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38 Holland Street West - Collings Furniture & Undertaking

The structure located at 38 Holland St. West (on the southwest corner of Holland and Drury Streets) was built around 1900 in the Ontario Vernacular style. B.B. “Ben” Collings lived upstairs with his wife (a Waldruff), and children Bernice, Kathleen and Norman. Both daughters became school teachers and Norman (“Dodger”) was a professional hockey player who helped his father and later took over the business. Ben’s workshop was also located here and there was a horse stable at the rear of the property many years ago. The back end of the building was destroyed by fire in the 1920’s. Ben Collings was involved in several businesses. He was also known as an organizer and sports manager. At one time this building was the site of the Collings’ mattress factory. Ben also cut marsh hay and hauled it down the river on a scow. Sometimes the hay was stacked for winter baling. The horses wore four wooden boots and wouldn’t get off the scow until they were applied. Ben was a furniture maker and an undertaker. His first experience as an undertaker was with the body of his own father. He bought Jack Spence’s fishing business (including nets, reels, pulleys, ropes and the fish shanty at the mouth of the river on the east side opposite the 8th Line). His largest catch of fish was five tons of carp. He fished in the spring and fall and put nets under the ice in winter. Carp was caught (when in season) and had to be kept alive for the Jewish market. He employed about eight men all year round. Later he had old cars cut down to make tractors. Ben and another man broke (worked?) Col. Bar’s marsh land at the north end of Federal Farms Rd. (Bathurst Street). The Newmarket Canal started and died on this property.
The two-storey, commercial ‘row’ building has second floor offices (or living space), a wide, rectangular plan with symmetrical organization, and a flat, built-up, tar and gravel roof. The ‘Main Street’ frontage with a typical, storefront façade is located at the street line. The Drury Street façade on the north portion of the building (fronting Holland Street) has a more informal façade with openings placed as required to suit the building’s requirements. The Drury Street building has a plain, symmetrical façade and is dominated by a wide, segmented, arch entrance raised slightly above the sidewalk. A loading door to the rear portion of the Holland Street building has a segmented, arch opening and a concrete sill raised above street level. The existing doors and windows are not original. There are several window openings with segmented, arch openings and concrete lug sills. Several basement windows (all topped with segmented arches) have been fully, or partially, blocked in. This suggests that the building was built before the existing road or town services were installed. The building has masonry construction, brick cladding, and a parged, stone foundation. According to the 2000 inventory, this modest, commercial building is in good condition with some original details. (1, 2, 3)
Please contact the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library (905-775-3328) if you have any other information about this photo.

George Jackson

38 Holland Street West - Collings Furniture & Undertaking

The structure located at 38 Holland St. West (on the southwest corner of Holland and Drury Streets) was built around 1900 in the Ontario Vernacular style. B.B. “Ben” Collings lived upstairs with his wife (a Waldruff), and children Bernice, Kathleen and Norman. Both daughters became school teachers and Norman (“Dodger”) was a professional hockey player who helped his father and later took over the business. Ben’s workshop was also located here and there was a horse stable at the rear of the property many years ago. The back end of the building was destroyed by fire in the 1920’s. Ben Collings was involved in several businesses. He was also known as an organizer and sports manager. At one time this building was the site of the Collings’ mattress factory. Ben also cut marsh hay and hauled it down the river on a scow. Sometimes the hay was stacked for winter baling. The horses wore four wooden boots and wouldn’t get off the scow until they were applied. Ben was a furniture maker and an undertaker. His first experience as an undertaker was with the body of his own father. He bought Jack Spence’s fishing business (including nets, reels, pulleys, ropes and the fish shanty at the mouth of the river on the east side opposite the 8th Line). His largest catch of fish was five tons of carp. He fished in the spring and fall and put nets under the ice in winter. Carp was caught (when in season) and had to be kept alive for the Jewish market. He employed about eight men all year round. Later he had old cars cut down to make tractors. Ben and another man broke (worked?) Col. Bar’s marsh land at the north end of Federal Farms Rd. (Bathurst Street). The Newmarket Canal started and died on this property.
The two-storey, commercial ‘row’ building has second floor offices (or living space), a wide, rectangular plan with symmetrical organization, and a flat, built-up, tar and gravel roof. The ‘Main Street’ frontage with a typical, storefront façade is located at the street line. The Drury Street façade on the north portion of the building (fronting Holland Street) has a more informal façade with openings placed as required to suit the building’s requirements. The Drury Street building has a plain, symmetrical façade and is dominated by a wide, segmented, arch entrance raised slightly above the sidewalk. A loading door to the rear portion of the Holland Street building has a segmented, arch opening and a concrete sill raised above street level. The existing doors and windows are not original. There are several window openings with segmented, arch openings and concrete lug sills. Several basement windows (all topped with segmented arches) have been fully, or partially, blocked in. This suggests that the building was built before the existing road or town services were installed. The building has masonry construction, brick cladding, and a parged, stone foundation. According to the 2000 inventory, this modest, commercial building is in good condition with some original details. (1, 2, 3)
Please contact the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library (905-775-3328) if you have any other information about this photo.

George Jackson

57-61 Holland Street East

The Bradford Courthouse and old town hall building which now houses the town financial department offices with the Millennium Clock Tower Monument in front.

Irma Pappenheim

60 Church Street - Trinity Anglican Church

The original Trinity Anglican Church (located at 60 Church Street) was built in 1851 and then destroyed by fire in 1900. Eight months later, the current structure (built in the Gothic Revival style) was opened for service under the Rev. Canon George Benjamin Morley.
The structure has a cruciform plan, 1½ storeys, and a steeply-pitched, gable roof with a steeple. The main entrance is through an enclosed narthex dominated by a large, gothic, arched opening. It has large, rectangular, double doors with a multi-foiled transom light above (not original). Shallow buttresses support the side walls and steeple. Three narrow, gothic, arched windows are set into wide, rectangular openings to light the nave. The windows are narrow with a vertical emphasis. There are concrete lintels and lug sills. The three-part, gothic, arched windows refer to the Trinity. The building has wood frame construction with brick cladding and a cut-stone foundation. According to the 2000 inventory, the church is in excellent condition with most of its original features.
In 2004, Trinity Anglican Church purchased the adjacent former Presbyterian Church building and land. The vacant building was demolished in 2005 to provide additional parking for the congregation of Trinity Anglican Church. (1, 3, 5, Trinity Anglican Church Bradford website)

George Jackson

61 Holland Street East - The Bradford Town Hall

The Bradford Town Hall is located at 61 Holland St. East. It survived the fire of 1871 that destroyed much of Bradford’s downtown. The building was being used as a schoolhouse in 1875 when a severe wind storm blew off the roof and killed a member of the Woods’ family. Reports disagree about the number of school children injured. Bricks were salvaged from damaged sections of the building and reused in the construction of a duplex at 31/33 Bingham Street. The building was a market place for farmers until the mid 1930’s. There was a commons at the rear for pasturing. It later became a playground. There were stalls and display tables for farm animals, chickens etc. Jim Nesbitt was one of the managers. Upstairs was a hall with a raised stage and raised steps at the front. Readings, lectures, visiting theatre groups, dances, minstrel shows and meetings with dignitaries were all held here. Buster Matthews had a casket-manufacturing business in the basement for a while. Charlie Heath held movies here. Later there was a badminton court.

The structure was overhauled after WWII. The ceiling was lowered, beautiful light fixtures were converted to hydro and refurbished, and the stage was removed. All records and centennial books were destroyed and it was turned into a court house. The west stairs were closed off and the raised steps removed. The building was originally heated by a large wood-burning furnace in the basement before it was converted to oil. It was originally lighted with manufactured gas and then hydro after 1916. The old chandeliers still remain. Bradford’s first police force was located in this building for several years. The town’s administrative business was also conducted from here. On the west side of the Town Hall there once was a three-bay fire hall. At the back there was a Recreation Hall with a kitchen and toilets for the volunteer firemen to use. It was rented by the Lions Club (who met here for a number of years). The firemen provided draws and suppers to raise money for new equipment (a lot of which they manufactured themselves). It was heated by natural gas and built by Irma (?) and the walls were thick enough for a second storey. There is a stone cairn with a plaque in memory of Professor W.H. Day on the east side of the sidewalk. The WWI veterans built a cairn where the fire hall was. A cannon and a plaque with the names of those who perished in Europe were also there.

The current, two-storey Town Hall was built in the 1830-1860’s in the Classic Revival style. It has a symmetrical façade with a simplified, temple form and a medium-pitched, ‘pediment’ gable roof with plain cornice and frieze supported on brackets. There is an enclosed, raised porch with a steeply-pitched, centre gable (reminiscent of Gothic Revival). It is set into a shed roof flanked by corbelled parapets at each side and a plain cornice and frieze supported on brackets. The entrance door, stairs, and railing are not original. The entrance opening had been modified, but the original dichromatic brick that highlighted the top of the original entrance opening is still visible on either side of the new opening. There are tall window openings with high floor to ceiling heights. The windows are set into segmented, arch openings ornamented with alternating voussoirs and ‘ears’ of dichromatic brick and stone (or concrete) lug sills. The centre window above the entrance is raised above the entrance gable and ties together the entrance projection and façade composition behind. Original windows were probably double-hung and multi-paned. The ground-floor windows have been blocked in, but their outline is still visible on the front façade. There is a horizontal, dichromatic brick string coursing. The structure has masonry construction with brick cladding (sandblasted) and a random, rubble-stone foundation. An original, open-frame cupola/bell tower with a steeply-pitched, bell-cast roof and chimneys were missing when the building was inventoried in 2000. At that time the building was considered to be in good condition. (1, 2, 3, 4)

George Jackson

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