We are very proud of the many significant buildings that still exist in Brockville. However, there are a number that are no longer with us. The five photographs below may remind some of our readers of buildings that have disappeared from view, or introduce to others, one or more they have not been aware of.
Horton Public School
9 James St. E., Brockville
photo taken around 1905
The Horton School was opened in 1899 to accommodate elementary students from the central and eastern part of town. It was a four-room brick school that took over the site of the old Grammar School (later the Brockville High School) and was named after Dr. R. Nelson Horton whose efforts on the School Board were appreciated. After closing in 1950, the former school served for a time as the home of the Royal Canadian Legion, Brockville Branch.
Anne & William Fitzsimmons House
24 Home St., Brockville
photo taken in 1973
The Fitzsimmons House was built in the 1840s for a growing family of 10 Fitzsimmons children. William Fitzsimmons (1819-1894) was a builder and politician who served his community from 1847 to 1882. This house was torn down in 1974 to make way for the Buell-Fitzsimmons Manor for Seniors.
The Comstock Building
11-17 Court House Ave., Brockville
photo taken around 1960
The Comstock Building was erected by William H, Comstock in 1886-87. It housed the head office and Canadian factory of the W.H. Comstock Co. Ltd.. Also in this building was D.A. Cummings Co., Beale & Summerby, lawyers, Edgar, Willows & Locke, insurance, and Prus & Martin, architects. The building was demolished in 1966.
Electrical Power House
1 Thomas St.
photo taken about 1905
Thomas Street is a short dead-end street in the west end, south of Hartley St., and was named after Thomas Wilkinson (1832-1912), who for a long time was manager of the Brockville Gas Co. and the Central Canada Coal Co. When electricity was introduced to Brockville in 1887, Wilkinson and the Gas Co. built this generating plant to produce power. The electricity created from coal-powered steam engines was used to power some early arc lamps in the downtown area. In 1893 their new company was known as the Brockville Light & Power Co.
“Waterniche,” The Woodcock – Delahaye House
101 Hartley St., Brockville
Brockville landscape and portrait artist Percy F. Woodcock (1855-1936) and his wife Aloysia (Pratt) were the earliest known residents of Waterniche. It was, however, after 1909 for many years connected with the family of Thomas Delahaye, who was the managing director of the National Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (earlier the Cossitt Co. Ltd.) for many years. A disastrous early-morning fire on June 2, 1951 destroyed this house, while owned by Dr. Thomas J. Goodison.
Sources: Two of these photos were published in the 1906 Brockville Old Boy’s Re-union special magazine. The photo of the Comstock Building was shot by an unknown staff member of the Recorder &Times. I took the one of the Fitzsimmons House during the time of the 1973 Summer Museum held there by the Brockville & District Historical Society. The various details about each building were extracted from many different sources, as usual.