions, upon sufficient proof of their correctness; and if there be any whom we may have inadvertently passed
over without noticing, we will be obliged to such persons for informing us thereof. We have not willfully neglected any establishment, nor have
we the least desire to swell the praise of any one at the expense of truth.
With our last issue we think we concluded our cursory enumeration of the larger manufactories in our
town, and we shall this week occupy ourselves more particularly with the splendid new brick buildings now in process of erection upon our main
street, and the dwelling houses which are springing up like plants in a nursery, in every direction around our suburbs. We speak within the
bounds of reality when we say that there are upwards of two hundred new houses in the course of erection within the limits of Port Hope, at the
present time, all of which are already engaged; and still we have heard several persons, who have lately made their home here, complain of
difficulty in obtaining houses. The new dwelling houses which are so rapidly springing up about us are all of a good description, being
principally neat brick and plastered frame cottages, with a basement story. In addition to the new buildings being put up, not a few old and
middle aged ones have been thoroughly repaired this summer, and now appear in an entire new suit. We have no small degree of pleasure in
noticing the fine four story brick buildings now being erected on Walton Street by H Gillett, Esq., and Mr Wilson, Mr Gillett's building will
measure about 100 feet by 50 — and will be four stories high exclusive of the basement, making in all five stories. The plans of the building,
which were designed by Mister Austin, of Rochester, a distinguished Architect, have been shown to us, and judging from them we think the
block will present as fine an appearance as any on this side of the lake. The window sills and covers will be of cast iron, moulded in
beautiful patterns, which will give the building a massive appearance, while at the same time there will be sufficient light work about it to
render it highly ornamental. It is the intention of the proprietor to fit up the lower story for stores, of which there will be five, four of
them as large and commodious as any in the town, while the three upper stories will be devoted to the purposes of a hotel, We have long felt
the want of a good hotel in Port Hope, and therefore look forward with great pleasure to the completion of Mister Gillett's enterprise. This hotel
will be fitted up in the very best style, and will be kept upon the same principle as the first houses in the City of New York: we do not know whether
it is the intention of the proprietor to allow a bar to be kept in the house or not, but we would earnestly recommend the propriety of
dispensing with it. A bar-room is decidedly the greatest nuisance about a public house, especially where it is the intention, as in the present
instance, to accommodate boarders. The noise and confusion always attendant open such places are a constant annoyance to those living in
the house, and we would therefore advise whoever keeps the hotel to have no bar-room, at least in the same building as the hotel. Mr Gillett
expects to have his building enclosed by the first of October, and fully completed early in the ensuing spring. He deserves the greatest credit
for his enterprise, and will no doubt receive, at least, the blessings of the traveling community. Mr Gillett is a man of well known business
acumen, and the fact of his being connected with this enterprise is of itself sufficient to ensure its speedy and satisfactory completion. Mr Wilson's building,
situate on the corner of Walton and Ontario Streets, will also be four stories high, and will contain three large and commodious stores. This
building will be highly ornamental and from its conspicuous position will present a very fine appearance. The foundations are all completed
and a good part of the wood work has been commenced; the building will be completed this fall. The stores are already engaged. Preparations are being made
to build upon the vacant lot between the Upper Canada and Commercial Banks — which when completed will form another link of the chain of fine three
story buildings which line both sides of our main street. We have obtained a large amount of valuable statistical information concerning the lumber trade of the thriving Township of Hope, which we will lay before our readers next week.
THE TOWN OF PORT HOPE (continued)
from the Guide August 6, 1853, page 2.
Again we resume with pleasure the agreeable and interesting task of laying before our intelligent readers the resources of this beautifully situated flourishing and rapidly increasing emporium of the County of Durham, as well as the
entire surrounding back country; for here the merchants and farmers will flock to supply their stores, and we might possibly venture the
suggestion that the time may come, when the larger, mercantile houses of the interior will cease to travel all the way to Montreal to supply
their stock, finding that they can do so as cheaply and far more commodiously from the wholesale establishment of the City of Port Hope.
This is no wild, vague or visionary flight of a disordered imagination; it is no utopian scheme — some of the first cities of Canada had at
one time less appearance of future greatness than is at present shown by this town. Within four or five years it has undergone a thorough change:
scarce a house which was then upon our main street now remains. Instead of the low, ungainly two story wooden buildings which at that lime lined
Walton and other of our business streets, is to be seen a fine chain of three story brick buildings of the very best description, reminding the
traveler at once of a manufacturing town in England. The natural beauty of this town, which is now second to that of none in the Province, is
every day being improved upon by the erection of neat and handsome cottages, and the tasteful and picturesque arrangement of the grounds
about them, upon the sides and very summits of the romantic hills which on every side enclose us, and afford us no contemptible means of defence,
should they ever be required, which God forbid, from hostile incursions. These beauties will also be considerably enhanced by the construction of
the Grand Trunk Railroad bridge across our harbor, which, we are informed, will be quite a handsome structure, and will add greatly to
the appearance of the town, which, at present, seen from the boats entering our port does not make a very favorable impression upon the
mind of a stranger, who, however, when he drives up into the town, finds that he has formed a premature and quite too low estimate of its
importance. Our harbour continues to progress, and bids fair at no distant period to offer to the storm-staid mariner as secure a refuge
from the fury of the tempest as any on this side of the lake. The work is being pushed forward with all possible speed, but owing to the
extensive build-operations now going on in every part of the town, it is difficult to procure a sufficient number of workmen to effect its
completion at as early a date, as from the increasing necessity for better and more spacious harbour accommodation, it is desirable it
should be done. However the undertaking is in good hands, and we do not apprehend any loss of time or waste of money in pushing it vigorously to completion.
We propose this week to furnish our readers with an enumeration of the various mercantile houses in this town, under their respective heads: all of which we may safely
say are doing a business sufficient to make both ends meet and lay by something besides. Some of them, we hesitate not to say, are becoming
rich at a rate which astonishes even themselves. It is really surprising, and at the same time highly gratifying, to see, particularly
among our artisans, those who but a few years since came into this place without in some instances a pound in their pockets, snugly and
comfortably settled in neat brick cottages upon town lots, purchased and erected by themselves with their own earnings.
Port Hope at present contains three entirely wholesale dry goods establishments and one wholesale grocery; in addition to which are seventeen retail stores, many of which
do also a good wholesale business. Many of these stores are not inferior to some of the first class in the City of Toronto. There are two book
and stationery stores, in connection with one of which is a book bindery establishment which does work in a very neat and substantial manner. Six
groceries and eight bakeries and groceries conjoined — two merchant tailoring establishments besides which many of the dry goods stores have
a tailoring branch in connection with them, where work is done to order — one boot and shoe store exclusively, to which may be added four or
six first class shoemakers' shops, where work is done of as fine a quality, and in as good style, as in Toronto or elsewhere in Canada —
four hardware stores and two commission stores, making in all forty-five mercantile establishments. We wish it to be understood, that to make up
this number, we do not include all the petty hucksteries in the town, but only those stores which have a tolerably large stock and which apparently do a fair share of business.
We have one barber shop, which is allowed on all hands to be nowise inferior to any in the city of Toronto, and for the comfortable fitting up of which, the proprietor
deserves great credit. He occupies one of the largest shops in the town, and has his room, a large and commodious one, fitted up in a decidedly
neat and comfortable manner, and being himself an excellent barber, and having exceedingly comfortable lounges, he offers almost irresistible inducements to "walk in and be shaved."
Thus much at present for the town of Port Hope; we shall now proceed, agreeably to promise, to lay before our readers the information concerning the lumber trade of the township of Hope, which we received last week, but had not space to insert. As it comes from a perfectly reliable source, we have no hesitation in vouching for its correctness. It was sent to us in compliance with the request contained in a former number of this,
journal, and for it, the gentleman who kindly took the trouble to collect it for us, will please accept our thanks.
There are now in the Township of Hope, twenty-two saw-mills, the largest of which belonging to Messrs Edsdale & Wilson, manufacture annually 900,000 feet of sawed lumber,
and export 750,000 feet — the smallest manufactures 200,000 and exports 100,000. These twenty-two mills together manufacture 8,850,000 feet of lumber annually, and export 5,100,000 feet. In connection with three of these mills there are shingle, lath, and fence picket
factories, which manufacture 1,600,000 shingles, 1,000,000 laths, and 500,000 fence pickets, out of which are exported 1,000,000 sawed shingles, and 600,000 laths. These amounts taken at valuations show the following for the lumber trade of the township of Hope alone, all of which passes through this town :—
of feet manufactured
of feet exported
Messrs Edsdale & Wilson are also introducing a clap-board machine, the first of the kind in Canada; which will be in operation in the village of Millbrook in
the coarse of a few days. The boards are intended for the Boston market, and are manufactured in a very simple but ingenious manner, the log being suspended on a frame over the saw. They are made four feet long, half an inch thick at the outer, and one eighth of an inch at the inner edge, and six inches in width - they present a very neat appearance, being of exact width, thickness, and length. This is only the commencement of a trade
that will soon be extensively carried on in Canada.
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