This pioneer patriotic postcard “Sold by G.W. Thomson & Son” shows three vignettes of Goderich, Ontario—the Court House, Harbour & Driveway Near Town on the front of the card, and a large coloured maple leaf on the back, with the lyrics of The Maple Leaf Forever. In the 1903 Ontario Business Directory, GW Thomson was a local Goderich merchant who sold musical instruments.
From the 1910 Ontario Gazetteer, Goderich, with a population of about 4,632, was “a shipping port situated on the river Maitland at it’s confluence with Lake Huron, and on the terminus of the B&G line GTR, also of the CPR line, in Huron Co, of which it is the county seat. It has a good system of municipal waterworks, volunteer fire department and electric light, and is the location of very extensive salt works, has four mills, boiler and machine works and other industries high, separate and public schools, a public library of 3000 volumes, 2 public halls, 4 banks and 2 weekly newspapers, the Star and the Signal.” “Salt, livestock grain, flour, fish, lumber etc are shipped. Steamboats to all the lake ports call during navigation. Town owns waterworks & electric light plant. Stages daily to Lucknow, 22 miles northeast, and to Kintail 16 miles.
After a protracted hiatus, I’ve added a couple of real photo postcards showing scenes in the former village of Thistletown, now part of the City of Toronto. The first view looks west along Albion Road at the corner of Islington Avenue, showing the southwest corner of the intersection, where the Albion Hotel was located, G. Swift, Proprietor. A couple of customers appear to be entering the hotel, while it looks like George Swift stands in the doorway, watching the photographer.
The hotel was originally known as the Albion House, and had a large ballroom, above the adjoining shed, that was used for many community gatherings. The hotel was a popular place for farmers on their way to mills in Weston, so a large stable was erected on the northwest corner of the intersection capable of housing 100 horses. The shed can be seen at the extreme right of the image. Some farmers travelled from as far north as Collingwood, and would stay overnight at the hotel en route.
Later, the hotel was in decline, losing its liquor license, and then the ballroom was closed due to a sagging floor structure. The hotel was later renovated into a pair of houses.