founded this great community in 1858- what follows is a timeline
of his life in Walkerville.
Walker, of East Douglas, Massachusetts, purchases 468 acres of land
east of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, (pop: 1,000), across the river
from Detroit, Michigan . Walker, hoping to relocate his Detroit
whisky operation, liked the lax liquor laws and access to an expanding
Victorian British Empire.
investment of $40,000 built a flour mill, a distillery and a hog
farm opposite the bustling city of Detroit on lands thought to be
settled by the Ottawa Indians and the great chief Pontiac.
operation continues to expand and flourish; he announces that he
will "barrel" his whisky. In his day, distillers
sold their products in unmarked barrels, but Hiram Walker set a
precedent by putting his product in bottles that bore his name:
Walker's Club Whisky.
will make a fine whisky and we do not wish it to be confused with
inferior products. We will also brand each barrel, so that discriminating
patrons...can trust its quality."
only 12 years, Hiram Walker's becomes the biggest operation of its
kind in the new Confederation of Canada.
Walker provides amenities, lacking in many larger urban centres,
for the people of Walkerville , including street lights, well-paved
and drained streets, a water pumping station, running water, a police
force and a fire department- all at his expense.
twenty one years, Hiram Walker commuted from his home in Detroit
through Windsor to Walkerville. Tired of this often arduous and
time consuming journey, he leased the ferry Essex, built docking
facilities at the distillery and on his property at the foot of
Walker St. in Detroit. Thus began the Walkerville and Detroit Ferry
Company, which continued to operate until 1942.
U.S. distillers, fearing "Walker's Club" whisky's growing
popularity, petition Washington for legislation requiring imports
to designate their country of origin, hoping to limit Club's growth.
complies and "Canadian Club" is born.
whisky becomes more popular than ever, and is the first Canadian
brand to be marketed worldwide.
to build a model community, Hiram Walker strives to keep Walkerville
a separate entity and succeeds in incorporating it as a town, partly
to prevent amalgamation with Windsor. Walker seeks out the best
professional advice on architecture and planning available at the
employed almost the entire population of 600 souls in some capacity.
Workmen were offered a lease to a Walker cottage and if they declined,
they would likely be denied employment!
never sold the land or the company-built cottages. Consequently,
he was able to control the type of individual that would live in
is unparalleled as a Canadian community, due to its high standard
of urban design and the quality of architecture. The quality of
life inspires in its residents a sense of fierce loyalty and pride.
the best man in this town?
Hiram Walker, Hiram Walker.
What's the best brand in this town?
Old Club Whisky, Old Club Whisky.
Drinking Song in the 1880's)
Walker declares war on "frauds" who counterfeit his brand
of whisky. He warns the public with a series of daring advertisements
describing the crime and the list of offending brands. He publicizes
the fakers by name and invites them to file a libel suit to prove
he is wrong. "It is only the good things which are imitated"
says one sign.
a cost of $100,000, Hiram Walker erects a beautiful new main office
on the riverfront. Modelled after the Pandolfini Palace in Florence,
Italy, it was designed by Mason & Rice with interiors by Albert
Walker dies at the age of 84 .Canadian Club whisky, the brand he
built into a worldwide success and Walkerville, the town he built
into the pride of the Great Lakes remain as his legacy.
his lifetime, Walker reigned undisputed monarch of all under his
surveillance. If he cherished a railway, he would have it, if humanly
possible. As in his other endeavours, he would tolerate no interference
from other sources, but would accept nothing less than complete
control over the enterprise.
Walker's enterprises were so profitable, he was able to provide
capital for the development and growth of many other new firms,
including the Walkerville Wagon Works, which became the Ford Automotive
Plant, completely altering the business landscape of the 20th century.
The Hiram Walker Poster..click here
page: Hiram Walker Tales