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Doug Grant

at 864 × 1254 in The Halladay Block

34 responses »

  1. Where on Earth do you find such wonderful photos of the downtown area? I grew up in Brockville, and have seen a number of changes since being a child, but seeing the erection of the war memorial and the state of the town at the time is simply amazing.

    • jeff guenette

      Hey Doug
      I’ve been trying to reach you. I live at 94 King st. east, corner of King and Orchard, the funny coloured house. I hear you might have some info about it’s heritage. Come on by for drinks and munchies anytime.

  2. Hello,
    I am doing a forensic analysis on Isaac Brock and wonder if you have any other photos of the bust of Brock (same as the one on this site) that you may be able to kindly share with me? I would love to come and photograph it myself but I am in Newfoundland at present.
    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon.
    Christian Corbet

    • Christian:

      I will be replying to your request by regular e-mail.


      • Susan lynn Duvall ( married name )

        Dear Mr Grant
        I was wondering if you knew the Fred and Annie Skelton they lived on Sophia St in Brockville . I am looking for my mothers family history and hope you could shed light in to some of this or know some one that knows . Dates of birth and Marriages ,Deaths with there family . My Mother was Harroit Skelton .. I dont know were to look for any of this information In Brockville . Doing my family Tree God Bless Susan Swan

  3. Hello, I have a photo of my Grandfather on a steamer called the “Riverside”. He worked on this boat I believe around 1910/1920 era. I think it may have ran from Alex Bay to Brockville. My Grandmother was a British Home Child and her last place of employment was for the Swartz family in Brockville. I believe they met there while he was working on the lakers. My Grampa was from Alex Bay. I would love to find out more about the “Riverside” . I could email you a photo if that would help.

    Thankyou Lila George

  4. Maxine (Avery) Hutt

    Hi Mr Grant
    I enjoy your site and submitted a question previously, but am not sure if you received it. I am looking for an article about 16 Bayview Road – it was printed in the R&T, possibly by you, Harry Painting, or Betty MacDowell. This unusual house was built around 1890, and has very unusual ‘gingerbread’ ?
    Any info would be appreciated.

  5. Hi Doug:
    I have enjoyed your site and all the work you have put into it and way over joyed when you said we could use the pictures. As I have been looking for a photo of Old Brock School, I found what I thought looked like it but you had it as 21 Clarissa St., West Ward School. The next photo to it was also called West Ward School. I am not sure about Brock School, but I do believe it was on Gilmore St. where the Canadian Tire store and the Arena was. My daughter went to School there in 1968.

    Looking at your photo you remind me of a friend of mine Hunter Grant (any relation) they lived up the street from us. I believe they now live in Rockport?

    I now live in Georgetown, my Aunt that brought me up lived on Sherwood street next to the McKenzie house on King Street, were Ms. McKenzie lived and her brother Mr. McKenzie lived across the road from us. Such nice people.

    Thank you for any help you can give me on Brock School.



    • Thurs. DEC 30, 2010

      Hi there, Flo.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting on my Brockville History Web Log site.

      The school that used to stand on Clarissa St. across from Trinity Anglican Church, was known in your time as Gen. Brock Public School, but historically when it was built in the late 1870s it was first the “West Ward School“.  A number of years after that they built a new school up on Pearl St. West, that became known as the New West Ward School and the first one began to be called the Old West Ward School.

      You mention Gilmour St.That is the next street to the west, where the former Memorial Arena was located.

      I am not related to Hunter Grant, although we share the same last name.

      My weekly and monthly articles can now be found on this web site:


      Doug Grant

  6. Capt. Pierre Boucher

    Dear Mr. Grant
    I have been a river pilot for the last 34 years between Cornwall and Kingston. My wife and I have also been publishing local Real Estate papers for the last 8 years. Last summer, we launched a “classified ads” paper which is distributed in all the communities along the St. Lawrence river from Cornwall to Kingston including of course Brockville.
    The paper also contains small articles on subjects of general interest. We have a section called “Nostalgia Find” which features a picture from the past. While researching material for Brockville, I came upon your site which I find thouroughly fascinating.
    The reason for this email as you might guess, is to request permission for us to use some of your pictures in editions to come. Of course we would give you appropriate recognition as part of it.
    Should you wish to preview our paper, I would be glad to supply you with copies or you can go online
    Our home office is located in Prescott.

    Thank you and look forward to hearing from you


  7. Dear Doug Grant,
    Transcribed from a clipping found in a family bible which I could not copy here:

    “Alford Weir:
    At the George St. Methodist Church parsonage yesterday [Saturday, 10 September 1904], Rev. A. H. Visser united in marriage Hiram A. Alford, of Gananoque, and Miss E. Maud Weir, of Bastard. Mr. and Mrs. Alford who will take up residence in Gananoque, were unattended throughout the ceremony”

    The couple mentioned in the clipping are my maternal grandparents.

    They both grew up in Chantry but moved to Gananoque when they married. I had always assumed that they were married in Gananoque, but I notice that there is not– and probably never was – a George Street in Gananoque, and the clipping does not specify either the newspaper from which it came nor the town in which the church was located.

    A little computer research has brought me to you who may be able to confirm that the Methodist church was, in fact, located in Brockville.
    My grandparents, Hiram Andrus Alford and Eunice Maud Weir who were married on Saturday September 10, 1904. My grandfather’s family had recently moved from Chantry to SW Ontario and my grandmother’s family was
    not well off, so the marriage ceremony was a weekend wedding without family members in attendance.

    I am sure that you know that the township that used to be named “Bastard” is now part of “Rideau Lakes Township.” My grandmother always refused to name the township from which she came.

    After Gananoque my grandparents moved to Ottawa where their daughter, Ila Mary Alford, was born (1909), and where my sister (1943) and I (1941) were born.

    My sister is Rev. Ann Durant of the United Church, now retired, and I am a retired high school English teacher.

    Can you cast any light on the situation?

    Yours truly,
    Ed Turner

  8. I was wondering if you had any old photos and know any information about when the White packing Company operated in Brockville?? I do know that they operated in the former Brockville Co-op building between Hamilton and Georgina St . I am not sure of the exact time frame. Any photos or information of the property around that time would be great. I am thinking they operated pre-1945.

  9. Looking for information on 104 First avenue beside Keefer st. Any history or past owners?
    Was it a private home or hotel?

  10. Dear Doug,
    Visited your great website today, I was looking particularly at one George Dunbar Acton whos name appears on the Brockville War Memorial. He was a Church Bell Ringer at Ludlow, Shropshire before he left for Canada, he and his family, Mother and Father sailed on 28th February 1913. I don’t know much more about him than that although I have visited his grave in France on a couple of occasions, you can see his name on the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers website by following this link:

    All the very best.

    Alan Regin

  11. Hi Doug,

    I come to your site every so often, having lived in Brockville for about 20 yrs and leaving around 14 years ago, I find myself traveling in time. I once worked at Canada Post and have always been fascinated with the original post office. Are there any interior pictures or floor plans that you know of from the late 1890s – 1930? I am writing a fictional story and have used a couple post office buildings I have worked in and would like to use something from the original post office in Brockville. Thanking you in advance.


  12. J Robert A McGinn

    Hello from Thunder Bay Ontario
    My family roots are in Brockville, Lansdowne, Matilda Dundas, Gananoque, Augusta.
    My Greatx2 Grandfather was Robert Cooke married to Sarah Jane Griffith and their children are among the earliest baptisms in St Peter’s Anglican Church. S. Jane was the disowned daughter of Richard Griffith of Kilkenny Ireland, of Evaluation fame. Robert had been an estate gardener. For a time Robert and Jane rented a house somewhere near what later became Victoria Hall and Robert found employment at a Potash works owned by Charles Jones. Robert had 2 brothers, Richard ( Elizabeth Storey) and Joseph (Elizabeth Cook) both of Augusta Tp. While his children were still young, Robert Cooke died ca 1840 date unknown, burial unfound. (Cause TB??) Jane’s pleas were ignored by her wealthy family and destitute, she farmed the children out to Robert’s relatives and left Brockville forever in the company of an unknown American man she married with a second family all unknown to me somewhere in the USA.
    The sons farmed conc V of Lansdowne, John (Sally Clark) and Joseph (Mary Ann White), Elizabeth, their sister married John Earl and farmed nearby.
    Catherine, born 1837 and recorded in St Peter’s records remains unknown to me.
    Another sister Sarah Jane married John McGinn 06 Dec 1854, Lansdowne. The McGinns remained in the Brockville area until 1868 when they moved to Orillia.
    Evelyn Purvis Earle in her books, “Linger in Leeds” and “Leeds the Lovely”, talks of this Cooke family. Evelyn’s source was her grandmother, Elizabeth Cooke Earl 1831-1917.
    My second Cook line was William Cook who married Rachel Shaver in 1831. Rachel had been married previously in 1824 to Daniel McGinn of the Dundas, Matilda McGinn clan. Daniel drowned in the St Lawrence March 1828. I can find no mention of the accident but it was recorded in Liber B of Dundas. Rachel Shaver McGinn used her maiden name “Shaver” in her 1831 marriage to William Cook who became the step father of Eliza and John McGinn. William and Rachel’s son Samuel Gordon Cook (1842-1923), my Great grandfather’s half brother, taught school in Brockville and later in Gananoque.

  13. Hi Doug, Would you consider writing a piece about the War of 1812 for Thousand islands Life Magazine? I know our readers would love it. Michael Whitaker is doing one about the Spring symposium. You can reach me through TI Life.
    As always, I appreciate all you do for the region and our history… Susie Smith

  14. Hello and a GREAT SITE!!, since you sem to be the one in “the know” have you any idea where I might find copies of chsrts of the St Lawrence between Kingston and Cornwall that would date 1956 or earlier?

    I need copies I can use when boating along that area so I can see the changes in the shoreline on the Canadian side

    Thank you
    My email adress is


  15. You have a great site Doug.

    I too think that the photos in here are fantastic. I also appreciate the historical facts too. Like you, I think that our history should be shared.

    I am in the process of mounting postcards into albums and always like to include the history and photos whenever possible.

    Kindest regards

    Larry Matthews (Bracebridge)

  16. Garry Kelsey

    Good Day Mr. Doug Grant

    The Brockville Museum suggested that I contact you and ask you my question.

    The city of Brockville owns several Islands that are used as parks. One of these Islands is located approximately 3 miles west of Brockville opposite Hillcrest in Elizabethtown – Kitley Township.

    The Island is called “Brush” or “Sheaffe” Island on Plan 120 Sheet 8 of 9 and is from The Hon. The Secretary dated “Ottawa January 14, 1873.

    Federal Navigation Charts – example – Richardson’s Chart Book – Sixth Edition – NOAM # 14770 – Corrected – October 11, 2008 – identifies the Island as “Sheaffe Island“.

    NRCAN Topographic MAP 31/B/12 – identifies the Island as “Sheaffe Island“.

    The City of Brockville in various tourism publications and signage on the park island identifies it as Black Charlie Island.

    What is the origin of the name “Black Charlie”? Is the name given to Black Charlie Island related to a local historical even or person?

    Any information you could provide would be appreciated.

    I have very much enjoyed your articles in the local newspapers.

    Garry Kelsey

  17. Ernest Szeideman

    Hi Doug;
    Wonderful site!
    There is an apartment building located at 8-10-12 George street in Brockville which was built around 1852 and used to be Officer’s barracks. Would you have any additional information on this building and/or pictures from long ago? Or could you point us towards more information?
    Thank you so much.

  18. dennis groves

    i’m looking for info on john lorimer born 1958 brockville died 2001 , his wife last name was mosher ,seeking her first mane and any children thanks dennis groves

  19. Doug, my father-in-law owned a property at 193 Herkimer Street
    in Hamilton, Ontario during the mid 1970’s. During renovations he found
    a dozen or so photos in the floorboards of the attic. He put them in a
    box and we just came across them. It appears one of the pictures was taken at the Murray & Son Studio in Brockville. I would really, really like to get the photos to the rightful owners. The only other clue I have is a
    notation on one of the photos…it was sent to Daisy French from
    Gertrude. If you are interested in seeing the pics, perhaps we can collectively solve this
    mystery. I can forward more photos if you wish. Hope to hear from you soon! Please use my home email

  20. Carriage historian, Ken Wheeling (Monlton, VT) would like to correspond with Doug Grant

  21. with the Canadian Briscoe Motor Company of Brockville cars ,what paint was used ? was it just black or was white/blue/green used ?

  22. Hello Doug:
    I am using this response site to contact you on a somewhat related topic. Phil Jago suggested I attempt to contact you as a knowledgeable historian of the area.
    Currently I am writing a manuscript on the subject of the rail car ferry transfers at Prescott and Brockville that commenced in the 1870s in earnest and terminated in Brockville about 1909. I have conducted some research in Brockville but wonder if you might be able to assist me by responding to the following questions.:
    1. Do you know of any source of images of the car ferries or of the car ferry service at either Brockville or Morristown. The vessels involved at Brockville were named Transit, (Wiliiiam) Armstrong, Southeastern/international, and the car float Jumbo. The Charles Lyon may have been involved but I cannot substantiate that the slip in Brockville or Morristown were modified to accept the Charles Lyon.
    2. Are copies of the Brockville Times and Brockville Recorder available for public viewing in either microfilm or digital formats? If so at what repository?
    3.Any assistance or direction you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
    Please visit my self-publishing site for a biography and my writings and publishing to date. It is my understanding that you have a teaching history background as do I.
    Thanks in advance for your consideration.

  23. hello i;ve got an old picture of training soldiers wing o.t.c. brockville dec 21/42

  24. Jeff Sullivan

    Hello Doug,
    I have found your site to be most interesting and I have always been a big fan of the history of Brockville and it’s downtown core. I need to search further as I recently purchased a house in Brockville at 49 Bethune and am interested in the history of the home. If you have any information to share feel free to reach out to me.
    Thanks for all your dedication and obvious hard work in putting this site together.
    Jeff Sullivan

    • That is quite an nice house you are now the owner of.
      I wrote an article about your new house at 49 Bethune St. a few years ago.
      Historically, it is called the ‘Mary & Thomas GAVIN House’, and was built in 1903-04.
      “This is the brick house built as a retirement home for Thomas and Mary Gavin in 1903-4. There is evidence that the architect and builder was Benjamin Dillon. Mrs. Gavin was left a widow when Thomas died in 1905. Pictured on the porch is Mary Gavin, in black, on the left, and her daughter Mary Ellen “Molly” Gavin on the right. Molly lived with her mother until her marriage to Michael O’Shaughnessy in 1919. Following Mary Gavin’s death in 1924, the house was owned by Lawrence P. Gavin, her son. It was rented for a number of years to Leroy Atkinson. Molly & Michael O’Shaughnessy moved into the house after 1959. Their son, Peter A. O’Shaughnessy, his wife Vera, and their family lived here from 1971 until the 1980s. Richard Walker, and then, Mike Kalivas have been the latest owners.”
      I also have a copy of my article and a nice photograph of the house taken in 1918 which I could send you if I had your e-mail address. You don’t seem to have left it connected to this request.

      Doug Grant

      You could also join our ‘Historic Brockville’ Facebook page to be part of our local history group.

      • Jeffrey Sullivan

        Hi there Doug.
        Thanks for the history on 49 Bethune. Yes please send me pictures of the house if you have them.

  25. Congratulations on a fantastic historical site! All of your hard work is greatly appreciated. Your site exemplifies just how beautiful Brockville has been historically, and currently.

    I am struggling to find any information on: D. Derbyshire & Co. Dairy Supplies in Brockville.

    Any leads and info would be greatly appreciated, thank you very much.

  26. Michael Larocque

    Hi. Mr Grant. I was wondering if you would be able to assist me in finding some information for my sister Margret Larocque Benoit is her married name but is since widowed. We chat on the phone once a month as I live in New Brunswick now and don’t get to Brockville very often. I was wondering do you have any photos of the Brockville Police Association Girls Drum and Bugle Band. I remember her in the band a long with many other young girls. This would be in the late 1950 early 1960 ‘s . We were a poor family so there is not many photos. She often speaks of the band and I would love to show her a picture of the Drum & Bugle Band it would make her day. I know police officers Stan McFadden and Jack Wylie were instrumental to keeping the band going. They also had a majorette unit as well. I hope the information is helpful. If you could help me out that would be wonderful. Thank you sir.

  27. Michael:

    We have a Facebook group called ‘If You Grew Up in Brockville’ that you can be part of by joining.
    Recently. a few of the members posted pictures of the ‘Girls Drum and Bugle Band’ in a parade.
    Here is a link to one of the parade pictures: .
    You are welcome to join the group as well as another one called ‘Historic Brockville’.
    There are usually a lot of discussions started about old memories.

    Doug Grant


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