Queries

Members of Historical Society of St. Catharines may be available to assist with historical research requests within reason. In depth genealogical queries are better answered by a local genealogical group. If you have a question, please submit it to this page. Please ensure that your questions are very clearly stated, that you provide us with any supporting information possible and that you leave us with some contact information.

Time of response depends on the complexity of the question and the member’s time to conduct the research.

Any answers will be sent directly to the person asking the question.  If time and space allows, some answers will be posted to the website.  Be sure that we consider all questions and respond to those that we are able to accommodate.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to leave a reply / comment.

351 thoughts on “Queries

  1. Looking for general information about the Wright family who lived in the Wright House Mansion on the corner of Duke and James. I know is was built in 1842 and was demolished in 1971.

    1. Mr. E. E. Wright was the last person to live in the Wright house at the corner of Duke and James streets in St. Catharines. He died there in the late 1960s. He was the secretary-treasurer of the Welland Vale manufacturing company. To find out more about him you had best visit the St Catharines Library, but it is currently closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

      But one other possible source of information about the E. E Wright family would be in the Wright family papers held in the Brock University Archives. For further information about the Wright material available there, wrote tp Edie Williams at ewilliams@brocku.ca and ask about their record group RG 675, a Wright family photo album A finding aid for that collection mentions that Wright’s wife was a member of the Chaplin family of St Catharines.

  2. Hi
    I am currently researching two former residents of St. Catharine’s Dennis Henry Osborne (1919-2016) and his wife Jean (1926-1965) who lived in St Catharines from 1953-1959. They were both artists who exhibited widely in Canada and in the UK.

    Dennis taught at various schools including nightclasses at St Catharine’s Collegiate, Smithville High and with Lakehead Area Art Association. I am looking for a list of exhibitions which took place in the Art Gallery, St Catharines (Carnegie?) Public Library between 1954-57, and already have a lead for “An Exhibition of Paintings by David Partridge, Jean Osborne & Dennis Osborne” dated 18th-30th January, of which I have no year, but presumably is either 1954 or 1955, as David Partridge left for Paris in 1956, and held a solo exhibition in the gallery in that same year.

    Can anyone assist me with information on this exhibition or any others? Any information on their works or life in St Catharines, or any clues as to where I should look would be gratefully received.

    Regards
    Andrew Furey
    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    1. Dear Andrew,
      Contact the St. Catharines Public Library, as they have a local history archive. Their URL is https://www.myscpl.ca/index.php . You want the Central Library, as it has the archive on the second floor. I believe they have newspaper clippings, though I’ve never dug through that part of their archive.

      I don’t think it is the Carnegie building, as the architecture seems too modern. However, their staff are very friendly and helpful.

      I believe the St. Catharines Standard would have been the newspaper in operation at the time. It might have reported on these artists. While it is still in operation, I don’t know where its archives are kept. I believe Brock Univerity (www.brocku.ca) has some of the St. Catharines Standard as microfiche or microfilm, but currently it is operating virtually. The microfiche/film reader might also be broken, now that I think of it.

      Archives and Special Collections at Brock University might also have something. Their URL is https://brocku.ca/library/archives/ and I belive anyone can search their database. It is possible that someone in the Brock Arts complex in downtown St. Catharines might be of help, but I’m not sure. I know in the past there have been faculty interested in the trajetory of Canadian artists through Niagara, but I don’t know if anyone still researches that topic.

      Finally, there is the NAC, Niagara Artist Centre, at URL https://nac.org/ . While operating on a shoestring budget, their director might be of assistance, though NAC was established this century, as I recall.

      Best regards,
      Jeff Boggs

  3. To Whom it May Concern,

    Hi there I was wondering if anyone had any information and history on the street Welland Ave in St. Catharines? My father said he use to work for a place/company that made furnaces across from the book dept. I’ve tried to find any information on this and have no luck. I would appreciate any assistance that you may be able to give me on this. Thank you for time and look forward to hearing from you.

    1. If you have a date, you might try some combination of Yellow Pages, (bound) business directories or Vernon’s fire insurance maps, depending on the time period. I suspect the City of St. Catharines also has property records for the site, but I believe one must travel to the property records office to view those during normal business hours. I think it is currently under restricted operation due to COVID-19, though.

      1. Anthies Imperial was located on Berryman and manufactured large diameter pipes. The furnace company was Inter City Manufacturing and was on Welland Ave. where the Book Store is currently located.

    2. If you could give me your father’s name, the approximate times when he lived in St Catharines, and when he might have worked for the company on Welland Avenue that made furnaces, I can look him up in the city directory, see where he worked, and then I can probably tell you something about that business — where it was, how long it was in operation, and the like.

  4. I am looking for information or would like to purchase a book on the Masttison (sp?) farmhouse at 435 Pelham Road in St. Catharines..

  5. Hi, I am looking for information on my Grandfather Arthur Whittle. He was born in 1899 in England & moved to Canada abt. 1913. He lived in Pelham road St Catharines & was a horse dealer. In June 1936 he committed suicide by jumping off a bridge over the Welland. I was wondering if there are any newspaper reports. He had a very young family & intrigued to find out why.
    Best regards
    Gillian Draper

    1. I’d be happy to help you with your query about Arthur Whittle. Do you have an exact death date for him? Once I have that it should be easy to find a newspaper article about his death, as well as an obituary for him in the local newspaper. However, that will have to be delayed because at the moment our local library, with its newspaper microfilm, is closed because of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. But when the Library re-opens — perhaps in a month? — I’ll pursue this for you.

  6. Hello,

    I’m looking for any information you might have about 44 Ottawa St. in St. Catharines. It belonged to my Great-Great-Grandmother for many decades, but I’m curious as to when it was built, the style of the inside of those houses in that area at that time, and if there are any photos of it laying around during the time that my ancestors owned it. She died in 1995 at the age of 108 (she’d lived in the house until she was around 100, give or take), and I believe she and my Great-Great-Grandfather moved into it right after they were married in 1907. Servos is the surname.

    Anything you can help with/find/show me would be so greatly appreciated! Thank you so much.

  7. Just curious if anything odds has happened in my ho e I’ve recorded voices and orbs I live at 20 henry st. St catherine’s

  8. Hi, looking for any historical information on buildings used on Carlton St as speakeasy’s. specifically at the Ontario St end. Thank you in anticipation.

  9. I am looking for more information of what the property at 55 oakdale st Catherine’s used to be before it was a recycling plant. I have heard rumors about it being used to possibly service boats or trains from the old welland cannel but can find no real information on this. As well looking to see if it played any part in historic merriton.
    Thank you

    1. The quickest way to answer your question about 55 Oakdale Avenue is to take the following paragraph from an article entitled “Merritton, Ontario: The Rise and Decline of an Industrial Corridor (ca. 1845-1939)”, written by retired Brock University professor Robert R Taylor. About the area of Oakdale Avenue that you are interested in – which he locates as being close to Lock 11 of the Second Welland Canal – he says the following:

      “Three spoke factories operated in the community, including Canada Wheel Works, founded in 1868 by E.H. Phelps and his associates at Lock 11 [Fig. 11]. Industry on this site continued to serve the modern transportation industry as the Phelps company became first Pioneer Pole and Shaft, then Canada Pole and Shaft and finally the Hayes Wheel Company (1922) which concentrated on producing automobile parts. Hayes Dana Steel Products, which operated here until 1987, was the last of Canada Wheel Works’ business descendants to be located near Lock 11.”

      You can find a complete copy of that article on the Net at

      https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Merritton%2C-Ontario%3A-The-Rise-and-Decline-of-an-(ca.-Taylor/abb8446f5c01786c1e376ac31d534bdaba5d933a

      And on page 124 of that article you will find a photograph of the Canada Wheel Works factory at 55 Oakdale Avenue as it was ca 1900-1910.

  10. I have a st cathrines foundry cast plaque from the Ontario st foundry has gm on first pour date and last pour date i heard GM is offering a fee for these but i dont know who to contact

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