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A Walkerville Snapshot: 1913

Editor's Note: This text is reprinted from "Walkerville, 1913- including Windsor, Ford, Sandwich and Ojibway- an authentic compilation embracing in word and pictorial representation the growth and expansion of these municipalities," published by The Evening Record  (The Record Printing Co.), Windsor, Ontario, and compiled by H.W. Gardner.

riverpark.jpgMarked by rapid manufacturing,mercantile and residential development and coupled with a coherent conception of its further possibilities, Walkerville truly approaches the stimulating standards of a model town.

In fact, the town is unique in its brief history. It did not pass through an uncouth and primitive childhood such as did its sister municipalities, but may be said to have sprung into being fully formed and comely.

In its development, Walkerville has exhibited the rapidity of the gourd while acquiring the sturdy and substantial qualities of the oak. In 1890, it sought and obtained a special Act to confer on it the rank of a town in the full confidence that it soon would grow up to that stature.

Its founders, the Messrs. Hiram Walker & Sons, had certain well-defined ideals, and from the first council elected to the present, successive bodies of representatives have been imbued with the spirit of progress that was instilled in the founders, whose conceptions have been faithfully worked out.

boatclub.jpgWalkerville, because of its generous encouragement of industrial settlement and civic adornment, is not only for its size and age the busiest, but probably the most attractive and orderly town in the whole Dominion.

Walkerville early realized the value of pavements and other public improvements. While neighbouring places were floundering in the mud, the youthful but ambitious Walkerville was in the enjoyment of advanced civic conditions, with its cool boulevards, well-kept pavements, adequate sewers, street lighting, gas, waterworks, and all the other comforts that pertains to metropolitan existence.

And rather strange to say, one of the chief inducements of locating in Walkerville, either for residential or manufacturing purposes, is the uncommonly low {tax}rate. Added to this are the liberal encouragements given by the Messrs. Walker to the establishment of manufacturing concerns and the splendid shipping facilities. The town is situated on the Detroit River, the busiest waterway on the continent, if not the world.

The town is traversed by the Pere Marquette (formerly L.E.E. & D. R.R.), Grand Trunk and Wabash Railroads, while the recently constructed Essex Terminal Railway brings it into touch with the Michigan Central and C.P.R. Railroads. Thus, Walkerville is really in close touch with six railway lines.

parkedavis.jpgIn any mention of the chief manufacturing concern the distillery ranks first. Walkerville, in fact, owes its existence to the indomitable pluck of its founder, the late Mr. Hiram Walker, who, in the early days of his business career, encountered discouragements that would have dampened the ardour of most men. But although Mr. Walker in those strenuous days was, at times, short on the means to "lubricate" the wheels of his business, he was long on faith, which never was known to falter. The distillery, the second largest in the Dominion, stands as a monument to his phenomenal business qualities and superb courage and energy.

The first organized congregation in the town was that of St. Mary's, Anglican. There are also the Lincoln Road Methodist Church, the First Presbyterian Church and St. Anne's Catholic Church, the latter being opened on June 22, 1913.

Walkerville is, par excellence, a place of beautiful homes, and probably no town of its size in the Dominion will rank with it in this important respect.

First in order comes "Willistead," the home of Mr. E. Chandler Walker. With its sixteen acres of park this splendid residence in its architecture and surroundings reminds the travelled visitor of some of the fine old demesnes in the old land. This lies to the southwest of St. Mary's church and makes a part of that charming section of which the church may be regarded as the centre.

There are many other beautiful homes in the vicinity. In all respects Walkerville appeals to home lovers and the stranger within its gates because of unexcelled conditions conducive to comfort, pleasure and convenience.

countryclub.jpgIn similar fashion it appeals to manufacturers because of the exceptional advantages in location and transportation facilities.

An attractive spot in Walkerville is the Riverside Park, near the ferry dock, a favourite spot for young people during the summer months. It is one of the most popular and flourishing organizations that Walkerville people are identified with.

Social enjoyment is also found at the Walkerville Lawn Bowling Club, while the Walkerville Country Club is an attraction for tennis players and golf lovers.

In all particulars, Walkerville makes an appeal to the esthetic sense and also makes progress along utilitarian lines. The effect has been a settled conviction with the individual householder that civic adornment is of immeasurable value. He takes pride in the appearance of his home, more especially since the Messrs. Walker inaugurated their annual garden competition, which has been a gratifying success.

As a further aid for beautification there is the Walkerville Horticultural Society, which has assisted materially in the development of Walkerville as a rival of fruitful Lombardy and a town of constant delight.



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