Family Nearly Auto Pioneers
dads family originally settled in the Amherstburg area around
1790 or 1800 and used a lot of the old French names, as that area
was primarily French in those days. My dad was given the name Theophile
Albemee Pillon although he was known in Walkerville only as
Phil or T.A. for obvious reasons. His father and grandfather were
blacksmiths and had a shop on the Pike Rd. not too far from what
is now Walker Rd. At one time dads father and uncle operated
a wagon works in conjunction with the blacksmith shop, making carriages
for the local gentry. Who knows? We might have been early automotive
pioneers except that the shop closed before 1900. There are pictures
in the Amherstburg historical museum of the Pillon Carriage Works.
To add to my letter (Issue 23) re: my dads Walkerville Fire
Department days, when my dad was in our house on Monmouth Rd., the
alarm system was set up so that it would ring in our house and Dad
would pull on his boots and gear and run to either Wyandotte or
Walker Rd. corner to jump onto the rig as it passed by. He explained
to me that the horse harnesses were suspended above the stalls and
were dropped on to the horses to save time. He was very proud of
his experience with the department and during the war years in Walkerville,
when we used to have air raid drills and blackouts and he acted
as block warden in charge of incendiary fire action.
Those were strange days!
Incidentally, my mother, who was a Drouillard, was a descendent
of an early French Canadian settler family who established the first
grain milling shop in the River Canard/LaSalle area. But that is
Ray Pillon, Mississauga
have just finished reading The Times and as usual enjoyed every
page. But there were a couple of errors. Virginia Bastedo of Brampton
was not right on several things. I quote She lived
on Askin Blvd in Sandwich. Askin Blvd is not and never was
in Sandwich. Also she says the hotel was in Sandwich wrong.
It was in Shore Acres.
Sandwich High School is not now J. L Hoirster Collegiate.
It is Forester High School. She also states that the two Bob-Lo
boats, the St. Claire and the Columbia, were also used as ferry
boats. Not true. The two ferry boats were the LaSalle and the Cadillac.
My grandfather, William Wear, worked for the ferry company and I
spent a lot of time down by the river watching the boats.
Nancy Carter, Windsor
The eastern boundary of Sandwich was approximately Josephine or
Bridge until 1935 when Sandwich was amalgamated with Windsor. The
Shore Acres Hotel, which once stood between Rankin and Bridge, was
therefore actually in the former town of Sandwich. Ditto for Askin.
1215 Chilver History
husband and I have subscribed to The Times for a year and thoroughly
enjoy every word. Having grown up in Old Walkerville and South Walkerville,
each publication brings back great memories.
answer to Barb (Reid) Margerms query in the April 2002 issue,
I have a little history about 1215 Chilver Road; I spent a lot of
time growing up there. My grandparents, Bertha Jane and Thomas McKenzie
Smith bought the house somewhere around 1926, or possibly when it
was built, and lived there until 1947 when they moved to Leamington.
the interior of the house has changed, I can still remember every
room in it. For a child there were lots of interesting places to
play and hide in. The attic covered the whole top of the house and
was a source of adventure and make believe for all of us, especially
with the trunks filled with old clothes from days gone by. Special
holidays and summer vacations were always spent with my grandparents.
Christmas was magical for the grandchildren because they made it
so. Lots of happy memories of time spent in that house.
had an occasion to meet some neighbours of friends of ours who live
in the 1100 block of Chilver last year and, lo and behold, they
used to live in my grandparents house until just a couple
of years ago.
memories are of the horse-drawn drays for the milkman, or going
to Bordens Dairies for ice cream with grandfather. This was
a nightly treat after dinner in the summertime before we went to
grandfather was the first skilled tradesperson to be employed by
Ford Motor Company as a pattern maker and the fifth person to be
employed by Ford. When I was born he was a plant superintendent
of one of the plants.
Sharon Hocevar, Windsor
Miss Windsor Unveiled
have just reviewed Issue #23 and found it delightful. I was pleased
to see on page 20 Joan Fitzpatrick as Miss Windsor who soon became
Miss Canada. She later moved on to Hollywood and acted in various
was a very close friend of hers, and went through school with her,
and of course had many good times together. My brother even dated
her for a while.
Lorraine Rebkowec, Windsor
Terry Beneteau also knew Joan and brought in a variety of newspaper
articles and autographed photos of Joan. From these we learned she
was a Walkerville resident, a stenographer in Detroit and worked
with Terry in the Windsor Income Tax Office in the 50s. She played
a secretary on the 1960s Dr. Kildare tv show. On the way to becoming
Miss Canada, she won Miss Western Ontario (see photo above). Joan
has good genes her mother, who died recently, was a runner-up
in the 1935 Miss Western Ontario contest. Joan is alive and well
and living somewhere in the U.S.
Fitzpatrick, Miss Western Ontario, 1956 (left)
#16 Joanne Verwey future log-rolling queen (right)
The Times = the Hope Diamond?
couple years ago, as a Christmas gift to my Aunt, my wife and I
paid for a subscription to your magazine. My aunt used to live in
the Walkerville area and I thought she might get a "kick"
out of reading it and reliving moments of her childhood. At that
time Aunt Helen lived in Hamilton. Well you'd think Id given
her the "Hope Diamond" as a gift. She was most appreciative.
next year for Christmas we renewed her subscription. Shortly into
her second year of receiving the magazine she moved to Victoria,
BC and was most anxious to ensure her beloved Walkerville Times
moved with her. A simple call to your office did the trick and she
now gets the hometown news in her new home. She tells me when The
Times arrives she drops whatever she's doing and pours over every
you for making this very special person in our lives happy.
Cary Wheeler, Windsor
Log Rolling Beauty Queen
girl holding #16 in the Beauty Queens photo on page 20, issue 23,
was my cousin, Joanne Verwey. She won the Miss Windsor title that
year (probably 1949), and went on to win Miss Western Ontario.
was about three years younger, and it all seemed so glamorous. Im
not sure how that led to exhibition log-rolling, but she became
proficient at this balancing act in years to follow.
Barbara Snyder, Windsor
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