The House of Welf
Dominion House, 3 Guelph St., now gone
Dominion House, a working man's hotel.
The Dominion House is to the left of the oncoming locomotive. At right is the former Grand Trunk Railway union station, built in 1870. It was the second GTR station in Stratford, the fourth in Stratford's history, (see below), at the corner of Guelph and Downie streets. It served both the GTR and the Buffalo and Lake Huron Railway. The photo is looking west. Photo: Nancy Musselman
Farewell memorabilia 2004.
In 1870, Stratford received its second union station, built at Guelph and Downie streets. At the the same time, the Grand Trunk Railway was also erecting major locomotive repair shops in the city. The depot served both the GTR and the Buffalo and Lake Huron railways. The view of the station is looking east from Downie Street. Source: Dean Robinson's Railway Stratford Revisited; Stratford-Perth Archives.
Stratford's 4th train station, 1870, built by the GTR
In 1870, the GTR erected a new station, Stratford's fourth, this time at Guelph and Downie streets. This depot was also to be a union station, built to service the increased traffic created in that year when "the GTR erected major motive power repair facilities."
Dean Robinson notes in his book that a few days after the new union station was erected in July 1870, "the first union station was flattened with a yard engine and a block and tackle."
Again, the city fathers wanted to open the building with a celebration, on July 11, but when they invited Charles John Brydges, general manager of the GTR to take part, he flatly refused. He sent an armed guard to the station to ensure there was no celebration on July 11. Instead, without company sanction, local railway employees held their own celebration at the Grand Trunk Hotel.
Stratford's fourth train station (and second union station), which was built in 1870 by the GTR, was in use for more than four decades. It was directly across from the Dominion Hotel. Dean Robinson mentioned that around the turn of the century, it was handling more than three dozen trains a day and passengers could be carted to and from the station in two-horse buggies (which came to be known as "station-wagons" for a fare of 25 cents. Te fourth station was demolished in 1913 when the present GTR station, the city's 6th, was built, at 101 Shakespeare St.
* A map and timeline of Stratford's six train stations can be seen at Station Timeline.
A lineup of cabbies in the late 1880s, wait for the next passenger train to come in to the Grand Trunk Union Railway station.
The man by himself, on the second rig from the left, is Thomas Johns, father of Billy Johns, who was a long time taxi operator in Stratford. Thomas was the first carriage service operator in Stratford. Billy was on the job until he retired in 1973, and I believe spent his last days in a nursing home in Tavistock. Those of you who remember Billy, will also remember his business partner, Mary.
This GTR station was also retired and torn down in 1913, to be replaced by the present station. Source: Brian Wendy Reis, If You Grew Up in Stratford . . . FB.
This is a southeasterly view of the GTR's board-and-batten station and freight shed (to the left) that were built in 1870 near the intersection of Guelph and Downie streets. Offices were also located there for the railway's dispatchers and telegraphers.
The photo is from a newspaper clipping attributed to the Stratford Perth Archives. This station was the fourth built in Stratford. Beyond the station, in the far right of the photo, is the Dominion House hotel and tavern.
This photo was taken from the GTR smoke stack, in the railways yards west of Downie Street and north of the tracks.on the . Downie Street runs north-south in the foreground of this photo. Source: Nancy Musselman, If You Grew up in Stratford . . . FB and Stratford-Perth Archives.
July 11, 1870: opening day for the new GTR Stratford Union Station, on the southeast corner of Downie and Guelph streets. It was an impressive building that served Stratford for 43 years. By the turn of the century, it was handling more than three dozen trains a day. Passengers could be carted to and from the station in two-horse buggies for a fare of 25c. Vince Gratton photo