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  • The Wellington Advertiser - Fire gutted Fergus building owned by Robert Kerr in 1931
    the Elora men assisted where they could after a futile attempt by them to draw water directly from the Grand River at the rear of the building A huge crowd gathered to watch the fire and the firefighters but there was little to see The fire was a smouldering one with plenty of smoke but few flames and it burned away at the rear of the building out of sight of the crowd on the main street As well the firemen blocked all the doors and windows in the building to prevent drafts that might fan the blaze Elora Reeve Dick Mills was in Fergus that night along with a number of Elora men attending a Masonic meeting They were soon on the scene as spectators Three Guelph firefighters answering the request from Reeve Ham were on the scene an hour after the alarm was first turned in The reeve asked them to provide advice and guidance to his own force The Guelph men provided excellent advice and soon the Fergus force assisted by the men from Elora began gaining on the fire Still despite all their efforts and the streams of water pumped onto the blaze it was midnight before they had it more or less extinguished Some of the men then went home to warm up and rest while a skeleton crew remained on the scene to deal with sparks embers and occasional flare ups They declared the fire out at about 3am It was a hard night for them Many had become drenched with water and the thermometer hovered near the zero mark on the Fahrenheit scale The next morning there was very little evidence of the fire from St Andrew Street Almost all the damage was at the rear The fire had spread slightly into the adjoining building owned by J J Johnston and used by him as a store with his residence above Johnston had plenty of warning and was able to remove most of his stock to nearby stores The fire burned through the roof of the Johnston building though not to the extent suffered by the Kerr building Insurance adjusters showed up the day after the fire Unlike many property owners Kerr carried adequate insurance on his building and that permitted quick repairs and reconstruction Work crews appeared on the Monday following the fire undertaking repairs to the roofs of the buildings They wished to close off the structures to the elements in order to work in relative comfort repairing and rebuilding the interiors which had suffered both fire damage and considerable water damage from the tons of water pumped into them Both Johnston and Grigg worked hard during the following weeks to clean up their stores and prepare them for reopening scheduled for about six weeks later The fire should never have happened Kerr realized that filling up the stove with coal and then going out was an extremely foolish thing to do The fire might well have spread in both directions

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001639 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - George L.A. Thomson enjoyed career with American railroads
    Paul Minnesota In 1910 he went to Toledo as district passenger agent and in 1917 he became one of the system s assistant general passenger agents based in Cincinnati He remained here for his next and final promotion to division passenger agent Though he was still a long way from the top of the Pennsylvania s organization he nevertheless occupied a position of great responsibility At the time the Pennsylvania Railroad had more than 110 000 people on its payroll and accounted for some 12 of American railroad revenue and more than 15 of the country s passenger revenue In its day it was the largest corporation by far in the United States During his career in the passenger service Thomson developed close relations with his counterparts on other railroads He was able to travel frequently on both the Pennsylvania system and on other railroads as part of his duties One of the benefits of his job was that other railroads would issue him annual passes for their passenger trains Early in his career Thomson made something of a hobby of collecting passes The first one that had been issued to him by the Pennsylvania remained a prized possession all his life Soon it was augmented by passes on other lines Most were for a term of one year but Thomson kept them after they expired As division passenger agent at Cincinnati he enjoyed showing his collection of expired passes to visitors at his office His stash of passes amounted to a pile more than 10 inches high He believed that he had the largest collection anywhere an assertion backed up by other employees of the Pennsylvania Thomson did a lot of travelling in connection with his job but he never kept a log of his travels Late in his career he told an interviewer that he had travelled more than a million miles by rail during his career George Thomson retired on March 1 1931 after 47 years with the Pennsylvania Railroad at the age of 68 He greatly enjoyed his work and would have stayed longer but poor health was catching up with him He ended his career by using up a month of accumulated holiday time To help his health he spent the time in Hot Springs Arkansas at a spa Prior to his retirement Thomson s colleagues honoured him a dinner at Cincinnati s Gibson Hotel In accepting the accolades of his fellow employees he modestly said that after 47 years he believed he had been accepted as a permanent employee by the Pennsylvania Railroad and that the company was a pretty good boss Like many retirees Thomson was a little concerned about filling his days after a half century as a railroader At the dinner he surprised his fellow employees by stating his intention to take up golf He said that he had wanted to learn for years but that his duties had consumed almost all his time He also mentioned his failing health much

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001637 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - Department of Highways vowed to keep roads open in 1931
    bring on bigger problems in the future The winter of 1930 31 turned out to be a relatively mild one and that postponed some the discussion regarding winter maintenance on county roads with the associated costs lower than anticipated As well the county had taken up the practice of installing snow fences along the portions of Highway 6 most prone to drifting and found the results most gratifying After some small scale experiments in the fall of 1929 the province and county erected miles of snow fencing in the fall of 1930 The province also began using a bulldozer to push back the snow banks along the road The previous year high banks resulting from plowing early in the year restricted plowing later in the season The result was a dangerously narrow roadway restricting the road in some areas to a single lane By the end of the winter of 1931 provincial employees had learned much about the best way to deal with snow and winter roads Lower levels of government with their tight fisted policies lagged behind By the winter of 1930 31 the townships were at least making an effort to keep their roads passable for motor vehicles None had really adequate equipment or enough of it but the mild winter worked in their favour The harsh conditions of the previous winter had prompted most to augment their machinery and snow fighting capability Such was not the case with most of the towns and villages Dairies removed the wheels on their delivery rigs and fitted them with runners in order to continue door to door delivery Bakers did the same as did the garbage collectors in the towns that offered that service For years afterward and more than two decades in some towns there was no regular snow removal on the streets When the snow built up or following a major storm most municipalities contracted with neighbouring townships to plow their streets Following a storm that meant the streets in the towns had to wait until the townships had all their own roads plowed Elora for example did not have snow removal equipment of any kind until the mid 1950s relying instead on plows and drivers rented from Nichol and Pilkington Townships All the local governments in Wellington County took measures to reduce expenditures A controversial measure was a reduction in salaries for councils and wages for hired help Those rates were already very low but there were those both on and off council who wanted to trim every penny possible Pilkington council debated the matter at length at its February 1931 meeting Councillor Bob Stedman started the ball rolling when he placed a motion on the table to reduce salaries and pay rates by 10 across the board At the time Pilkington councillors and the reeve received 50 per year and 10 for expenses The clerk earned 200 per year auditors 12 each assessors 50 each the road superintendent 347 the only township position that could be

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001630 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - J.B. Perry of Fergus penned most successful local book of 1920s
    with other oldtimers that day focused Perry s attention regarding his writing Afterward he quickly completed the manuscript of Yon Toon o Mine Ryerson Press of Toronto accepted the book for publication by in 1924 Perry s name did not appear on the title page Instead the author was given as Logan Weir The use of a pseudonym was not unusual at that time for books such as this with themes that would appeal to an older audience Perhaps was the intent to give the volume a wider and more general appeal rather than to cater to a local readership Indeed some introductory remarks indicate that the book was aimed at more than the audience for a local history book This bit of semi fiction is an attempt to recall to mind the character of some Scots who settled in Canada in the early years of the 19th century and who laid the foundation of one of the most substantial small towns in the Dominion Perry wrote In any case Perry was credited with the authorship from the beginning in publicity for the book His real name though only appeared in the second and third editions J B Perry came to Fergus to give a public lecture on Oct 8 1925 Hugh Templin of the News Record gave the talk plenty of advance publicity Perry spoke to a full house of people he grew up with combined with a generous sprinkling of various relatives Templin himself was one of those relatives his mother was born a Black Perry s remarks were no doubt tailored for his audience He was overwhelming in his praise of the Scottish race to the point of xenophobia Perry lived at the end of a period of renaissance for Scottish culture based on the writings of Robbie Burns and other notable Scots such as novelist Walter Scott His talk entitled The Predominant Race dispelled old stereotypes that characterized Scotsmen as hard drinking foul mouthed illiterates disposed to brawling and annoying their neighbours Perry claimed that a Scotsman was behind every scientific advance and political reform during the previous century Today such outspoken claims would be considered insensitive and inappropriate if not total nonsense but to an audience of Scotsman in the 1920s his theme played very well indeed In describing his book Perry told his audience that he wished to bring my native home Fergus to the front His only words of criticism concerned the Fergus cemetery which he thought was shamefully neglected as it was the final home of so many Scottish people Perry sprinkled his talk with many anecdotes of Fergus oldtimers and related tales that were supposedly funny but would fall flat if delivered to a modern audience The humour was much more evident when his audience remembered the characters in his tales As was often the case with Scotsmen he made himself the butt of many of the jokes and stories The stories that most entranced the audience were those of the

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001625 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - Coroner’s inquest investigated deaths in 1949 Mount Forest fire
    room J M Kearns peppered her with a series of questions She replied to all with I don t know or I can t remember After a few minutes a couple of police officers escorted her from the room Crown Attorney Kearns then summed up the case for the jury to consider He said Florence White had died apparently of natural causes and that George White died between two and seven days before the fire and the blaze had nothing to do with the two deaths The five man jury retired to consider the case and returned in less than an hour Foreman R G Brebner read the verdict We the jury find that Florence White came to her death from causes unknown to this jury during the summer or fall of 1948 and find that George White came to his death by causes due to the weakness of the prostate gland followed by pneumonia between the 31st of December 1948 and the 5th of January 1949 A few minutes after Dr Couch adjourned the inquest police arrested Catharine White on charges of offering an indignity to a human body by setting fire to it and failure to bury a dead body Though covered under the criminal code these were rare charges Neither the coroner nor any of the police involved could recall a similar case The penalty for both was a maximum of five years in jail The charges against Catharine White though never reached a courtroom A few days after the hearing she was taken to a mental hospital under an order of the court She was found to be not competent to stand trial George her deceased husband was remembered in Mount forest as a first rate carpenter During the 1940s he had from time to time worked with his son Arthur Percy s younger brother on various projects around Mount Forest In addition to Percy Arthur and the mysterious Florence there were four other siblings in the family During the war Arthur served three years in the Royal Canadian Air Force before suffering a breakdown which led to his discharge from the air force He was deeply troubled in the years after the war and in October of 1948 he was admitted to the Westminster Military Hospital in London after a complete mental breakdown He eventually returned to Mount Forest William had a more successful career serving for a time as the town clerk of Listowel He retired to Waterloo There were two daughters Helen married Jack Wilson of Corbetton and later returned to Mount Forest Jessie married Leonard Gordon of Ottawa and later moved to Hazelton B C The mysterious daughter Florence seems to have had some mental or physical problems from childhood that prompted her mother to keep her in bed and hidden from outsiders as well as other family members Percy if he is to be believed said he had not seen his sister for almost 10 years even though for part of

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001620 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - Writer's Block
    days the muse whispers the words so fast I can t type fast enough It s divine But other days my muse makes me sort through the socks to sift through the madness When this happens my husband the Carpenter is essentially a moving target I know it He knows it We all know it He inspires my best work with simple remarks or acts of innocent ridiculousness If I am in a dry patch for inspiration I circle him like a hungry shark watching a surfer I just wait for him to do something anything to give me a story To his credit the Carpenter usually offers something up like this little gem despite a two hour nap in the afternoon I found the Carpenter peacefully resting on the couch I thought I d amuse him with a super funny story about a friend of mine super funny by my definition Suddenly he starts yawning I ask how he could possibly be tired after a long nap His response You re talking Ba dum dum As you can see I don t have to make stories up I just have to live them But when the clock is ticking and I am wandering the house in search of random socks the Carpenter knows I require a hug a kiss on the forehead and a sounding board He has the uncanny ability to navigate the moods that come with being married to a creative person and knows how to stop the dryer pick the right sock and set things in motion for me For this reason alone the man deserves a medal And considering the rewards of being married to a freelance writer is not financially or even physically alluring I write in fat pants frumpy sweaters and a pony tail I believe the Carpenter deserves saint status Writing isn t a career it s a way of looking at the world It s being okay with unmatched socks Open your heart and write it out Truth Vol 49 Issue 06 Tweet Tell Us What You Think Login to submit a comment Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed You must register or log in in order to post a comment For more information read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines COLUMNISTS Barrie Hopkins Bruce Whitestone Kelly Waterhouse Recent Columns Bits and Pieces The Bailey Bridge Cold colder and coldest Frosty Friday January thaw Frosty Friday Silent and symbiotic Winter wonderland Double surprise Canada s Business Presumptuous Left out Negative trends Left out Responsibility Bad Omens A precarious economy Troubled economy Comment from Ottawa The new session The Reform Act Services for seniors Small businesses Anti terrorism bill is needed Terrorism Helping families Veterans Life wise Retirement Canadas scarcity of calamity Often we mirror our parents Putting up with put

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001818 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - Beached
    we d arrive in paradise exhausted and pale Of course we d have flown in economy class and thanks to the Canadian dollar we d have packed our own snacks granola bars to last a week It s what we could afford We d suck it up just to hit the beach The Carpenter s attire would consist of his favourite Seattle Seahawks T shirt a pair of golf shorts and the most hideous Velcro sandals you can imagine because the man really just doesn t care about shoes His sun protection would consist of a baseball cap which would remain on his head for the entire week regardless of the social events or dining rules He is who he is He does not dress to impress Me I d be packing my winter fat and unlike the Carpenter would struggle to fit into last summer s shorts I d pass on any public displays of bathing suits and live in my cut off jean shorts and a T shirt that says Whatever Flip flops would be my fashion accessory Good enough Our luggage would not include dress clothes for clubbing Besides the Carpenter wouldn t dance until the rum was plentiful enough to erase the years of inhibitions which would then make him an assault to everyone on the dance floor We would be a spectacle for sure the poster couple for reality Skip the couple s massage We can t be that serious We would giggle and make inappropriate jokes that would end with a swirling towel snapping fight Serious shouldn t happen on vacation Walking hand in hand on the beach Okay that might happen but it would likely end with me getting tossed into the ocean creating a splash battle of epic proportions I wouldn t have it any other way The Carpenter and I would never make the advertisement but I assure you we d have way more fun For now I ll turn up the electric blanket and dream Vol 49 Issue 05 Tweet Tell Us What You Think Login to submit a comment Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed You must register or log in in order to post a comment For more information read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines COLUMNISTS Barrie Hopkins Bruce Whitestone Kelly Waterhouse Recent Columns Bits and Pieces The Bailey Bridge Cold colder and coldest Frosty Friday January thaw Frosty Friday Silent and symbiotic Winter wonderland Double surprise Canada s Business Presumptuous Left out Negative trends Left out Responsibility Bad Omens A precarious economy Troubled economy Comment from Ottawa The new session The Reform Act Services for seniors Small businesses Anti terrorism bill is needed Terrorism Helping families Veterans Life wise Retirement Canadas scarcity of calamity Often we mirror our parents Putting up with put downs A

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001813 (2016-02-16)
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  • The Wellington Advertiser - Fumbled
    I had to see this for myself I found the Carpenter on the edge of the couch poised as if the ball might come through the screen and he needed to be there to catch it It seemed to help Seattle showed up in the second half as he predicted they would His cheers got louder though his jaw remained tight How could I go back to work now The action was getting good I had to stand by my man right Also there was chip dip But life isn t fair Despite wearing his lucky Russell Wilson jersey a championship Seattle ball cap with his lucky Seahawks hard hat nearby and offering silent prayers I am serious I caught him there was nothing he could do to help his team turn the balance of fate in the dying minutes of the clock as the Carolina Panthers pounced on his dream There is something deeply unsettling about watching the Carpenter when his Seahawks season draws to a close It s painful He looks lost Every instinct in me wants to wrap him up in warm blankets spoon feed him chicken noodle soup and let him hold the remote for as long as he wants so he can watch anything his heart desires even Die Hard reruns Anything to make him happy again Yeah except I am so totally not that wife Ever Suck it up Season s over Move on There is work to be done around our house and nothing to distract the Carpenter now This was me winning big time I was just about to start a conversation about my dream plans to renovate the garage into a home studio when out of the corner of my eye I saw the Carpenter remove the Wilson jersey neatly fold it into thirds and put it away For next season he said Heartbreaker I passed him the chip dip We shared This is a love story for my guy and his team Vol 49 Issue 04 Tweet Tell Us What You Think Login to submit a comment Comments appearing on this website are the opinion of the comment writer and do not represent the opinion of the Wellington Advertiser Comments that attack other individuals or are offensive unsubstantiated or otherwise inappropriate will be removed You must register or log in in order to post a comment For more information read our detailed Comment Policy and Guidelines COLUMNISTS Barrie Hopkins Bruce Whitestone Kelly Waterhouse Recent Columns Bits and Pieces The Bailey Bridge Cold colder and coldest Frosty Friday January thaw Frosty Friday Silent and symbiotic Winter wonderland Double surprise Canada s Business Presumptuous Left out Negative trends Left out Responsibility Bad Omens A precarious economy Troubled economy Comment from Ottawa The new session The Reform Act Services for seniors Small businesses Anti terrorism bill is needed Terrorism Helping families Veterans Life wise Retirement Canadas scarcity of calamity Often we mirror our parents Putting up with put downs A tale of two

    Original URL path: http://wellingtonadvertiser.com/comments/columns.cfm?articleID=1000001808 (2016-02-16)
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