House of Hanover
Brunswick Street appeared on the 1848 map of Stratford. Brunswick and Albert streets were likely named as a pair, for the House of Brunswick in honour of the Queen Victoria, and for Prince Albert.
Actually, the formal name of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, was the House of Hanover . The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th to 20th centuries.
The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692.
George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain, in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son, Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic. By Stanford Dingman
77 Brunswick St. Photo Fred Gonder
An artist's cottage
Gerard Brender à Brandis, artist
John Way, historic place
129 Brunswick St. Photo: Fred Gonder
Photo: Vince Gratton
The Baker electric runabout
Dr. Shaver's family home at 109 Brunswick St. is now Allison's Brunswick House B and B. Stratford and District Historical Society FB
Dr. Peter Shaver's family home
Bruce Woods, author of a Stratford memoir of the 1930s and 1940s
Bruce Alexander Woods (1931-2022) was born in Stratford and lived his first 16 years at 156 Brunswick Street before moving to London. He became a minister and lived much of his life in the Hamilton area including in the little town of Ancaster. He always had a smile and a firm handshake but he never forgot his home town and the people of his growing up.
Between Two Women: A Stratford Story was self-published in 2007, and tells Woods' growing up story with humour and nostalgia. It focuses on his world of friends, relatives and events of those days in the 1930s and 1940s in Stratford and the relationship between his mother and grandmother, the two women of the title who shaped his life.
Forty short chapters present a personal focus on real events and people that creates the charm for the story, such as "The pre-war years," "War comes to us", "The great snowstorm of 1942,"Victory Day celebrations 1945"," The soap box derby ", "Shenanigans", "Stratford high", "Army cadets and "Stratford is still the best."
156 Brunswick Street dates from the 1860s. Author Bruce Woods lived here from 1931-1947. The house belonged to his grandfather, Alex Gillatly, who worked at the CNR shops.
A growing up memoir of Stratford in the 1930s and 1940s.
There are memories of Eaton's catalogues arriving before Christmas and jumping from the Waterloo Street bridge into the Avon and being met by the local police and about being kicked out of the Classic theatre for pretending to "swoon" at a Frank Sinatra movie. There are memories of the Jumbo ice cream parlour and high school teachers and teen adventures and the retelling of complaints by adults when a cup of coffee went up to ten cents.
As Woods himself says," I am a hopelessly unrepentant romantic...it's about a kid who grew up in Stratford...and loved every minute of it....and the facts are at least 97% true." Sources: Books: Between Two Women: A Stratford Story available at library; Bruce Woods Obituary (1931 - 2022) - Legacy Remembers
Dr. John Hyde (1819-1889) in later years. Photo: Stratford Perth Archives.
Dr. John Hyde, a man of 'firsts...'
Dr. John Hyde (1819-1889) was a doctor in Stratford, but he was mlre than that. he was a man of many 'firsts' for the little settlement that had been known as Little Thames.
Hyde was the first coroner for the village, its first medical officer of health and its first county jail surgeon. He was later the first school superintendent and first chairman of the Mechanics Institute, the forerunner of the public library. He was the first president of the Perth Mutual Fire Insurance Company formed in 1863, and instigated the formation of Stratford's first Medical Society around 1972, and helped draw up a schedule of fees.
In 1860 Dr. Hyde (see Hyde Road) built his new brick home at 91 Brunswick Street which was on the south side very near Waterloo Street. His house was very near the Congregational Church of which he was a founding member. The close proximity of the church was not by accident. It was built on Hyde's land.
When he built his home, Hyde was already becoming a noted figure in Stratford's medical community and and as noted he would play a prominent role in educational and business developments in the growing settlement. He lived in Stratford during a key part of its early history before it became a village in 1854 and after it became a town in 1859 and a city in 1885.
Hyde was born in Northern Ireland, studied medicine at Glasgow University in Scotland with David Livingston, of African fame, as a classmate, emigrated to Embro in Upper Canada (later Ontario), 1840, and arrived in Stratford in 1848. He was just 29 years old.
However, Dr. Hyde was not the first doctor in the settlement that had been first known as Little Thames. Dr. J. H. Moore was already working in the hamlet in the mid 1830s with an office on the second storey of a small log shack on Downie Street. (see Downie Street). Patients who could not pay would clear trees off another lot the doctor owned or could offer a little nip of whisky that could settle the bill.
And even before Dr. Moore, itinerant doctors travelling on horseback had served the small hamlets as travelling preachers did.
What was Stratford like in 1848? According to Mary Ellen Burt, in an article in The Stratford Beacon Herald in 1955, "There were two hotels, three stores, three churches, and a log schoolhouse.." (see Sargint Street and St. Andrew Street). The first church had been built in 1830, for the "Auld Kirk" on St Andrew's Street, the Shakespeare Hotel in 1832 and the first schoolhouse in 1843 on what is now the front lawn of the Stratford Public Library.
Adelaide Leitch in Floodtides of Fortune points out that according to W.H. Smith's Gazetteer of 1844-1845, there were actually two physicians, including Dr. Moore, working in the settlement when Dr. John Hyde arrived. It is not known for certain if the second doctor was an actual medical doctor or a quack who had come to a backwater settlement to earn a living.
History of 91 Brunswick Street, Dr. Hyde's house.
John Hyde and his wife, Jean Michie Hyde, (1820-1904), lived at 91 Brunswick after building the house in 1860. Their twin daughters continued to live there until 1936 when it came into possession of the Murray family.
The house was considered to be a reflection of Dr. Hyde's character. It was "...a simple dignified structure with little of the ornamentation common to houses built in the 1860s. ." The taste of Dr. Hyde was so good that the exterior of the house as seen in in the pictures remained virtually unchanged for more than 150 years.
When Mrs. Suzanne Murray moved into the house in 1936, she found many letters and clothes from the past. She also discovered that the furnace was a very small hot-air one and warmed only the downstairs. The upstairs was heated by a wood stove in the large hall. The holes from the stovepipes were decorated with ornamental mouldings. There was extensive walnut paneling chosen by the Hydes throughout the house. The windows sunk into the thickness of the walls were also cased in walnut. The ceilings were 13' in height.
The Murray family refurbished the house with new heating and new floors retaining the history and high ceilings until it was sold circa 1956 to become the McMane -Gilbart Funeral Home. The funeral home is listed in Vernon's Stratford City Directory in 1957 at 91 Brunswick Later tenants before demolition in 2020 included upper level apartments, a credit union, a trading card business and a computer store. Sources: Stratford Beacon Herald, "Pioneer Doctor was a Leading Citizen" by Mary Ellen Burt, November 26, 1955: Adelaide Leitch, Floodtides of Fortune; City of Stratford Directories; If you grew up in Stratford FB.
91 Brunswick in the 1930s. Unchanged from the construction of the house by Dr. John Hyde in 1860. Photo: Susan Moffat. If you grew up in Stratford, FB.
91 Brunswick in 2016 before demolition in 2020. At this point in its history, 91 Brunswick was McMane-Gilbart Funeral Home.