Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas in the 1920s and the 1970s....

Christmas 1920 - taken from the web!
It's Christmas Eve 2011. Trees are decorated, gifts are wrapped and placed under the tree. In most homes more gifts than you can count. In 2011 we are all truly blessed to have as much as we do. Times can still be tough in today's world but things are still so different than they were when my grandmother was a little girl in the 1920s. Imagine waking up Christmas morning to only one gift and that gift was usually a doll, sometimes home made. No playstations, Wii, iPhones or computers back then. No fancy gift wrap or bows, just a gift that might be wrapped, maybe not. No furnaces back then so the house was cold on Christmas morning until nan's parents got the wood fire blazing. They didn't have electricity so no fancy decorations or lights of many colors spread all over the tree and house back then. Christmas time was the only time they would see oranges and it was a special treat all of it's own to the kids. I don't recall nan telling me that they went to church at Christmas but if they did it would've been to the Milton Christian Church. The family was close and they stayed together like most families did back then. Doing things together was so important especially at Christmas time. Guess it just goes to show that spending a fortune doesn't always mean Christmas is WOW! The WOW thing about Christmas to my grandmother and her family was being together.
My grandmother passed that same belief on to her kids and grand kids. Nan always made sure we were together at Christmas and we learned at an early age how important a close family was. Our family has a treasure from Christmas 1976, a recording of all of us kids wishing nan a Merry Christmas. At that time the oldest of us grand kids was my cousin Pat who passed away in 2003. Pat was 14 at the time of the recording and the youngest was my cousin Stephanie who was 2. Awesome Christmas memories don't always have to mean thousands of dollars worth of gifts, the special memories I have are memories of my family. This time of year I tend to think back and remember those times and think of those people who made it memorable, many who are no longer with us.

I'm sure most of the readers of my blog have many fond memories of Christmases gone by. If you would like to share a memory or two, feel free to tell us about them.

Merry Christmas to all of my blog reader and all the best in 2012!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The West House on Waterloo Street is demolished....December 20,2011

The old West house on Waterloo Street was demolished yesterday, December 20,2011. It was the home of Charles and Jessie West and later the home of their son Earl West Sr and his wife Rhoda. The house was approximately 120 years old and the last years it had been sold and fallen into a state of disrepair. Many Liverpool kids might remember taking their bicycles there to be repaired by Earl West who could fix any problem with any bike and normally charged next to nothing to do it. Earl and Rhoda were wonderful people and both lived good and long lives. They had a large family and a few still reside in the Liverpool area. Rhoda was an awesome baker and when entering the house the smell of cookies, cakes and bread always filled the air inside. They loved to play cards, I can't even imagine how many games of cards were played in that house. In the yard, way back when,was a boxing platform and many boxing matches were held here in the 1920s and 30s. Yet another piece of history gone from Queens County!

After the demolition!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Baptist Church Fire, Milton, Nova Scotia

Milton Baptist Church 1821 - 1955

From the Milton Bridge, showing both churches!
On Sunday morning, January 23,1955, the Milton Baptist Church was totally destroyed by fire. The blaze broke out in the furnace room about an hour after the furnace had been started for the Sunday service. By the time the fire was discovered, the furnace room was a blazing inferno and the main part of the church was filled with smoke. The fire quickly spread and went up the steeple which was above the furnace room. Large timbers began to fall as well as the large bell in the steeple.

Milton Baptist Church Fire - Jan 23,1955
The church was built sometime after 1821 and was the oldest of the 2 Milton Churches. Some remodelling and enlarging were done in 1859, 1898 and 1931. A new organ had just been purchased and installed before Christmas 1954, just a month before the fire. In 1859-60 the auditorium was enlarged, galleries put in and the tower and basement were added. In 1898, an addition was made to the west end of the church to accommodate the choir. On July 14,1929 the parsonage for the church was destroyed by fire and was located directly across the street from the church. Houses on each side of the parsonage were also destroyed. The church was insured for $8,000 and the organ for $1500. Of course the rest is history. The Milton Baptists were able to build a new church building and that building still stands to this day. In later years, the church parking lot has been paved and the parsonage next door has undergone upgrades with new windows, etc.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

R.C.M.P. Detachment, Liverpool, Nova Scotia

When I was very young, I recall the Liverpool Town Police around the town of Liverpool. I assume the RCMP were there at the same time but looked after the county rather than the town. The RCMP detachment was located down at Fort Point and had been there for many years. In 1980 a new RCMP detachment was built on School Street and by October of that year it was nearing completion. This new detachment is still used by the RCMP in Queens County. I remember Staff Sargeant Peter Williamson heading the local RCMP when I was younger and
Old RCMP Detachment at Fort Point
that's about as far back as I can recall. His sons,
Peter and Charles were around my age and in high school around the same time. Les Kakonyi, Mike Hall, Al LaRocque, Reg Lagasse, Grant Webber, were just a few of the well known RCMP officers who patrolled our county, making it a much safer place.As I had written in a previous blog, it's really hard to believe the RCMP detachment has been on School Street for over 30 years. Makes one wonder where does the time go?

The present RCMP Detachment on School Street

The 1931 Fire, Milton, Nova Scotia

There's not many people still living today, who would remember the big fire in Milton in 1931. On November 8, 1931 the area known as the business block in Milton was completely destroyed. This area today has the Canoe & Camera Club, the Masonic Hall, what was Rogers Market and Walker Store, across from the Nova Veterinary Clinic. Destroyed in the fire was C.W. Hartlen's Funeral Parlour, the Masonic Hall, Morton's General Store which were just a few mentioned that were destroyed. The Post Office which was a wooden structure wasn't destroyed but was badly scorched. The corner was eventually rebuilt and those building are still there today. In the photo the old Milton Baptist Church can be seen on the far left and the tops of 2 buildings can be seen, in my younger days they were Legge's General Store. The right building became the Sportsman Restaurant. Those buildings were demolished in later years and the Baptist Church was destroyed by fire in the 1950s, but a new Church was built and is still there today!

Seamone's Bakery, Market Street, Liverpool, Nova Scotia

Those of us who are about 35 years of age and older could never forget the awesome smell coming from Seamone's Bakery on Market Street. The breads, rolls and biscuits, the pies, cakes and cookies were a true delight when walking on or near Market Street. The Bakery was located next to the Bank of Montreal and was demolished in 1983. Eventually the lot was used to build what was first the Save Easy grocery store. That new building is now the home of South Shore Opportunities,Henneberry's Barber Shop and more.
Inside the bakery things were a bit old and dated but the treats were the best. Janet Wroblewski worked there and would always give us kids a free gingerbread man cookies. The chocolate donuts were one of my favorites and after buying them and taking them in a paper bag, we'd get home only to find the donuts there but all the chocolate was attached to the bag,  we ate them anyway.

I contacted Marion Seamone who lived in Liverpool for many years to see what she knew about the bakery since her dad owned it. Marion told me the following -

....Dad opened the bakery in the fall of 1959 and the staff at that time was Mrs.Brown who lived on the corner of Main & Wolfe St.:Judy Westhaver who made the pies & Janet Wrobleski made the donuts etc;Earl Whynot helped Dad with the baking.....there were many other employees over the years .....Roxie Johnson;Bobby Hatt;Bryant Pushie to name a few.......I worked after school & on weekends in the front part which was the the store where the gingerbread men and the brown bread quickly became favorites as did the butterhorns.....other students who worked there were Nancy Jane Mott & Cheryl Snyder......the office off to the side eventually became a favorite stopping spot for many in the community especially those who worked the late night shifts. Dad was always there in the wee hours getting everything oven ready so product would be in the store early in the morning......the smell of baking would be difficult to resist for many working in the area .My brother Paul took over after Dad passed away in the early 70's...eventually the oven & bakery equipment was moved to the IGA store where Paul continued to bake the favorites......

I remember that it was a man who had a combined bake shop/bible store.....and am going to try and find out who it was.......a strange combination...apparently he sold donuts ,cookies, & Bibles.I have to look up some old references.....

......Doug Crouse was the man Dad bought the bakery from...........there was also a Doug Himmelman who worked at the bakery for a time...

Thanks to Marion for sharing her memories of the bakery. I know I'm one of many who will never forget that place!

Milton Senior Citizen's Complex, Milton, Nova Scotia

It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since the Senior Citizen's complex was constructed in Milton. It is situated on the edge of the beautiful Mersey River looking down towards the falls. I remember it being built but certainly doesnt seem like it was that long ago. I really don't remember who lived there back when it first opened but do recall Gerri, not sure what her last name was, living there. She was in a wheelchair and was a good friend of Curtis and Verna Whynot and family. They treated her like family and always seemed to have her out and about. Someone had told me there had been a house on the property that the Senior's complex was built on but I have no personal memories of a house being there. Perhaps other readers who are a little older than I might recall it.

The building was certainly a great addition to the village of Milton and buildings such as there are greatly needed for our aging population in Queens. Actually, more facilities such as these are needed so older folks can move from their homes but stay in their community.