George John Grange Stratford-Perth Archives
Sheriff of Wellington
19 Grange St. Photo Fred Gonder
Thomas Edison lived here, maybe
Legend has it that Thomas Edison boarded at William Winter’s home at 19 Grange St. (see also Ontario Street). In March 1940, Winter’s sons,, James and Blake, both elderly, recalled stories of "the strange American," told to them by their mother and father
The brothers were born in the little red-brick cottage at 19 Grange St. According to them, young Edison, seeking a job, wandered into the office of their father, who was the city agent for the Montreal Telegraph and American Express companies.
William Winter didn’t have a posted job opening, but he was impressed with the lad and made a place for him in his office as assistant telegrapher and messenger boy. And because young Thomas didn’t have a home, Winter gave him shelter at his house, at 19 Grange St. “I can recall my mother speaking about him frequently,” said Blake Winter. "She said he was a very quiet chap and, when he wasn’t working, spent most of his time in his room, experimenting with old batteries and wires. Mother said she often told him she was afraid he would blow the house up.”
Teresa Flaherty and her brother Frank lived in the Grange Street house after the Winters and were convinced that Edison had also lived there. She said, “There were burn marks left under the flooring from Edison’s experiments, and the name of one of Edison’s friends was scratched on a window. Edison’s sister would come to visit every summer." After he had left Stratford, he was preparing for a return visit when he died. Recent research indicates cottage was not built until 1866, three years after Edison worked in Stratford, but that does not solve the mystery of where Edison lived while in Stratford. Story by Blain McCutchen in Antique Photographic News
The Stratford Beacon-Herald, said in 1905, “Romeo School is a fitting testimony to the sentiment that Stratford parents think nothing is too good, too expensive nor too up-to-date when education of the young is at stake.”
It was torn down in the mid-1960s to make way for a nondescript so-called modern school.
Like most schools of the time, there was a separate entrance for Boys and Girls, as well as segregated playgrounds. A boy would not dare step foot on the girl's playground and risk getting the strap from a school official. The words Boys and Girls were clearly etched in stone in giant letters above the entrance doors. It is hard to imagine what the educators thought adolescence boys and girls might be up to on the knee-skinning, cinder-covered playing fields of Romeo School. By Paul Wilker (my school)
Duggan house, 146 Church St.
Trow house, 220 Cambria St. Fred Gonder
David Gunn Baxter, architect
St. Joseph's Separate School, 39 Grange St. Photo Nancy Musselman . . . FB