Excerpt from “Walk O” in “St. Catharines A-Z” by Junius, originally published in the St. Catharines Journal on August 14th, 1856.
This week I am simply going to relay to you a prediction Junius had made about the future of St. Catharines and how it would look compared to how it looked to him in 1856. It is interesting to read and consider the accuracy of his statements. Happy reading!
“If we may be allowed here to make a prediction we look forward and down thro’ the long vista of time, and we prophecy that at no distant day our now infant lovely St. Catharines will yet encircle within its folds, arms, guardianship, and Corporation not only Port Dalhousie, Welland City and Thorold, but also the Ten Mile Creek, Merritville and Rykert Town, when the hoarse sound of the carpenter’s saw, the shrill ring of the smith’s hammer, the sharp click of the wood-workers axe; when the whizzing noise and deafening buzz of ten thousand spindles and looms; when the splashing sounds of hundreds of water wheels, properly and advantageously worked; when art and science combined, one and all, shall be busily employed on now Thorold’s mountaintop, Welland City’s Valley, Port Dalhousie’s banks, Ten Mile Creek’s ridge, and St. Catharines sandy soil; when this then vast, extended and populous city shall be a miniature workshop of the wide world;
when our now contracted, crooked Council, our crookeder shabby-looking streets, our present murdering side-walks, our now cypher water works, our treeless and shadeless avenues, our banks and brokers and our bridges and culverts, our Merritts and Ryerts, and our Ranneys and Bensons, our Mittlebergers and Adamses, our Chisholms and Boomers or Phelpses and Hayneses, our Hainers and Copelands, each, all and every one will then be considered as but the budlings and birdlings, the foundations and fragments of whose works will be for future father’s tales, who will recite them hereafter and amuse their children around their polished hearthstones. We opine we absent ourselves for thirty years when we fancy, on our return, being wheeled up before in the omnibus, and set down on the steps of the then St. Charles-like, St. Nicholas-looking Mineral Spring House, (now Stephenson House.) crowded with five thousand invalid guests, the halt, the lame, the blind, the palsied, the withered, the consumptive and the diseased, all eagerly awaiting their turn, and for the moving of those healing eaters! We fancy again, that we are taking a drive down Ontario Avenue, four miles long, shaded completely on either side with the mountain ash, or the branching elm to the beautiful Lake below, compactly built up, and returning pass up Geneva Avenue like beautified, shaded and built upon, drive Eastward, on St. Paul Street, passing Ulula Rural Cemetery, or Westwards on and over Jordan, (which is considered a hard road to travel) or Southwards through Thorold to Merrittville. We fancy then too that St. Catharines will be a second Manchester of England, or a second Lowell of the United States. So mote it be! so say we!! so say all!!!”