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Thomas Driffill Business
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1871 Bradford Fire Account

An article about a highly destructive fire that swept through Holland Street, destroying multiple buildings, businesses and homes. The original article appeared in the May 22nd, 1871 edition of the Toronto Daily Telegraph and was reprinted in 1901 as part of the "Looking Backward" series.

Luanne Campbell Edwards

4 Holland Street West

The original building located at 4 Holland St. West (on the southwest corner of Holland and Simcoe Streets) was built in the 1840’s and was situated on land originally owned by James Drury. He was one of the early immigrants who reached Upper Canada. Drury rented the corner lot to Thomas Driffill (a blacksmith), who opened a hardware store at that location. The lot was later sold to Robert Cooke, who leased the property to Driffill for another 20 years. Thomas Driffill became the village of Bradford’s first reeve when it was incorporated in 1857. The great fire of 1871 destroyed all but the building’s foundation. It was rebuilt incorporating the intact, old vault and locally-made bricks. Thomas Driffill bought the building in 1885, eventually retired, and left the business to his sons, Joseph and James, who eventually sold it to Andrew Thompson, Driffill's partner. It became Thompson's Hardware. A series of different owners and different types of enterprises followed. William Barron bought the building in 1946 and relocated his hardware business to this site. He made several renovations, including adding a new stone façade, new plate glass windows, and an elevator to facilitate deliveries to the tinsmithing shop upstairs. He retired and left the business to his son Norman. The building later became a motorcycle shop, and eventually, for several years, the Winchester Arms Restaurant. (1, 2, 4, “Four Holland Street West: A Short History” by Lorraine Philip - Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library, Local History Collection).

George Jackson

Bradford 40 Years Ago

An 1903 reprint/summary of parts of the March 26th, 1863 edition of the South Simcoe Times. Printed by the Bradford Witness as part of the "Bradford 4_ Years Ago" series. It has significant information and parts from the mentioned edition.

Luanne Campbell Edwards

Driffill's Store ad

Advertisement of Driffill's Hardware, Book, Stationary, and Fancy Goods House.

South Simcoe Times

Thomas Driffill - hardware store

Advertisement for Thomas Driffill's hardware store. He began with a blacksmith's shop in December, 1831, and later moved on to hardwares.

Bradford Chronicle

William Jordan - Painter

Advertisement for William Jordan's house and sign painting services on Holland St.

Bradford Chronicle