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38 and 40 Holland Street East

The frame building located at 38 and 40 Holland St. East was bought many years ago by Mr. McWilliams. He remodeled the structure and put the entrance for the upstairs apartment on the east side (42 Holland St. E.). He died many years ago and Mrs. McWilliams (a sister of William Hirlehey) and her son Bill lived in the apartment. Bill worked on the marsh and in a hockey stick factory. There were two shops downstairs. Joe Scotto barbered at 40 Holland St. East (on the east side of the building) for a number of years before moving across the street to “Rusty” Worfolk’s property at 27 Holland St. East. There was a shoemaker and leather shop for years at 38 Holland St. East (on the west side of the building). There have been several other businesses here including Joyce’s Curio Shoppe (as seen in this photo taken in 1995). (1, 2)

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)

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

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

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

45 Holland Street East - The Edmund Garrett House

The Edmund Garrett House is a two-storey building located at 45 Holland St. East. It was built in the Classic Revival style in the 1880’s (after the fire of 1871 that destroyed much of Bradford’s downtown). The building was converted into two living quarters many years ago and was once the home of the VanZants (on the west side) and the Bennett family (on the east side). George Bennett, a powerful man and labourer, dug (by hand) a large number of the ditches on Dufferin Street. Howard Thornton eventually bought the building and started a crate factory with Bill Fuller in the barns at the rear. He had a crate and lumber yard on Back Street. Howard and his brother also owned Barron’s Hardware store. After Howard died, Mrs. Thornton rented the upstairs apartment and lived downstairs by herself. After her death, the town bought the structure and had it remodeled to accommodate the Bradford Police Station on the ground floor, which it housed from 1980-2008, and the building inspectors’ office on the upper floor.

The building has a modified, rectangular ‘temple’ plan with a projecting frontispiece flanked by two-storey wings on either side. A medium-pitched, gable roof has a plain cornice and frieze supported on small brackets. There is an enclosed, raised porch with a shed roof and a plain cornice and frieze supported on small brackets. The building has tall, narrow window openings with high floor to ceiling heights. Windows are used to highlight the frontispiece with an angular, flat-roofed bay at the ground level and a projecting cornice and eaves on brackets. Double, semi-circular, arched windows at the second floor are highlighted with dichromatic, brick voussoirs. There is a rose window set within the gable into a round opening of cut-stone voussoirs. Other windows are set into rectangular openings with stone (or concrete) lintels and lug sills. The original windows were probably multi-paned and double-hung. Masonry construction has brick cladding and there is a coursed, rubble-stone foundation. The two, two-storey additions have filled in the east corners of the building and the entrance porch has been modified and enclosed. According to the 2000 inventory, the structure is in good condition with some original details remaining. (1, 2, 3)

George Jackson

5 and 9 Holland Street East

The building located at 5 Holland St. East (near the northeast corner of Holland and Barrie Streets) has solid-brick construction. The office of veterinarian Dr. Stephenson (who lived on Queen Street across from the public school) was on the ground floor at this address. Grain buyers worked upstairs. They had their own stairway and a huge, walk-in safe. Later, that space was turned into an apartment that became the home of Rae Green after WWII. Around 1928 or 1930, Fred Buck (a pharmacist) opened a drugstore on the ground floor. It later became Brackens Drugstore and was run by Mr. Harrison. (1, 2)
The building located at 9 Holland St. East (beside 5 Holland St. East) also has solid-brick construction. It was the site of Dennis Nolan and Jim’s Model T Ford dealership. There was a garage with an elevator. Overhauling was done in the basement and painting was done upstairs. Hugh Bannerman pumped gas and Rose MacEwan was the bookkeeper. Nolan had as many as 10 employees working for him at one time. Mr. Martin moved in around WWII and opened a used furniture and appliance store here. It was later sold to Bob Sewery, a WWI veteran. (1, 2)

George Jackson

52 Simcoe Road

The mid-block building located at 52 Simcoe Road was built post-1900 (1902?) in the Gothic Revival Cottage style. The house, which is larger than other older cottages of a similar style in Bradford, was built on property owned by Charles Adams. Originally, there was a garden to the west and a barn on the lane. Later residents of this house included Joe Brown (a retired farmer from the 10th line) and Jessie, who lived here until he died. Joe was a noted gardener who raised his granddaughter Margaret Turner. Paul Margetiak and his wife and son also lived here at one time. He was a gardener, too, and he built a garage on the property. Len Saint did the cement work and added a closed-in porch. Eventually the property was bought by Gary Swagerman. He lived in the house with his wife and family and eventually had the barn remodelled to become the site of a dry cleaner. The garden was paved and used as a parking lot for the business.
The 1½-storey, three-bay cottage has a rectangular plan, a centre hall, and a symmetrical façade. The medium-pitched, gable roof has a centre gable over the entrance. There are single windows to the primary rooms on each side of the covered entrance porch. A raised, open porch has a hip roof supported on simple, wood columns set directly on the porch base/foundation. The porch has a simple, wood handrail and balusters. A single entrance door is set into a segmented, arched opening. Windows are set into segmented, arched openings with brick voussoirs and concrete lug sills. The windows and door are not original. A second-storey window set halfway into the centre gable is a reference to the Gothic Revival style. Locally-made bricks were placed by Tom Saint on the wood frame construction. According to the 2000 inventory, the house is in good condition. (1, 2, 3)

George Jackson

60 Holland Street East

The building seen in this photo from 1995 was once located at 60 Holland St. East. It was rented to several people over the years, including a relative of Bob McKinstry. Years later, Alec Dutcher moved here from the Clubine farm at the back of town. He had a garden and lawn on the west side of the house. There was a large barn at the back. Alec worked for Bill Sutton (painting and paper hanging). Lou Wyman and his family and mother-in-law later bought the house and it was eventually used as a real estate office before being demolished in the 1990’s. (1, 2)

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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