businesses


Deseronto map We’ve got a group of Women’s Institute members coming to visit Deseronto next week. The Archives won’t be open, as they are coming on a Tuesday, but we have put together a small exhibition for the group to see. They will also be having a look around the town, so we have also made a brief tour guide which pinpoints some of the significant buildings, past and present, including photographs and descriptions. It seems that this might be of interest to other visitors to Deseronto and it is now available to download.

Metcalfe Foods had canning factories in Deseronto from 1912, according to a Deseronto Post article published in 1948. The archives has three copies of this photograph of the staff of the firm, taken in the 1930s (either 1932 or 1938, according to notes on the photos).

Staff of Metcalfe Foods, 1930s

Staff of Metcalfe Foods, 1930s

One of the employees pictured here, Floyd Marlin, wrote down many of the names of those pictured and his list is reproduced below. If you are able to fill in any of the gaps, please post a comment or drop the Archives an email. Some of the spellings here are possibly wrong, so please let us know if you spot one that needs correcting.

Front row, left to right:
?
?
?
Pansy Lindsay
Mrs McCabe
Muriel Cole
Gerty Toppings
Mrs Ed Martin
Mrs McLaughlin
Mrs Herb Histed
Lila Histed
?
Lizzy Marlin
Mrs Wager
Mrs Harv Scriver
Mrs Norm Davis
?
?
? Smith
Marion Clause
Mrs Scyler Smith

Second row:
?
?
Ruby Maracle
Mrs Herb Maracle
Barbara Rennolds
Jean Cronk
Mrs E. [Ernie] Crisp
Bessie Young
Mrs Cat Young
Mrs Bill Miller
?
Lola Brooks
Violet Cole
Mrs Bessy O’Ray
Annie Johndrew
Meta Clause
Mrs Hoppings
Mrs De Mille
?
Susan Maracle
Audrey Maracle
?
Mrs Fred Laurence

Third row:
Mrs A. Joyce
Mrs Bill Purvis
Vera Dawson
Mrs Abe Cronk
?
Alice Leafe
Mrs Morley Gault
Mrs Arney Cole
Mrs Alport
?
Mrs Nellie Tompkins
Maude Covert
Elsie Maracle
Verda Maracle
Muriel Cole
? Gault
Lou Green

Back row:
?
Fred Powell
?
Tom Jackson
Jim Sharpe
Bert Richardson
Art Howard
Abe Cronk
Ed. Chambers
Dixie [?] Green
Jim Sager
Evert Martin
Claborn Tompkins
Norm Davis
Floyd Marlin
Walter Joyce
Jack Barber
Joe Clare
Fred Hoppings
Phil ‘Cribby’ Blake

Maude Covert, who also appears in this photograph, lived at the house we featured in an earlier post.

Maude Covert

Maude Covert

The earliest minutes for the town council of Deseronto (in the days when it was known as Mill Point) show the names of the Reeve and four town councillors. One of the names is that of Florence Donoghue, which was intriguing, as it seemed highly unlikely that a woman could have been a councillor in 1872. The mystery was soon cleared up, as later minutes in the same volume referred to this councillor as “Mr. Donoghue”.

A check on the 1901 census shows Florence Donoghue as a male who was born on 28 January 1832. Directories of the time show Donoghue and Bro. as dry goods merchants on the south side of Main Street, at its junction with Prince Street. Donoghue and his partner, James Oliver, were still in business in 1911, when Donoghue was 79 years of age. The shop would have been one of those in the picture below:


Florence, it transpires, was fairly common as a boy’s name in Ireland in the late nineteenth century. In the 1881 census of Canada there were 64 Florences whose place of birth was Ireland. 24 of those were men. Florence Donoghue was born in Ontario, but (as his name suggests) he is listed as being of Irish descent.

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