May 2024


Recently, I was able to get a number of Dunnville Chronicle microfilm rolls digitized making my research much easer.  The old way was to struggle page by page on my microfilm reader, only seeing a small portion of the page at a time.  Now with them digitized I can open them on my computer then enlarge the print, and scan the full page much faster.

In this issue of “Bill’s Post” you will find a few items taken from the January, February and March 1955 Dunnville Chronicle.  Obviously, I could have added a books worth of items but I have kept it to some things of interest (to me at least) and tried to do some name dropping as many of my readers are family members of those dropped names.  If all goes as planned, I may continue using a similar format for the next few Posts.

A number of Ads are included to show you who was in business in and around Dunnville in 1955.  Note the telephone numbers on the Ads.  My family’s phone was on a party line and our number was 711 otherwise known as 7ring11.  We knew to answer the phone when we heard three short rings.  

But first, let me tell you about two people who became very important in my life recently.  They are Andrew D’Arcy and Aingaran Panchalingam.  Andrew owns MES Hybrid Document Systems in Markham while Aingaran is one of the technicians who I met and who converts my microfilm images to digital images.  In about 2012, I purchased my microfilm reader from Andrew’s father.  Today I will depend on the next generation to make my job a bit easier!

Aingaran Panchalingam scanning my microfilm
Andrew D’Arcy

Here is a good free microfilm reader if you pick it up.

(Text in rounded brackets was added by me)

January 13, 1955

Port Maitland Firemen Elected Officers for 1955 – Port Maitland Fire Department, at its January meeting elected officers for 1955 as follows; President S. Franklin [This is Mr. Franklin’s third term], Vic-President Earl Siddall, Treasurer C. Crosby, Secretary W Hicks, Chief A. P. Grant, Assistant Chief LeRoy Kramer, Captain W. Franklin, Lieutenant Leo Siddall.  It was decided that the regular meetings would be held on the first Monday in each month, and practice meetings on the third Monday.

James N. Allan our local MPP holds his first public event at Sudbury since being appointed Minister of Highways.

Married – Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Vicent Lymburner announce the marriage of their daughter, Marilyn Jane to Mr. Gene Douglas Wilson, of Toronto son of Mr. and Mrs. Dana Wilson of Delhi, on Friday, January fourteenth, in First Avenue Baptist Church, Toronto.  Reverend William Harrison officiated.

25 Years ago, January 1930 – Mrs. Reginald Docker, (formerly Bertha I. Bates) of the Elms, Dunn Township, fell on the ice and broke her ankle.

January 27, 1955

Walter Hodgson On TV, Tuesday – Viewers of the General Motors Show on Television Stations CBLT or CHCH on Tuesday night at 9:30 o’clock not only saw an outstanding Scottish drama to mark the birthday of Robert Burns, but if they were looking closely, they also saw Walter Hodgson of Dunnville during the first commercial.  Walter, with a group of others, was under a car studying the principles of “Power Glide”, upon which he recently took a special course.  The picture shown on TV was taken at General Motors School in Oshawa a couple weeks ago.

40 Years ago, January 22, 1915 – When the ice broke as they were skating on the Grand River at Port Maitland, Stephen McKeown, aged 10 years, saved his companion, George Jones, also 10, from drowning.

February 3, 1955

Stromness – Mr. and Mrs. Karl (Carroll) Kenney and family have moved to Hamilton. – Mr. Roscoe Livingston is in Dunnville hospital from the results of an accident which happened at work.  The boiler blew up burning Mr. Livingstone.  All wish him a speedy recovery. – Mrs. William Siddall has been elected as our new President of our Home and School Association. – Miss Noreen Livingstone and Miss Marilyn McBay who are attending the Teachers College in Hamilton, taught school for a week at Mount Carmel on No 3 Highway. – Mr. and Mrs. Bill Doughter and family have moved to Buffalo, New York.

50 Years ago, February 1905 – There was an epidemic of measles at Sherbrooke. – There were 23 prisoners in Cayuga Jail. – Beef was selling on the market at forequarters, 4/1/2c lb. and hind quarters 6c per pound.

40 Years ago, January 1915 – As a result of the unusually heavy ice, car loads of anglers drove several miles out on Lake Erie and, cutting holes through the ice, enjoyed fine catches of perch and pickerel. – Dennis T. Keely passed away in Bay City, Mich., aged 76 years.  (December 16, 1914)

10 Years ago, February 1945 – Mrs. Thomas Blott the former Annie Marie Martha Docker celebrated her 91st birthday. (born January 29, 1854)

Born – Powell, In the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, Dunnville, on Saturday, January 29, 1955 to Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Powell, R. R. # 7 Dunnville, a daughter. – Haardeng, In the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, Dunnville, on Monday January 31, 1955, to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Haardeng, R. R. Wainfleet, a son. (Happy Birthday Gordon!)

February 10, 1955

Won T.V. Set – Mr. David McNeely of Jarvis was the luck winner of the handsome Sylvania T.V. set which was raffled by the Erie Hockey League.  Draw was made on Monday night in the Dunnville Arena.

Launch Change to 60-cycle at Pump House – The first step was taken Monday in the conversion of the Dunnville Public Utilities Commission pump house to 60 -cycle.    . . . All Dunnville should be completed changed over in about two years. ( )

February 17, 1955

Local Telephone Company Changes Ownership Wednesday, Pennsylvania Men Secure Stock Control – The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon of this week by Mr. Harold G. Payne of Pittsburgh that he and his associates from Pennsylvania had purchased control from the Harrison family of the Dunnville Consolidated Telephone Company. . .

Inman Road W. I.  Family Night was observed on Friday February 11th 1955 in the form of a pot luck supper and social evening. . .   The program committee had arranged several interesting items.  Bobby Hoto age 7, sang several songs, which merited much applause from the audience.  He was accompanied by Billie Hoto, William Swarts, Nancy Hall and Gloria Martin, with the same accompaniment also entertained with a number of songs. . .

February 24, 1955

50 Years ago, February 1905 – Ed Harris of Stromness purchased the schooner, “Maple Leaf”, of Port Stanley.

10 Years ago, February 1945 – Roy Ross was re-elected President of the Lake Erie Fishermen’s Association. – Henry Ross, for 27 years a mailman on the R. R. 7 Dunnville route, retired. – Gasoline ration books were issued to the public by Milo Gillap.

Says Grand River Has Become Sewer – The Grand River was bitterly described last Friday night as the “Grand Sewer” by anti-pollution forces.  Leslie Shiell of Brantford, secretary of the Grand River antipollution committee, told a meeting at the Waterloo County Game and Fish Protective Association that during August tests have shown the Grand River contains only 40 per cent water.  The remaining 60 per cent is sewage, he said. . .   . . . At Dunnville, women complain that the latest models of electric washers and driers still leave their clothes dirty after washing in water from the Grand. . .

55 Top Year for Highways Says Minister – Plans for an early start on the Burlington Beach Skyway, which will be one of the largest bridges in the world, have been completed, Ontario Highways Minister Allan announced Tuesday. (Authors note:  This bridge is named the “James N. Allan Skyway” It is one of the two bridges that cross the Burlington Canal in Hamilton/Burlington.  I have pestered the local media as well at the Department of Highways to properly sign this bridge and to use the proper name when referring to it.  Media use the name “Toronto bound Burlington Skyway.)

March 3, 1955

Attercliffe Station – Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Stringer attended the funeral of the latter’s aunt at St. Williams, on Saturday. – Mr. and Mrs. George Jones Sunday guest of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Flueher of Stoney Creek.

Ad for Roy Baldwin Limited

10 Years ago, March 1945 – S.Sgt. Frank Ramsey was very severely injured in a jeep accident at Prince Albert Sask.  Beside serious pelvic injuries, it took 75 stitches to close his facial lacerations, and in addition he suffered a broker nose and fractured thumb.

Ad for Lymburner Bros

Personals – Mr. and Mrs. Tom Root, Mrs. Tom Pridmore returned this week from a vacation at Daytona Beach, Florida. (Then further down in same column;) Mr. and Mrs. Tom Root and Catharine, Mrs. Tom Pridmore are spending a month at Daytona Beach, Florida.

Dunn Council – (One of the items from this report caught my attention) Pettigrew-Hicks – That the municipal council of the Township of Dunn hereby approve the building of a Drive-In Theatre on part of Lot 27 and part of Lot 28; in the Haldimand Tract.

March 10, 1955

Fishing Season Starts but No Good Hauls Yet – At Port Maitland Wes Weiderick reported a haul of better than 400 pounds of whites last Saturday, it is understood, but this is the only catch to amount to anything reported from Port so far this year.  Practically the entire Port Maitland fleet have nets out, and are playing the “wait and see” game until the situation stabilizes itself a little more.

Opening Of Public-School Addition – . . . For some time now, due to conditions over which the Board had no control, it has been impossible to even think of building, and pupils of the public school were foced to do the best they could in buildings no longer desired by the Air Force at No. 6 S.F.T.S. and to convert these buildings into classrooms.  The Board and staff were grateful for these buildings, which served as very valuable stop-gaps, but even at the time they obtained them they knew that they were just that- and that as soon as possible something of a more permanent nature would have to be constructed.

Stromness– The Home and School Association met on Thursday, March 3rd as it was Education Week the teachers, Mrs. D. Jones and Mrs. B. McAlonan had charge of the meeting. . . (Mrs. Jones was my Grade one teacher.  Also Mrs. McAlonan first name was Lexi, I am not sure where the “B” came from.) – Wray Minor launched his new boat (Lincoln R) at Port Maitland last week.

Attercliff Station – Mrs. W. Alton and daughter Wendy spent a few days last week with her mother, Mrs. A. Nagel and Erma.

Ad for Wills Motors

March 24, 1955

Wind did a Great Deal of Damage – Fishermen Had Tough Time, March 22, 1955 – The crew of the “Patricia June” at Port Maitland had a harrowing and at the same time, somewhat surprising experience.  The men were cleaning nets at 1 p.m., and the lake was comparatively calm.  Half an hour later the water was coming up, but not to an alarming degree, and the men kept working.  At 1:50 the men were on the boat and were marooned until 7:30 on Wednesday morning.  On the boat were Capt. Art Maines, Russ Martin, Bill Clark, Bill Mettler and Capt. Willaim Franklin of the “Charles R”.  The water was at least five and a half feet above the normal high water mark, and the waves were rolling in very heavily as well as at unpresented heights.  So heavy did they pound the “Patricia June” that her bulwarks actually sprung a matter of inches each time she was pounded.

During the night both the “Charles R” and the “Dollar Boat” broke adrift and were salvaged by the “Patricia Rose” and tied securely to the dock.  In the case of the latter boat, she was salvaged by lassoing her smoke stack, and was held in this manner through the storm.  In Port Maitland itself, said Mr. Mains, the damage is terrific, and the monetary loss to the fishermen is staggering.  The “Patricia Rose” itself, apart from anything else, had twine worth between $10,000 and $20,000-all the twine she possessed in the lake, and some 25 or 30 other boats at Port were in a similar position.  The season showed signs of opening up and the fishermen gambled just about everything they had and lost.  The nets were carried away and ripped to ribbons by the wind and the water.  Arnold “Hickory” Clark was in his fish shanty when the storm struck; he stayed there until Wednesday.

Damage to the fishermen’s buildings was also extensive.  The south side of the Co-op building is gone and the building otherwise damaged, as is Earl Siddall’s shanty and other buildings and shops in the fishing area at Port.  A car parked in front of “Buck” Grant’s home, belonging to a Mr. Evans, was carried by wind and water some 25 yards to the front of Percy Siddall’s shanty and laid over on its side. . .

50 Years ago, March 24, 1905 –Patrick Corcoran of the Locks, Port Maitland, celebrated his 101st birthday. (Feb 17, 1804 – Aug. 15, 1907)

10 Years ago, March 23, 1945 – James F. Kenney formerly of Dunnville, died in Niagara Falls Ontario aged 74 years. – Two beautiful lanterns were received and dedicated at Knox Church in memory of Miss Sarah B. Hanna.  The donor was Miss Elizabeth Hanna of Byng.

Stromness –Mrs. Garnet Sharp and daughter visited Mrs. Harry Downey on Monday. – Mr. Art Doughter is visiting his son Mr. Jim Doughter of Buffalo. – Mrs. Arthur Ricken has been very ill in Dunnville Hospital.  All wish her a speedy recovery.

March 31, 1955


  1. The husband of Lexie McAlonan was Bert…she was Mrs. B. McAlonan

  2. Loved it! My family since the 1920’s have owned a cottage in Port Maitland and had the GM dealership in Dunnville – Wills Motors.

  3. Thank you, Bill. This material is fascinating. Please keep it up.
    Curtiss Montgomery
    Point Abino

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