Flash From the Past: four mystery photos unveiled, and four more to follow


The mystery photo contest is over. Registration is closed and the winners will be announced next week. Today – alternate views of the four photos from May 29. Next week, with the names of the winners, the last four mysteries of June 5 will be cleared up. See your printed pages of the previous two Flash from the Pasts for a comparison or visit www.therecord.ca

The following is for May 29 images and today’s alternatives.

1) It is 1944 and downtown Galt is the parade route of the Highland Light Infantry led by the Galt Kiltie Band. Hundreds of HLI soldiers, mostly local, had been in Britain since 1941, eventually becoming important cogs of D-Day. However, the HLI Reserve Battalion continued to train in Galt and was regularly seen parading past. in the city.

Reader Mary Ann Clarke located the scene on Water Street North between Dickson and Main. The 1936 post office with its distinctive tower still stands on the corner of Dickson: just to its right, but long gone, is the Grand Theater, today’s alternative image. Gordon Hamilton’s Grand photo appeared in a 1946 Galt reminder booklet. Mary Ann remembers many happy Saturday afternoons at the Grand.

2) Older aerial photos can be a puzzle, especially if major elements are missing. This is the case with this view of Doon’s mid-century Waterloo Trust calendar, showing Lake Willow. Adam Ferrie was the reason Willow Lake existed. He dammed Schneider Creek in the 1830s to power his flour mills, and their tall stone ruins can be seen at a standstill. Long after the mills closed, the pond acquired a name while also becoming a popular swimming and boating spot. As Albert Lee’s alternative 1940 photo shows, the remains of the mill were quite significant. The 1940 image of Lee is in the Waterloo Historical Society collection at the Kitchener Public Library. Today the old lake bed is a large park and playground because in the mid-1950s a flood destroyed the dam and Lake Willow quickly emptied. In 1981, the Grand River Conservation Authority ruled the ruins of the mill unsafe. However, it took several bursts of dynamite and a heavy equipment attack (inset, record-breaking photo from UW Special Collections) before the “dangerous” walls succumbed. Today, only a few remains of the Ferrie mill remain. It is a local history site that requires a detailed interpretation plaque.

3) Dave Moore lent the wonderful 1930s photo of a boy from depression sitting on one of the Janzen fountains in Rockway Gardens. When Rockway opened in 1933, two fountains were installed in honor of Henry Janzen (founder of the Kitchener Horticultural Society) and his wife Elizabeth. Today’s alternate view, a postcard from the 1940s, looks south and shows a Janzen fountain with houses from Rockway Drive in the background.

4) A plane with photographer Garfield Schmidt on board was flying over Hazel Street in Waterloo circa 1949. Dearborn Avenue is barely discernible to the right and crosses King Street next to the Waterloo Cider Mill. The newly acquired streetcars that run alongside King required a special turnaround site (top left). In the foreground are the townhouses erected in the mid 1940s as part of the government’s wartime housing program for returning veterans. Schmidt’s photo is also part of the collection of the Waterloo Historical Society. For today’s alternative view, Waterloo photographer Robert Nicol also flew high and shows a massive development of the neighborhood in 1963. Dearborn’s newly renamed University Avenue crosses the stage while the residences of the The Lutheran University of Waterloo are seen to the right. A decade later, there was another name change: after 1973, the initials WLU stood for Wilfrid Laurier University, whose records are taken from the Nicol photo.

Next week, Flash from the Past identifies the last four mystery photos and reveals the contest winners.


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