Number Please?

Our telephone history as one of the first communities in the world to hold a telephone conversation. by Brian G. Spare “Watson, come here. I want to see you.” These were the first words spoken through the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Thomas Watson March 10, 1876. Bell and Watson were workingContinue reading “Number Please?”

The Great Wall of Thunder Bay

The construction of the harbour breakwater provided an economic life-line to our city by Brian G. Spare As the 1880s approached, people of the Lakehead knew the fur trade, the industry which had sustained them for two centuries, was winding down. Times were changing. The national railway, the CPR, was making its way eastward andContinue reading “The Great Wall of Thunder Bay”

The Eaton’s Building – A New Life?

A local architect’s big idea for the downtown centrepiece. by Brian G. Spare In 1869, Timothy Eaton opened his department store in Toronto. It offered people a different shopping experience in that they could now go to one store to buy furniture, appliances, clothing, cosmetics, sporting and yard goods, notions and groceries. Timothy Eaton’s goalContinue reading “The Eaton’s Building – A New Life?”

Our Most Famous Homes

Monuments of Our Storied Past and the people who guided their creation by Brian G. Spare The people who opened up the North West shared a common love for vast and wild country. They were pioneers, inventors, mining engineers, geologists, surveyors, world travellers, politicians and business men and women. All of them were persons ofContinue reading “Our Most Famous Homes”

Are You Wearing Your Nylons?

Nipigon is now home to our much loved Nipigon Nylons by Brian G. Spare It’s not certain when the name Nipigon Nylons was coined to describe those thick woolly grey and white work socks. What is known is that they have been around for generations. The socks were associated with the people who forested andContinue reading “Are You Wearing Your Nylons?”

The Lesson of Christmas

by Brian G. Spare What does the name “Scrooge” conjure up in your thoughts? No doubt an image of old Ebenezer himself and likely the classic image of Scrooge portrayed by Alasdair Sim… Humbug!… Whether it’s July or December the mere mention of Scrooge reminds us of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” one of theContinue reading “The Lesson of Christmas”

Christmas and Candy

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Brian G. Spare When I was little, my Dad read this rhyme to me as my bedtime story of choice from Halloween until Easter. Even though I didn’t know what a sugar plum was, but they sure sounded delicious. Years later, I found out they don’t’ haveContinue reading “Christmas and Candy”

My Favourite Christmas Present

by Brian G. Spare I have received some very nice Christmas presents over the years. But the presents I remember most fondly are from my childhood and one in particular stands out as I recount the years. It was 1969, I was ten, and the excitement of ripping the wrapping paper off a gift pulledContinue reading “My Favourite Christmas Present”