One of Stratford's original Canada Company streets was named for the patron saint of Ireland.

St. Patrick with shamrock.

The popular view of the man who was St. Patrick is that he converted all of Ireland to Christianity, drove out all the snakes and explained the Trinity in terms of the Irish shamrock. We celebrate St. Patrick on March 17, the traditional day of his death. 

Many early settlers of Perth County were Irish Catholics and a street for the patron saint of Ireland was a popular choice. 

David Farmer in The Oxford Dictionary of Saints points us closer to what we really know about about Patrick. -- who was British, not Irish!

While still a youth in Britain, Patrick was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved in Ireland for six years. Upon his return to England, he studied for the priesthood and eventually returned to Ireland in about 435 AD and set up his see at Armagh. He worked principally in the north of Ireland, organizing the church. It is said that he made no distinction of classes in his preaching and was himself ready for imprisonment or death in the following of Christ. 

There is much controversy and confusion about the details of his life and there is more than one place which lays claim to the burial of St. Patrick. Source: Streets of Stratford, 2004.

TVO video:  Grand Trunk: A City Built on Steam 

 Click on pics 

The shops

The last Canadian National Railways (CNR) shops in Stratford were built in 1907-09. They were on 19 acres of land bordered by Downie, St. Patrick and St. David streets, and had a footprint of 185,000 square feet.

By the 1940s, Stratford's locomotive repair shops employed about 40 per cent of the city's workforce. When the annex was added along St. David Street in 1949, Stratford became the largest of the CNR's four  locomotive repair facilities, bigger than those in Moncton, N.B., Pointe- Saint-Charles, P.Q., and Transcona, Man.

A necessity for the railways, the shops were an economic heartbeat for their host communities. But then came diesel, and the CNR no longer needed a locomotive repair facility in Stratford. The closure of the shops was announced in 1958 and completed by March 1964. The mammoth shops building was taken over by the Cooper-Bessemer Corp. (see Cooper Street) of Mount Vernon, Ohio. It was a company that built heavy diesel and natural gas engines, and compressors. It was able to absorb a fraction of the newly unemployed CNR workers, but overall it was a serious gut-punch for the the city. About two decades later, Cooper-Bessemer moved its Stratford operation back to Ohio, and the huge shops building has since become a victim of demolition by neglect, a vacant, controversial centrepiece in the city's downtown.

* This short overview fails to do justice to Stratford's railway story. There are, however, two excellent sources from which to learn more about its fascinating history.

1:  TVO Video: Grand Trunk: A City Built on Steam

2: Dean Robinson's  comprehensive book, Railway Stratford Revisited

2023.  Plans are beginning for the refurbishing of the Grand Trunk Railway shops. Former mayor, Dan Matheson, has been named chair of the Grand Trunk renewal committee. The site includes the potential for a new YMCA, an expansion of the University of Waterloo, and possible affordable housing and accommodation for seniors on this almost 20 acre site in the heart of downtown Stratford. Source: Stratford Times, August 8, 2023.

The Perth Brewery

The Perth Brewery was active in Stratford for more than 60 years, until it was sold to Canada Breweries in 1949 and closed. Felix Devlin and Thomas Steele took over the brewery in 1887 when they rented the white-brick building at 235 St. Patrick St.

The structure was built by William Russell in 1874, and he operated the brewery until he sold out to Henry Sheard in about 1880. The drawing below dates to about 1882.

Sheard rented to Devlin and Steele in 1887 and, though there had been another brewery in Stratford elsewhere, Devlin's was the last to operate. He bought the property from Sheard in about 1903, when he bought out Steel's interest in the brewery.

Collector's items

The D. Devlin's Perth Ale and Porter were superior to any other beers in the area, and they were widely distributed throughout the county. At the time, the brewery occupied the whole end of the block bounded by Church Street, St. Patrick and Birmingham streets. The Devlin family lived for many years in a tall white-brick house at the top of Birmingham Street hill. They later lived at 432 Erie St. where Felix Devlin Jr. operated a grocery store.  By Stanford Dingman

Beacon Herald scrapbook

James Sharman, pioneer

In the 1851 census, John and Isabella (Gibb) Sharman had five children, all boys, living with them. They also employed a servant. Of the boys, Joseph, the oldest, John Jr. and James, only James, the third son, would follow in his father’s footsteps. John branched out from blacksmithing. He had established The Stratford Foundry, manufactured agricultural implements, and built a hotel, The Farmer’s Inn, at the corner of Huron and St. George (Mornington) streets. According to the 1861 census, his five sons were still living at home. John was also employed as the Crown Lands agent for property outside of town limits. His office was on Mill Street, but the family lived on Avon Street.


By the time the 1871 census was taken, there had been many changes in the Sharman family. Joseph was proprietor of the Stratford Foundry and Agricultural Works, and John Jr. was his foreman. The foundry was at the corner Birmingham and St. Patrick streets.

234  St. Patrick Street

James was a machinist at the foundry. He had married Mary Dean in 1868, and a year later the couple moved into a new house at 234 St. Patrick St. In September 1870, their first child was born, a son, Frank Dean Sharman. The couple eventually had four more children: Mary, Mabel, Hattie and Emma.

 Joseph continued to operate the Stratford Foundry, but he became increasingly interested in farming, cattle breeding in particular. He sent his son to England to select Hereford stock. Soon "Joseph Sharman and Son" were among the main Hereford breeders in Canada. The Sharman farm was off Britannia Street, where it eventually became the Stratford agricultural grounds. In 1885, Joseph and his family moved to Manitoba, where two of his brothers had relocated. James took over the foundry and agricultural works in 1880 where, by then, the Sharmans were manufacturing mowers, reapers and threshing machines.


Also by this time, the family had moved to Birmingham Street near Daly Terrace (later to become Daly Avenue). Their daughter Mabel was a teacher in the Shakespeare Ward school. She and Hattie were still living at home. Mary and Emma had married and left home. When his father died in 1883, his mother, Isabella, also began living with them. Frank had moved to London, where he worked for the post office.


For five years, James ran the foundry business. Also civic minded, he was a member of city council in 1888. and a trustee on the school board in the formative years of Central Collegiate. In 1885 he was forced to step down as manager of the foundry when he lost part of his right arm in an accident.


He also retired from city council and was soon appointed to the vacant position of city assessor. He remained in this post until he retired in 1912. James Sharman died in 1925 and is buried in Avondale Cemetery beside other family members. Source: Historical Plaques  

See James' father: Sharman Street  See James brother: Hibernia Street

The Kalbfleisch brothers, car dealers

George Kalbfleisch Stratford-Perth Archives

Henry Kalbfleisch  Stratford-Perth Archives

Photo 1.  1894. Kalbfleisch Brothers Machine and Bicycle Shop

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4 Vince Gratton: original from Henry Kalbfleisch 

The Kalbfleisch brothers, car dealers

In 1894, Henry George Kalbfleisch and his brother George Henry Kalbfleisch opened a machine shop at the corner of Erie and St. Patrick streets. In addition to the work usually expected from a machine shop, they moved into manufacturing Emperor Bicycles. By 1908, automobiles were starting to make their mark, so they took on a Ford dealership, and became one of the early pioneers in the automotive business. Also in 1908, they took over a planing mill at 108 Milton St. The automotive business was good, so they expanded again in 1911, and erected a new building, a portion of which still exists, and in 1916, they took over the Chrysler-Dodge dealership. 

Photo 1: Kalbfleisch Bros. machine and bicycle manufacturing shop in 1894. The first automobile ever sold in Stratford was by Kalbfleisch Bros., and was a Ford model sold to Dr. Fred J. R. Forster in 1908 for $800. Dr. Forster's home and office were 53 Waterloo St. S., between the YWCA and the Mutual Life building. 

Photo 2. Kalbfleisch Bros. garage in 1911, with the new building in use. 

Photo 3: This somewhat faded Beacon-Herald photo was loaned to the Beacon by Henry Kalbfleisch for Stratford's 150th anniversary. In it, is George Kalbfleisch, who founded the Kalbfleisch Bros. car dealership)in 1894. The occasion for this photo was the Stratford old boys reunion in August 1914, and George is at the wheel of the decorated automobile (make unidentified). The photo was taken in front of his house at 69 Cambria St. The car is decorated with asparagus fern, red geraniums, and periwinkle. This George Kalbfleisch died in 1950.

Photo 4: Fourth photo; Kalbfleisch Bros. sales dealership in 1929. This building was located at 168 St. Patrick Street across the street from the original site. This building occupied the the north east corner at Erie and St. Patrick. The third floor was the home of The Stratford Paper Box Company, owned and operated by T. G Whiteside (see article below) for more than 50 years beginning in 1913. 

  Source: Pictures and Text from Brian Wendy Reis.

Painting below, thanks to Rich Thistle   

Emil Kalbfleisch ( centre) poses with his bike  1902

Emil Kalbfleisch, inventor of a motor bicycle.

It was on August 209, 1902 that the Stratford Beacon printed the following article about the man in the center of the picture and Emil Kalbfleisch. The title of the article was a motor bicycle. Emile Kalbfleisch of Kalbfleisch Bros. has constructed a motorbike, which is giving him, and his friends, considerable sport. 

The contrivance is a rather novel, one being the only one of its kind in the city and is a tribute to his engineering genius with this wheel. It is possible to attain speeds up between 30 and 40 miles an hour. It is propelled by gasoline, and easy to manipulate. 

Emil was born in Strafford in 1881 the son of Henry and Marie he received his early education in the city, and then trained as a draftsman before leaving Stratford for Chicago, where he was employed at the Aeromotor Company. Here he received valuable training as a mechanical  Working as a tool maker, and doing experimental work. In 1900 he moved to Detroit to work as a draftsman for the Northway motor company on returning to Stratford.

Emil was born in Strafford in 1881 the son of Henry and Marie he received his early education in the city, and then trained as a draftsman before leaving Stratford for Chicago, where he was employed at the Aeromotor Company. Here he received valuable training as a mechanical  Working as a tool maker, and doing experimental work. In 1900 he moved to Detroit to work as a draftsman for the Northway motor company on returning to Stratford.

He opened a bicycle shop in partnership with his two brothers, Henry and George.  The later formed the firm of Kalbfleisch Bros.and operated an automobile sales and service later taking over Stratford planing and lumber mill as well . He became president of the company and manager of the planning mill.  As a skilled mechanic himself he was able to attract and retain good workmen, and was said that a job turned out by the  Kalbfleisch planning mill was a job  well done.

 Emil was also an active member of the community. He played a major role in the formation of Stratford figure skating club and was a valuable member of our Stratford Rotary club serving as Director and committee worker  He supervised the construction work of Kitchigami camp, the rotary club summer camp for children on Lake Huron, and for many years was responsible for the erection of the booths for the Halloween frolic, the organization's major fundraisers.

 In 1917 he married all of Olive Whealy and they had two children and a daughter, Marian, and son Karl. Emile died in 1954 at his residence at 234 Water St.  Source: Kate Jacob, Stratford-Perth Archives

Grayson Mills restored interior of Kalbfleisch Brothers looking out on Erie Street.

Additional interior photos can be found here.  Events - Grayson Mills Wedding & Events 

Grayson Mills in Historic Kalbfleisch Brothers site 

Grayson Mills is a historically restored event centre situated in the former Kalbfleisch Brothers Garage and Car Dealership on the north east corner of  Erie and St. Patrick Streets. The actual address is 114 Erie Street.

The restoration was completed in 2023 by the new owners Wendy and Shawn Benneweis. During the renovations, Benneweis noticed unique markings on the metal beams lining the ceilings. They were prices of car parts and tires including that of a Ford bumper for 35 cents.

Beams and flooring as seen in the photo above are original. The main floor can seat 180 and the original garage bay doors in the photo can be opened to enjoy summer breezes. The second story used originally for storage now offers a full upstairs event space and balcony.  Even before the Kalbfleisch Brothers used and then owned the building, the site had an earlier history.

Built on June 18th of 1884, the owner of this historical Stratford build was J Grayson Smith, a local lawyer. On June 28 of 1887, ownership was transferred to George A Mills who was a cab driver wielding a horse drawn carriage as mode of transportation. On September 29th of 1905, Martha Mills took ownership and within a few years, in 1907, the building was sold again to Henry and George Kalbfleisch who had been using the space for their bicycle business which they started in 1899. In 1908 the brothers transitioned to be the first business in Stratford to sell automobiles and did so for many years until it’s closure in 2006.

This building is steeped in local history from horse-drawn cabs, to bicycles and finally automobiles Grayson Mills represents movement and evolution. Moving from one destination to the next, change, growth and long-lasting familial connections build the unique story of these walls – what an amazing space to celebrate life, ingenuity, and the exciting chapter of marriage. Sources: Grayson Mills website:   Events - Grayson Mills Wedding & Events; Stratford Times, September 8, 2023  

The Stratford Paper Box Co. at 168 St Patrick for 50 plus years.

Thomas George Whiteside , proprietor of the Stratford Paper Box Co., had one of the longest records in business management in Stratford. He founded his company in 1913 and operated it continuously for 50 years at the same address, 168 St. Patrick St.  Born in 1883 in Seaforth, Ont., he came to Stratford in December 1912 and opened the business largely at the request of local manufacturers. His products were shipped throughout Perth County and beyond. He made set-up boxes rather than folding boxes as used in bakeshops. He shipped boxes for companies such as Ballantyne Knit, Bentro, Avon Knit, Stratford Brass, Olin Brown Candies and Greb Shoes.


The St. Patrick Street building which housed his factory, was owned by the Kalbfleisch brothers. They used its first floor for a new-car showroom and sales centre. Whiteside's box operation was on the third floor with the entrance off St. Patrick Street, seen in the adjacent picture with the sign over the doorway. Photo from Henry Kalbfleisch


George Whiteside was known to be a man of integrity and honour. He paid all debts, including those incurred during the Great Depression, rather than declare bankruptcy. He gave houses he owned to people renting them in the Depression, hoping they might be able to keep them. He also kept people employed in his business at that time, at expense to himself.


In 1912, he married Leila Selina Size (1881-1969), who was born in Vaughan, Ont., and they  had three children. His daughter Audrey (see Audrey Conroy Water Street), was a music teacher in Stratford. His older son, George, worked for the Department of National Defence in Ottawa. His younger son, Jack, worked with his dad in the box business after his stint with the Army in the Second World War. T. G. Whiteside retired in 1963; he died in 1967.  Source: Stratford-Perth Archives and Gordon Conroy (grandson of T. G. Whiteside).

168 Patrick St.

Thomas G. Whiteside and Leila (Selina) Size.  Photo from Gord Conroy

Mansion House hotel 1928

The Parlour,  2022

The Mansion House

This familiar landmark has stood since 1871  at 132 St. Patrick St.  Built by Charles Browning, it was known briefly as Balmoral. The hotel was a popular resting stop with 36 rooms, meals, refreshments, and horse stables across the road. It was a favourite watering hole after a day of market commerce for local farmers. This most durable hostelry out-survived more than 35 competing establishments at a time when the population was only 6,000.

In 1876 the name was changed to the Mansion House, and for more than a century it transformed to suit the needs of it patrons and the liquor laws of the time.

Today, with ongoing upgrades, it is well into its second century and one of the few remaining establishments that can claim such an enduring history. It is now the Parlour Historic Inn and Suites.  Source Postcard from our past: Beacon Herald

The YMCA Built 1898 on Market Place.  Photo Nancy Musselman


The YMCA has a long and distinguished history in Stratford and was located in different spots before it settled at 204 Downie St., its current location, which is familiar to most. 

In 1867, the year of Confederation, Stratford had its own YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), at  whose members met in the Temperance Hall at the corner of Erie and Ontario streets. There were Bible classes and prayer meetings on Sundays and concerts, debates and lectures on week nights. Dean Robinson in his book Y Stratford: A History 1858-1991 is the source for this information and for what follows. Robinson says there is evidence that a YMCA group started in Stratford as early as 1858.

In fact, the YMCA had several beginnings over the years. There was great interest at each beginning but sustaining that interest and ongoing membership was a problem. (See YMCA Feature Article for details)

By 1895, the YMCA members were meeting and operating out of a series of rooms on the north side of Ontario Street where it meets Huron Street. In 1897, they were told their lease would not be renewed. That news kickstarted the YMCA  to buy property, arrange of a mortgage for $3,500, launch a successful donor campaign to lessen its debt, and the erect a new YMCA building on Market Place immediately west of the Herald newspaper offices in 1897-1898.

George McLagan, a young cabinetmaker, played a key role in all of that. An avid sports enthusiast, a strong Baptist, and soon to be a prominent furniture designer and manufacturer, he serve on the YMCA board for 22 years. He also played a major role with the city's parks board. (See McLagan Drive).


The purpose of the YMCA organization, as articulated in 1889, was to “elevate young men mentally, morally and physically.”

On March 3, 1898 the new YMCA building, at 25 Market Pl., officially opened. In the basement, there was a gym and viewing gallery, showers and washroom. On the main floor were offices, a parlour, games room and a large reading room at the rear with a spacious hall where members could park their bicycles. The top floor featured a large classroom and an assembly room that could seat 300.  

In that same month of March, the Grand Trunk Railway in Stratford became affiliated with the YMCA. The new organization was called the Young Men’s Christian Association of Stratford, Railway and Local. With that agreement and name change, the GTR gave the organization a donation of $150 annually, as well as $25 a month for upkeep of the new building. In 1901, the GTR also made available some land for a lacrosse field and additional track and field activities.

Membership expanded, the budget increased, staff was hired, new gym programs added, and a four-team basketball league formed. That league idea quickly became popular with other sports. Church services were held, in addition to weekly Bible classes. Just three years after the Market Place YMCA opened, came the realization that larger quarters were needed.

Again, the GTR stepped up. It donated land on the southwest corner of the Downie and St. Patrick streets intersection for the building of a new Y. Architects R. Thomas Orr (See Veterans Drive and Cobourg Street) and James Russell (see Shrewsbury Street) designed the building, and John Lant Youngs (see Youngs Street), who had constructed the city hall, was given the YMCA contract and an expense limit of $20,000. The new building featured a swim tank in the basement, whose expense was covered by a $1,000 donation from a philanthropist William Battershall. (See Battershall Crescent).

George McLagan presided over the afternoon proceedings when the new Y was officially opened and dedicated on Sept. 23, 1904. YMCA president H. S. (Tinny) Robertson hosted the evening program. The building they celebrated on this day served for 63 years. It was 120 feet long, 55 feet deep, finished in red-pressed brick, and topped with a slate roof. The final cost was $25,500, $5,500 over budget.

YMCA building at the corner of Downie and St. Patrick streets, built in 1904. Photo courtesy of YMCA.

Despite behind-the-scenes financial issues, the building became the social and physical hub of the city. It hosted dances, receptions and lots of sports, all amateur, with “no taint of professionalism,” as Robinson noted. The gymnasium measured 40 feet by 60 feet. The basement pool, sometimes referred to as a plunge bath, was 33 feet by 16 feet, seven feet deep at one end, four feet deep at the other. Water for the pool was steam-heated by same the powerhouse that energized the adjacent railway shops. Boys did not wear swimsuits; girls visiting from the YWCA at Waterloo and Cobourg streets did. The YWCA did not have a pool.

The YMCA has long been well-supported by the Rotary Club of Stratford. The club sponsored summer camps for children in the Y programs, first near Thamesford beginning in 1920, then on Lake Huron between Bayfield and Goderich beginning in 1925. The latter was camp called Kitchigami. It was on a seven-and-a-half-acre site that the club bought for $500. 

The camp flourished for both boys and girls for more than 35 years until it closed in 1963 , and the property was sold. By this time, there were too many competing interests for the Kitchigami camps to be successful.

By the mid-1960s, the railway connection was also a memory, and because the city could not afford two buildings, the YMCA and YWCA formally amalgamated in 1965. Demolition of the first Downie Street Y took place in 1967, and a new modern structure was built on the same site.

The aim of the new YW-YMCA was “the promotion, development and improvement of the spiritual, intellectual, social and physical condition of men, women, boys and girls." The million-dollar building campaign under the leadership of Allan Knight was successful, but even then not everything could be done at once.

New YM-YWCA in 1968  Beacon Herald photo

When it came time to choose between a gymnasium and a swimming pool, the committee chose pool. But there was still the small gym at the old YWCA building on Waterloo Street.  So, that is where gym and sports activities were centred, though church halls and schools also played a role.  

The early 1970s were difficult times for the Stratford Y, times of low revenue and high operating costs. To reduce the latter, the directors in the fall of 1970 listed the YWCA building for sale and decided to shut it down as of March 31, 1971. Details of its history can be found in the YWCA Featured Article also based on materials and photos from Dean Robinson's book  Y Stratford.

Despite the financial problems of the early 1970s, additional facilities in the new YM-YWCA were needed. Oliver Gaffney (See Queen Street) chaired the building fund committee to add a gym, handball and squash courts and a physical fitness area. The target was $500,000 including $76,000 to wipe out the existing capital debt. By October 1974, the amount raised was $504,405.

In 1976, construction began, and by February 1977 the new gymnasium, some additions and renovations were opened and dedicated with some 300 in attendance. The jogging track, suspended on the wall above the gym floor was opened a week later, and in March 1977, the handball-racquetball court was opened. Cooper-Bessemer, which had taken over the CNR land and shops, donated land for that court and more parking, valued at $21,500. Overall, it had been a $700,000 project.

In the 1970s, the Y involved itself with the ministry of correctional service through TAP (the Temporary Absence Program), which provided free use of the Y facilities for inmates of the city jail who had fewer than three months remaining on non-violent sentences. They dressed in street clothes, visited the Y in lightly-used hours, and were accompanied by a guard. 

In the 1980s, most of the growth was positive. One of the three racquetball courts was converted, and squash became the Y’s newest sport. The Y membership numbered 2,400.

In 1979, the Stratford Y Foundation was incorporated to ease the monetary problems that had long played havoc with the Y's operation funds. 

In 2020, the CBC reported that the YMCAs of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo, the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph, and YMCA of Stratford-Perth officially joined in what came to be called  the YMCA of Three Rivers.

At the culmination of a 37-year career with the Y, Mimi Price, chief executive officer of the YMCA of Stratford-Perth, said, "It's exciting that as I'm transitioning into my retirement, the YMCA of Stratford-Perth is also transitioning into a new phase, one that will afford increased relevance and impact in our community."  

Special thanks to Dean Robinson for his Y Stratford book. The research, writing and photos used in this article and in the Featured Article can be found with much additional information in Robinson’s book.

New Y Plans  in 2023. Former mayor, Dan Matheson, has been appointed chair of the Grand Trunk Renewal Committee. The Y is expected to be a key part of the site of the shops. Source Stratford Times August 8, 2023. 

Stratford Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 8  Photo Bill Chan 

Stratford Royal Canadian Legion,  Branch 8

The Stratford branch of the Royal Canadian Legion received its charter on Oct. 13, 1926, one of the earliest such legions formed in Canada. Maj. James Cardwell Makins was its first president. On April 10, 1927, the ladies auxiliary was formed.

From its beginning, the Legion was a centre and a meeting place, and offered support for veterans, their families and friends. 

When the First World War ended, there came to be more than 15 veterans groups and regimental associations representing former service members. But despite their shared goals, many of their efforts were fragmented and unsuccessful.

An appeal for unity led to the formation of the Dominion Veterans Alliance and, in Winnipeg in 1925, the Legion was founded as The Canadian Legion of the British Empire Service League. It was incorporated by a special act of Parliament and a charter issued. 

In Stratford, the dominant servicemen's association after the First World War was the Great War Veterans Association, which met in the Worth Block at 42 Wellington St. But it had a mere 35 members and was near the end of its resources when, under Maj. Makins, the new legion organization started to grow in membership. It was so successful that larger quarters were needed. Enter the Scholz house. 

The Scholz House (see below), on the southeast corner of  Church and St. Patrick streets, was available but at $7,500 the price was prohibitive. Eventually, with a special concession and the proviso that the building be named the Loghrin Memorial Home, the price was dropped to $4,500. That figure was approved at a general meeting of the legion. 

The legion's new home was named after Maj. Samuel Monteith Loghrin, who was killed in the Battle of the Somme on Sept. 15, 1916. He had been married to Jessie Scholz, who had predeceased him in 1914, and they had lived in the house at 207 St. Patrick St. for several years before her death. Prior to enlisting, he had been in the tannery business with Jessie's father, John Scholz. At the time of the major's death, the Stratford Beacon described him as follows:

"At the time of enlisting, Maj. Loghrin was a member of city council and his aldermanic duties were  performed in the same clear-sighted devotion to the city's interests as he showed in his own successful career in the tannery business. The late Maj. Loghrin was highly valued as a businessman and as a public-spirited citizen. His frankness and straightforward principles won him an honoured place among his friends. His last civic duties were in connection with the insuring of the soldiers who had up to then enlisted for overseas, and in providing for their dependents. This was a labour of love for then Ald. Loghrin." 

Renovations to the newly purchased building began at once, and through the enthusiastic efforts of the branch members, the $3,000 needed to complete the project was raised before the job was completed. The Loghrin home was opened officially on May 24, 1930. 

With the interior renovations complete, the membership turned its attention to the land at the rear of the Loghrin property, which was a wilderness of rusty tin cans and garbage. On July 27, 1932, the Beacon-Herald described the result of their efforts: "Transformed by hard labour of many willing hands to a sunken garden ( see below), it is a visible tribute to the men who conceived the plan and carried it out. The work involved the removal of tons of earth, the transporting of countless rocks to form a rockery and the planting of hundreds of shrubs and flowering plants. The garden was, and still is, in the special care and joy of our old friend, Teddy Gasson. As a crowning feature, a splendid fountain was erected in the centre of the garden and presented to the legion by comrade Jack Tomsett who, for this particular work and more of like nature, was also honoured by the branch with a life membership."  

In 1950, when an addition was built to the rear of the original house, the sunken garden was removed. However, the bowling alley in the basement remained. There are many young people who remember being pin boys at the legion. 

Branch 8 of the legion, 207 St. Patrick St., formerly the Scholz house Photo: Dale Bast, branch president 2022.

Sunken garden completed in 1932 at the rear of the legion, 207 St. Patrick. Photo courtesy of Dale Bast, branch president 2022

On Dec. 19, 1960, Queen Elizabeth II gave her consent to use the prefix "Royal," and the organization became known as the Royal Canadian Legion. The act of incorporation was amended in 1961 to make the change official.

Initially, the legion’s main objective was to provide a strong voice for First World War veterans. The advent of the Second World War created a host of new demands, and the legion responded by offering more dedicated support to veterans, as well as to those serving abroad.

New Facility. In 2018, the legion sold the St. Patrick Street building, mostly because of its  growing maintenance costs. They branch moved to a newly renovated, one-floor location with lots of windows, at 804 Ontario St. (Unit 1).   

The Legion continues to improve the lives of veterans, including those in Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and their families. Membership in the Royal Canadian Legion, originally restricted to ex-service members of Canada's Armed Forces and Merchant Navy, is now open to members of the general public.  

Sources: Kate Jacob, "Scholz house became home to Canadian Legion," Reflections, Stratford-Perth Archives; Our history - The Royal Canadian Legion; Royal Canadian Legion - Wikipedia; Royal Canadian Legion | The Canadian Encyclopedia 

Maj. Sam Loghrin (1876-1916)

Maj. Samuel (Sam) Monteith Loghrin

Maj. Sam Loghrin (1876-1916) lived and worked in Stratford before enlisting to serve in the First World War. He was two when his father, Alexander, died after which his mother moved back to her native Stratford.   

Sam Loghrin was an alderman in Stratford in 1914, and worked in the Scholz Tannery with his future father-in -law. In 1899, he had married Jessie Wilkins Scholtz. They had two sons, Sam (1905-1952) and Radcliffe (1908-1993) but Jessie died in childbirth in 1914. When their father went overseas, and after he died in the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the boys were raised by Maj. Loghrin's brother-in-law, A. J. Radcliffe, principal of the London Normal School. 

Sam Loghrin trained at the Ontario Agricultural College and graduated in 1896. In 1897, he completed a three-month course at the London Infantry School. There, he scored 67 of a possible 70 points. The 1st Lieut. of Co. 6, in the 28th Battalion, Stratford, acquired a reputation as a crack shot, and it was suggested he " may be looked upon as a future member of our Bisley team.” That was a reference to the prestigious, annual British Defence Operational Shooting Competition in Bisley, England.

Loghrin was a captain in the Perth Infantry when he enlisted with the 18th Regiment. He signed his attestation paper just a month after Jessie’s death. During his service, he wrote letters to his relatives. Maj. Samuel Loghrin and his half-brother, Cpl. Donald Jeffrey, were killed on the same day at Courcelette, France in 1916.  

The Scholz house at 207 St. Patrick St. was the Loghrin family home before it became the home for the Stratford legion branch in 1930. The purchase agreement stipulated the house be named for Maj. Loghrin. (See Legion article above) 

Sam's wartime letters to family can be seen here:  Sam's wartime letters (  Additional Sources: MSamuel Monteith Loghrin - The Canadian Virtual War Memorial;  Veterans Affairs Canada and Samuel Monteith Loghrin (1876-1916) - Find a Grave Memorial Samuel Monteith Loghrin (1876-1916)

Maj. Sam Loghrin and sons, Samuel (1905-1952), left; and Radcliffe (1908-1993). Photo, about 1912.   Samuel's birth name was changed from Fritz to Sam.

Maj. Samuel Monteith Loghrin (left) with Donald Monteith Jeffrey (1894-1916) in Belgium in about 1915. Don Jeffrey was Sam's half-brother. He lived and worked in Stratford before the war. 

The garbage department

It was a few years after the war before the city was able to motorize all their trucks, as suggested by this 1949 Beacon-Herald photo. Dinny was the last horse from the garbage department to be put out to pasture. As kids, we knew all those horses by name. The driver here is Bill Emm Sr. At the time of the photo, the works department buildings (in the background) were still at 54 St. Patrick St. The  tall stack was atop the incinerator in which some of the city's garbage was burned. That stack was likely less than 700 feet from the 175-foot smokestack on the powerhouse, across the road on the CNR grounds. They were a pair of impressive landmarks in the city's core.

When the city toppled the incinerator stack, it made memorable "thump" when it hit the ground. Source: As told by Brian Wendy Reis . . . FB

Bill Emm Jr. was a private in the Second World War, 1939 to 1945.

Personal note: The incinerator was in what is now the parking lot behind the police station. The horses had to climb up a steep ramp to dump their load. I can remember the smell to this day.  Paul Wilker

UW campus at 125 St. Patrick St., 2018.  

University of Waterloo and digital arts 

The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business is a satellite campus of the University of Waterloo.

The campus, at 125 St. Patrick St., was established in June 2009, as part of the UW's faculty of arts, to provide programs that focus on digital media, interaction design, digital technologies, content creation and user experience within a business context.

Many players were involved to bring this campus to Stratford. In 2006, the city council authorized Mayor Dan Mathieson to sign a memorandum of agreement with the Stratford Festival and the University of Waterloo to explore the possibility of having a liberal arts college in Stratford. The Province of Ontario granted $10 million to the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus on March 26, 2008. On the following day, Waterloo-based enterprise software company OpenText announced it had committed $10 million to the project.  In January 2009, the federal government announced it was pledging $10.7 million over five years for the Corridor for Advancing Canadian Digital Media.

The official opening of the campus was on Sept. 20, 2010, at its temporary location, 6 Wellington St. The first class for the one-year, professional, interdisciplinary Master of Digital Experience Innovation (MDEI) program, began at the temporary campus in the following year. On July 1, 2018, the Stratford campus became the UW Faculty of Arts' newest school, with its new name: "Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business." The building is a three-storey, 42,000 square-foot space that features digital media labs, user research labs, sound suites, app development, web development, video production and photography in project rooms, open-concept collaboration spaces.

6  Wellington St., location of UW's first Stratford campus

A notable feature in the centre of the School of Interaction Design is its Christie MicroTiles wall. the tallest display of its kind in the world. It is three-storeys high, with 150 LED tiles that can reproduce 115 per cent of the NTSC colour gamut, exceeding typical LCD flat panels by more than 50 per cent. The wall is used to showcase student content, highlight creative accomplishments and provide an open-source canvas for digital media research.

The University of Waterloo Stratford School's Christie MicroTile wall was judged the best entry in the education and healthcare category for the 2013 Apex Awards. Source: University of Waterloo Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business  

Arthur Green

Arthur Green, artist

In 1976, Arhtur Green came to Stratford to teach at the University of Waterloo. While at UW, he served two terms as Chair of the Fine Arts Department; 1988–1991 and 2000–2002.  

Arthur Green  is one of the original Hairy Who members from Chicago, a group of students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who exhibited together in the 1960s and 1970s, and turned to representational art with a slight surrealist touch . 

Green's painting style mixes pop-art motifs with surrealist tendencies, creating a contained tension between order and chaos, rationalism and irrationalism. His upbringing in Chicago and area surely influenced him, from the accessibility to masterpieces at the Art Institute of Chicago to the grand architecture of Louis Sullivan. However, he was also influenced by the advertisements from the 1940s and 1950s that oozed with undertones of sexuality. His paintings draw from American popular imagery, but complicate them, often using the full spectrum of vibrant colors and combining trompe l'oeil effects to play with the viewer's sense of balance.

Art Green was a member of the University of Waterloo's faculty for more than 30 years. He was a recipient of a distinguished teacher award in 1990. He retired in 2006.