Wyatt Street

Highly regarded manager

James Harold Wyatt 1902-1962

Ancrum Brae Hospital, 1914

Wyatt Street runs north from Maple Avenue to Graham Crescent and has a purely Stratford heritage . It was named in 1966 for James Harold Wyatt who retired in 1959 after 43 years of service with the Kroehler Mfg. Co. Ltd. at the corner of Ontario and Romeo streets.

A native of Stratford, Harold Wyatt was born in August 1902, a son of William and Marie (Borland) Wyatt. In 1917, in his mid teens, he began his career at Kroehler as an office boy. He gained experience by working in every department of the office and learned everything he could about the company.

In 1929, when the Kroehler plant was opened in Montreal, he was transferred there to become its manager. In 1930, following the death of Frank W. Trebell, general manager of the Stratford plant, Wyatt was returned to his hometown.

In 1931, he was appointed vice-president and general manager of all the Kroehler Canadian plants. He saw the Stratford plant grow from 30 employees in 1917, to 430 by the time of his retirement at the end of 1959.

A director of both the Canadian and U.S. partner company, he was also a chairman of the Canadian Furniture Manufacturers Association. He was a life member of the officers’ mess with the Perth Regiment and an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Legion. An avid supporter of Stratford sports teams, he was an honorary member of several of them. In 1959, he was commissioned as Honorary Lt.-Col. of the Perth Regiment. He died in 1962.

In 1938, Harold Wyatt bought Stratford’s largest and finest estate, the former Ancrum Brae Private Hospital at 45 James Street. The house was built by John Idington in 1873, who became a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. The 14-room home could be approached by a winding lane across the private bridge that spans Idington Creek.

In the house, the Wyatts had an upholstered bedroom chair that came from the movie set of Gone with the Wind.    By  Stanford Dingman

In the house, the Wyatts had an upholstered bedroom chair that came from the movie set of Gone with the Wind.    By  Stanford Dingman

Ancrum Brae Private Hospital (see William Street)  The Hislop sisters were born in a log cabin on the Downie Road south of Stratford. They bought the Italianate mansion in 1909, and con verted it into what they called a hospital but today might be considered more of a spa or retreat. It was probably named after Dr. Michael Ancrum, a late-1800s doctor, and "brae," Gaelic for a hillside or riverbank.  Source: Stratford: The Classic City Pamphlet – Jan. 1, 1913