Monday, February 8, 2016

An Interesting Photo to Examine....from Chippewa Park in our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario

Scrutinizing old photos is much simpler in modern times then back in the 1950s or earlier, as we are able to use modern technology at a reasonable cost to enlarge old photos to see more of the detail.  I totally enjoy doing this as you have seen from some of the Christmas photo stories we have done.
Even though the gentleman on the left doesn't seem to approve of his picture being taken, I don't know a soul in this circa 1940's/50's but it has some very interesting background items that I was compelled to examine ....scroll down to read much more and click on all photos to enlarge them then return.
You may realize right away that this is some type of business persons picnic and yes it is taken near the cabins depicted below in a local Chippewa Park postcard.

BUT - What I really want you to notice is what is on the picnic table in the lower centre of the original photo shown as a close-up .  Firstly you see a loaf of Parnell's Butter-Nut bread and behind it you can see a quart of Kellough's Dairy milk.

Parnell's was a local Bakery that had been running in Fort William and Port Arthur since the 1920's.... The word Butter-Nut with the little character holding a loaf of bread under his arm shown on the left was their logo that lasted for years.
The pictures in the collage below were donated by my friend Roger Rickards whom you've seen many times as a child in vintage Christmas posts here on HR&J in the last few years.  There is a caption at the bottom of the collage but there is a little more to the photos than that.  Firstly the Roger Rickards in the photos is my friend Roger's father.  Next, the driver of the Parnell truck was Ed McIntyre who would later marry(in 1939) Roger's father's sister Rose also shown in the photo(Got that??) in essence Ed would later become Roger's uncle... ....well..uh after Roger was born of course...did you get that too??
Roger Jr. says these photos were likely taken near where Roger Sr. lived on E. Mary St. in Fort William.

Here are a few telephone book ads, the first from 1942, and the other two from a 1953/54 book.            Mr. J.P. Parnell lived at 330 Archibald St. in the beautiful brownstone shown below.  The building is now a business called "Bloomers and the Brown House", and well worth a visit to view this beautiful old home.  I was once in this house while in grade school, as I knew one of Mr. Parnell's daughters.

The next two photos show only empty lots in Fort William and in Port Arthur where the Parnell's Bread businesses were as noted in the phone book clipping above.
Fort William office at 411 Donald Street where the
parking lot for the museum is today.


Port Arthur office at 226 Bay St. just east of Vi's

Here is one more oldie from the late 1920's showing a Parnell's Bread sign above the vintage buses on the Canadian side at the original Pigeon River border crossing.

 Here is a list of all the Bakers in the 1953/54 local phone book.
The next thing in the original photo at the top of this post is a Kellough's Dairy milk bottle.  As shown in the then and now photo below, Kellough's was located on the north/west corner of Victoria Ave and Selkirk Street.
You can tell in the original photo above that is was a Kellough's bottle because of the tall L's shown, and in the bottles below when you scroll down.

There were many dairies through the years in Fort William and Port Arthur, however, these are the only ones shown in the 1953/54 phone book.
The last ...not too clear photo here shows a number of pop or beer bottles further down the table, and I'm only guessing that they could possibly be 2-way bottles or Kakabeka beer bottles as noted below.
Thanks to Roger Rickards for the loan of the wonderful Parnell's Bakery truck photos, and to all our ancestors who took these great photos of our past that we can pass on to our grand-children and great grand-children to remember what life was like in the Hot Rods and Jalopy era.....
I always try to include something with 2 or 4 wheels in all my posts for your enjoyment.
Thank You, D.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Building Fort William and Port Arthur Ontario in the 1950's...


A recent find (first 3 photos) by my friend and proof reader Al Yahn inspired me to do another local then and now. The changes over the years in our Intercity area have been tremendous.  Adding to Intercity Mall which was originally started in the 1950's as well as re-routing and widening the Neebing and McIntyre rivers to accommodate a floodway, 4 laning Fort William Road and Memorial Ave., borrowing property from the fairgrounds and building up the intercity's commercial areas have totally changed the look of the intercity area from 1955 until the present day.
The first of three photos from the mid 1950's show the intercity area and the meandering McIntyre River (today joined with the Neebing River to create the Floodway).  In order to find your bearings, the red oval is the intersection of Memorial Avenue and the CNR tracks which are in the exact same location today.  The building just above the oval is  Simpsons Sears.  Just to the right of the oval and going from Memorial Ave to Fort William Road is Isabel St. (The same name today), and on the corner of Isabel and Memorial is the Sears Allstate Service and Gas Bar.  To the left of Sears is the beginnings of the rest of the mall which will include Loblaws and Zellers.  Click twice on the large photos for screen size enlargements.
This photo faces east towards Lake Superior.

Just out of the first photo to the right on Memorial Avenue was the Welcome to Port Arthur Arch.  It is shown in the next photo squared in yellow.  In all three photos the red oval is the intersection of Memorial and the CN tracks.
The next photo also shows the progress of the Intercity Mall, and all the beautiful Laurel Leaf Willow trees that were planted along Memorial Ave. to commemorate the local lives lost in the two world wars.  None of these trees exist today.  The placement of Isabel Street changed drastically over the years and the south end of the mall used up most of the old midway area of the original CLE grounds.  Today Isabel St runs right along the floodway.
This photo faces south/west.
 The last of Al's three photos shows a much larger area and the finished original Intercity Mall.  In the distance is the old CLE race track.  The area between the track and the mall was used for the midway in the early years of the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition.  An overhead view of the CLE during the fair can be seen by scrolling further down later.  Memorial Ave is on your right.  The sharp curved road on your left is Fort William Road and the CN tracks run from the bottom left of the photo to the right.

This photo faces south.

The original Simpsons Sears opened at the Mall on April 20,
 When I worked for Shell Canada in the 1960's, we supplied Shell products and fuel to the Sears Allstate Gas bar shown above.
A terrible flood in the spring of 1971 covered  the entire Intercity Mall parking lot...hence the need for a floodway.
Thanks to my friend Brian McLean, we have this south facing aerial shot taken a few years ago before most of the Thunder Centre was built on the left.  The original route of the McIntyre River would have actually passed right through where most of the stores are now in the Thunder Centre.  The CN tracks and Memorial Ave (red square) and the old Welcome Arch would have been where the yellow square is.

I took this north facing photo of the fairgrounds and Intercity Mall two years ago this month on a Porter flight from Toronto.  Here you can see the wider floodway, formerly the McIntyre River and the Neebing River between the rows of houses along Northern and Southern Ave. ice covered of course.

Here is the overhead view of the old CLE grounds in the 1950's where is utilized the property north (left of the track) via a walking bridge across the McIntyre River to the Midway area.  That area is now used by Intercity Mall.  CLICK ON ALL THE PICTURES FOR ENLARGEMENTS...

Next we have the Memorial Avenue plaques.  The first one, (The Original One) has been lost in time, and was located north of the intersection of the CN tracks and Memorial Ave.  The second one added after complaints by city residents isn't even on Memorial Ave.  It is on High Street where High approaches Memorial Ave.  You can see the Community Auditorium on the right in the distance behind it.  I believe it is still possible to re-plant the Willow trees on the boulevards along Memorial Ave., which would definitely add to the beauty of our city.
Newer and exists today.

Below is a 1957 advertisement in the Port Arthur Centennial brochure.  Loblaws had just opened at Intercity.  Gary Spence supplied this Loblaws photo captured from a Vimeo film.  Loblaws was my very first real job when in high school.  They were a great company to work for.

Finally, an Internet find shows the CLE in recent years completely on the south side of the Floodway. The old racetrack was large enough to make a complete circle around the golf dome and would extend from the Coliseum building on the left, to Fort William Road and the river on the right.  The old grandstand would have been smack dab in the middle of the Silver City Theatre.
 Yes, there has been an incredible amount of change at Intercity in 61 years, but I still miss the "Happy Days".
Thanks once more to Allan Yahn, Brian McLean and Gary Spence for the use of the photos.

Thursday, December 31, 2015


HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 TO ALL OUR FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS here on Hotrods and Jalopies.  2015 was a very busy hectic year for our family with travel, health issues, the passing of my father and the illness of my step mom.  We hope that our New Year 2016 and yours brings us all health, happiness, peace and safety.  SPEND TIME WITH THOSE YOU LOVE.
I will leave some links here to past New Year posts on this blog page for you to enjoy again.  Thank you for watching and following as we come up to completing our 7th year on the internet with many more great stories and photos to come. CLICK ON EACH OF THESE LINKS THEN RETURN...
 Happy New Year 2011
Happy New Year 2012
Happy New Year 2013
Happy New Year 2014
Happy New Year 2015
  In 2009 and 2010 we only had a one picture New Year post.  Hope you enjoy our past years posts.

And if you're out driving tonight DON'T MIX 'EM...........
BE SAFE.....