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Baby House Saviour

I read with considerable interest the article in The Times web site re: the Francois Baby residence and wondered why there was no reference to the outstanding effort of Mr. Robert M. Fuller of Windsor to save this house when it was in very bad shape.

Mr. Fuller, a veteran of World War I and principal of Assumption Street School (now Begley) in Windsor, during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s worked diligently and continuously to bring the condition of the house to the attention of any and all interested in the restoration and saving of this piece of Windsor history.

It should be pointed out that no other individual contributed more in both time and effort to save this building than Bob Fuller. This can be confirmed by most students and all teachers in the public school system of the period from 1920 to 1940.

Other names of individuals really involved with the restoration of the Baby House were Mr. Thomas Snelham and Mr. Carlton (Tim) Healy, representing the board of directors of Hiram Walker Gooderham & Worts Limited, who passed cheques to cover the financing of the restoration to Mrs. Harmon Norton, wife of Preston (Pres) Norton of the Norton Palmer Hotel. Mrs Norton lived in the Baby House as a youngster.
Howard Watts

Ed: Thank you for pointing out this omission.


A Bright Idea

Each time there's been a mention of the Ambassador Bridge in The Times, I think of a photo of my dad, Bart Tucker, physically installing the "string of lighted pearls" on the bridge. I remember being so proud that my dad was to be associated with such an accomplishment in our local history.

Years before The Times managing editor Elaine Weeks and I became friends, our dads knew each other. Her dad, Bert Weeks, had the idea to light the bridge and my dad Bart (and Tucker Electric) did the job. Like we always say around here... "small town."

I'm sure both our fathers would be very proud of the work we've done together trying to document some of this local history in The Times.
Sherrill Tucker, Walkerville

Bart Tucker assembling wires for
Ambassador Bridge light bulbs, November 7, 1981.


I Pulled the Curtain

Recently my brother from Windsor dropped in to see us in Oshawa and brought along a copy of your February paper. I did not read it till the next day and found it was full of memories of past days.

I have submitted a few of my pictures via your contributor Al Roach, a former class mate at W.C.I., and hope a few of them have been published. I was surprised to see myself in two pictures Jack Creed supplied from Hugh Beaton School. A few years ago I donated this same Grade 5 class picture to the school in hopes they keep some historic things. I remember being in school patrol up on Tecumseh Road and Windermere. For the play picture, I pulled the curtain. Say hello to Jack Creed for me.

I also read the letter from Army Ellis who lived down the street on Windermere. I see he is in California now.

I left Walkerville in 1944 after graduating from W.C.I. and entered the services and graduated from UofT with a degree in pharmacy. I worked for Parke Davis Co. which started their manufacturing plant in Walkerville in 1990 at the corner of Walker Road and Riverside Drive.

I hope you will be interested in other pictures and history of Walkerville that I have including pictures of the Parke Davis plant before cars or trucks were on the road as well as a picture of an old street car with Walkerville on the roof.
Jack Willson, Oshawa


Anyone Remember Mr. Bastien?

I am looking for any information about my father. He was the first president of Local 494 of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Union in Windsor.

We grew up in Sandwich on Baby Street. My mother was a Durocher and had eleven children. Jules Robinet was a neighbour across the road from us. A wine maker by profession, he, like a lot of other people, suffered through the Great Depression of the thirties. If anyone has information on my dad, I would be very pleased if you could call me at 945-8579.
Jim Bastien, Windsor, ON

Ed: We don’t have info on your dad but do know a bit about Jules who emigrated from France in 1875 to Sandwich and was a businessman and municipal politician. In addition to his winery, he owned the Robinet brickyard in Sandwich. (See photo page 7)


Pie in the Sky

I have been reading The Times with great interest as I grew up on Moy Avenue. My grandmother and some of her offspring lived on Chilver (then Victoria Road) and I was able to visit her quite frequently. One of the attractions for a small lad was her semiautomatic toaster, which had drop-down sides and, as you used them, the toast turned over and was ready for burning on the other side. I’m afraid I overused this wonder every chance I got.

Every chance my Walkerville pals and I got, we would descend upon the back door of Bennet’s Pies on Ontario Street and ask if there were any ‘day-old’ pies. Almost always they were on sale for, would you believe, a nickel each. Although small, about four inches across, they retained superb flavour and were gratefully consumed on the top of a garage roof for some reason (more adventurous perhaps?).
Fred L. Bertram, Windsor


For the cover of our February 2002 issue, our graphic designer Chuck Rees created a stylized rendering of Windsorites John Jasperson and Ann White enjoying the New Year’s Eve dance at the Essex Golf and Country Club in 1951. They were married not long after the dance. Ann’s brother, George White, brought in a recent photo of John and Ann (right)


Cold Beer Anyone?

I live across the street from The Times in the old Chilver farm house in apt. #1. (By the way, some people say that this house is haunted.) I’ve lived here about four years with my girl Nancy.

I enjoy reading your magazine and I always like your stories about art. I have many tattoos and I get a lot of looks from people when I sit out on my front porch with my shirt off on a nice day with my music on enjoying a beer or a cold pop. I’m not a biker or a guy who tries to look mean with all these tattoos. It’s art and it’s just on my body.

I know this house and the one next door have a bad reputation for trouble at times but we are people just like everyone else. We don’t have much and our lives are not as easy as the people down the street, but we do all try to get along. I’m a bit of a joker at times. We are not all drug addicts, so I’ve been told. I am just glad to have a roof over my head.

I just wanted to say to people who live around us that next time you see us on the porch with our music on loud, instead of giving us a dirty look, maybe you could stop and talk to us. We might look scary, but we are still people.

I can’t speak for everyone but I like living here and I enjoy sitting on the porch on a sunny day. Who knows?
If someone stops by we might even offer a cold beer!
Mike Last, Walkerville


Not an Encyclopedia

I very much enjoyed the April 2002 issue of The Times’ First Annual Photo Issue. May I offer a couple of corrections?

Page 12: While Lansdowne may be on the Detroit shore behind the coal smoke, the ferry in the picture is Windsor – her name can be seen clearly in two places on her side. She, and her sister Manitowoc were essentially identical.

Incidentally, the white steamer on the Detroit side (left side of photo) is probably Put-in-Bay.

Page 23: HMY Britannia (not Britannica) is proceeding UP the river, not down. To add a sad note, Britannia has been paid off; the Queen no longer has a Royal Yacht. Congratulations, and very best wishes for the future.
A.B. Harris, Windsor

Ed: You’re the first alert reader to clarify the name of the Queen’s former yacht. I must have spent too many hours as a kid in Willistead Library pouring over Encyclopedia Britannicas for school projects and got the name stuck in my head.

Got something your mind? Drop us a line at 624 Chilver Rd. Windsor N8Y 2K2 or e.mail elaine@walkervilletimes.com

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