Deacon Street

The first electric car

Dr. Deacon 1903   Stratford-Perth Archives

Baker Eectric 1910.  Dr. Deacon's home at 101 Brunswick is the house on the right of the photo.    Stratford-Perth Archives

Deacon Street was named for Dr. George Reginald Deacon, who practised medicine from 1896 to 1925. He was a leading Stratford physician and surgeon, and official doctor for the Grand Trunk Railway. His father, Rev.  Daniel Deacon, was the first rector of St. Paul's Anglican Church. The Deacons lived at 157 Church St. (see Church Street).

The doctor's wife , Jeanette (Dimmick)  owned the first electric car in Stratford. She was the envy of many as she drove around town in that car, though some were unhappy because the quiet car could frightened horses.  The car was given to her by her father Benjamin Dimmick before her marriage.

In an interviews in 1959 Mrs. Deacon  said the car was quiet and dependable and never ran out of power. She even ventured as far as the Embro Road and back safely in the 1930s. At that time, the car was still traveling along quite happily at 20 miles per hour. However, the batteries were running out and it would have cost $300 to replace them. She sadly  urned her Baker Electric over to a new owner who converted the car to gasoline. The car was a collectors item even then and found its way to the Minnie Thompson Museum. 

The Baker Electrics were produced in Cleveland, Ohio from 1899 to 1916. The company there was one of the more popular producers of electric vehicles and was successful for many years. The first Baker vehicle was a two-seater with a selling price of $850. One of them became Thomas Edison's first car. Edison also designed the nickel-iron batteries used in some Baker electrics. The batteries had extremely long lives. By Stanford Dingman

This 1910 Baker Model V Electric Victoria had a General Electric four-pole series-wound electric motor with two braking systems. One of the braking systems worked the rear hub, the other the motor. There were six speeds forward and three in reverse. The Victoria was one of many body styles sold by Baker in 1910. It offered seating for two and a folding top for protection against the elements. One sold for $77,000 in 2008. TV host and comedian Jay Leno owns one. Source: Wikipedia

 *   See Jay Leno talk about his Baker Electric

Dr. Deacon's home, built 1907 

Architectural description: two-and-a-half storey; pediment at the top is the attic level with four windows; second floor has three windows; centre window is a three- part window with the upper sash consisting of multiple-pane windows; on either side of the centre one are two-part windows with multiple panes in the upper sash; this portion of the house is clad in cedar shingles; the first floor is constructed of hydro stone; a cast cement product resembling quarry stone; the large front porch has a flat roof with a centre gable over the entrance way; there are three multi-paned windows and a door; the porch is supported by square hydro stone columns. Prominent local physician George Deacon (July 22, 1874 - March 22, 1942) owned this house for a time. He was one of the first in the area to use x-ray equipment.

Note: This heritage house is now the Performing Arts Lodge (PAL) that provides affordable housing and social assistance to Canada's performing arts community. Source: Stratford Blue Plaque Program

Deacon House, 101 Brunswick St.