First Telephone on the Beach

Dianne

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Nov 30, 2016
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#62
thank you, Scott

thank you for uploading the .pdf and thank you for sending me the high res. photo of the keeper's cottage and sign from the archives, Scott... that's an awesome picture! I can kind of make out who I think is Queen Victoria on the flag and the dates which look like 1837-1897... which if correct may indicate it was the Diamond Jubilee and therefore June 22, 1897. attached is a a scaled down internet version of your image, but still showing more detail than those I've seen online. hopefully will be able to confirm dates/details when the archive's enlargement arrives (they say to allow 6 wks)

so if the archives photo is 1897, which is also the same year the first mention of the telephone pay station Capt. Campbell operated appears in the Bell Canada phone book, sounds like open and shut case... however... still much doesn't fit.

the first reference Bell phone books makes to the railway in Hamilton having a pay station is 1894. attached is an excerpt from a 1927 Burlington Souvenir booklet that says "old records" show the telephone came to town in 1886 to four exchanges including "the lease to the Grand Trunk Railway was marked "Free".

perhaps "free" phones weren't included in phone books as they weren't "pay stations" as such, and if that's correct means the phone books would not be the best sources for dating public service connections such as trains, lighthouse, waterworks, etc.? it makes sense that these public service connections would have required emergency communication (e.g. ship/train coming in, reservoir dry, etc.) and would have been one of the first to make use of the invention. the date of 1897 for a phone at the lighthouse is 20 yrs after the phone was invented and doesn't jive with so much.
Scott Howley - Keeper's House & Bell Telephone bright-resize.jpg burlington- 1927 souvenir booklet.jpg
 
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scotto

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#63
I was talking with Fred about the picture and a bit more of an inspection shows all kinds of smaller wires in the picture including one attached to the west side of the closest chimney on the Keeper's house. Would this be a telephone connections?
There doesn't seem to be any wires connected to the Bell building, but the whole structure isn't visible in the photo.
In front of the Bell building and all along the length of the photo at he bottom, there is a rail line. I have no idea what use a east to west rail would be on the Beach.
 

Dianne

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#64
"Around 1900, it was moved a short distance from its original site (to the west and just south of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club) to its present site, where it stood facing Beach Road until 1962 when the roadway was realigned with the new lift bridge. "
http://www.bclg.ca/keeperscottage.htm
because of above, Charles had said that the railway line in the foreground would then be that of the Hamilton & North Western, and the location was between the Ocean House and the Canal.
re: photo- I believe I can see a wire from the hut/Bell office to a pole in the large image here. what is largest size photo I can upload to this site?
 

scotto

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#65
"Around 1900, it was moved a short distance from its original site (to the west and just south of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club) to its present site, where it stood facing Beach Road until 1962 when the roadway was realigned with the new lift bridge. "
http://www.bclg.ca/keeperscottage.htm
because of above, Charles had said that the railway line in the foreground would then be that of the Hamilton & North Western, and the location was between the Ocean House and the Canal.
re: photo- I believe I can see a wire from the hut/Bell office to a pole in the large image here. what is largest size photo I can upload to this site?
I see one line coming down, but that one I believe is the rope for the flag. There are also a couple of wires coming down on the pole, it would just be speculation to say where they go. The biggest file can't be more than a few MBs, the picture posted a couple times is linked to Photobucket and shows to area quite well. There isn't a way to get the clarity of the original without just cropping certain parts and posting them.
I have cropped this part, notice the insulator holding a set of wires that look like they a part of the powering of the radial railway and there are tracks below. I have look at this picture many times and never noticed that.
 

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Dianne

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#66
yes, perhaps you are right and it's the rope for the flag. the lines from the pole could go behind the fence to conduit or as you said part of the building is cut out of the picture, but we do know Capt. Campbell had a pay phone station at least by 1897 as per phone book. Re: insulator wires- that is interesting... didn't the plans change from electric to steam at that time?
http://www.trainweb.org/hamtransithist/HRER.html
 

scotto

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#67
yes, perhaps you are right and it's the rope for the flag. the lines from the pole could go behind the fence to conduit or as you said part of the building is cut out of the picture, but we do know Capt. Campbell had a pay phone station at least by 1897 as per phone book. Re: insulator wires- that is interesting... didn't the plans change from electric to steam at that time?
http://www.trainweb.org/hamtransithist/HRER.html
The radial railway was always an electric railway, something isn't right. Could it be that the picture is from before it was moved, I always assumed that it was in the position (in the picture) that it is now.
 

David O'Reilly

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#68
scotto
12-01-2016, 11:42 PM
According to an article from the Spectator dated May 1874, H.L. Bastien had a boat house across from the Ocean House.


BEACH AFFAIRS
The Parks Committee Won't Endure the Encroachment of Squattters.
Yesterday afternoon the parks committee went to the beach, inspected the city property there, decided upon certain improvements and resolved to take action to defend the city from individuals who are encroaching upon its rights.
The G.T.R. authorities will be asked to take down those portions of its fence along the lake front which are built across the city's six side roadways between lots 1 and 50, so as to leave those roadways without obstruction, from the main road to the lake.
P. D. Crerar will be notified to remove a boat house which he has built on city property.
The committee refused to grant H. L. Bastien permission to extend his boat house opposite the Ocean house bar. The present boat-house occupies 46 feet of the water front, and Mr. Bastien took steps to expropriate some 60 feet more of the waterfront to build, so it is said, a candy store and residence.”

Scott,
Wasn’t all of the beach city property?

And the railroad line on the beach in 1874, wasn’t the Grand Trunk, (GTR)it was the Northern and North Western Railroad (N&NW). The GTR purchased the N&Nw in 1888. Please check with Charles Cooper’s book ‘Hamilton’s Other Railroad’. Is the date ‘1874’ a typo on your part?
________________________________________
 

David O'Reilly

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#69
Dianne
12-02-2016, 06:30 AM
thank you for the information about H.L. Bastien. do you know of a map that marks his location and also the location of John Hughes? do you have any information about John Hughes or a picture of Capt. Campbell? I ordered an enlargement of the archives photo so hopefully it will clarify some of the issues. my mother got the sign for me many years ago from a sale because she thought it was a "neat sign". I am still sorting those pieces out and will comment further on that when I know more. what is striking to me is the age of the sign itself as compared to all other images I have seen thus far of other cities' first Bell signs... also The Bell Historical Collection has so far been unable to provide an image of an older or even similar Bell sign. attached are a few other picture of it. re: the Bell phone books- is there a way I can upload the .pdf? it is strange the only year Ocean House is mentioned is 1883.
P.S. the sign measures approx. 24.5" wide, 17.5" high, 2"deep and is double-sided.
29622963296429652966
________________________________________

hi Diann,

this thread,News Paper articles from 1953 has some information about a N. Hughes, at 22 Bellevue Avenue.

http://hamiltonbeachcommunity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-2230.html
 

Dianne

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#70
thanks, David, for that reference... possibly Noel was a relative of John's? it is strange that a telephone pay station is mentioned at John Hughes' residence- Church Crossing, Beach from 1883 to at least 1890 (except 1894), yet have found little information about him. where was/is Church Crossing?
 
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Dianne

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Nov 30, 2016
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#71
I believe this is the Keeper's Cottage in the foreground in the other location. the 2nd picture shows the original tracks to the right. the 3rd picture was marked 1890
PC39.jpg Burlington swing bridge 1906 AO AT Brown.jpg 1890.jpg
 

scotto

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#72
scotto
12-01-2016, 11:42 PM
According to an article from the Spectator dated May 1874, H.L. Bastien had a boat house across from the Ocean House.


Scott,
Wasn’t all of the beach city property?

And the railroad line on the beach in 1874, wasn’t the Grand Trunk, (GTR)it was the Northern and North Western Railroad (N&NW). The GTR purchased the N&Nw in 1888. Please check with Charles Cooper’s book ‘Hamilton’s Other Railroad’. Is the date ‘1874’ a typo on your part?
________________________________________
The Beach didn't come under complete control by the City of Hamilton until 1958, but apparently they did own some land. Learn something everyday looking at these articles.

And the article was copied from a Library scrapbook about the Beach, I rechecked and that is the date written on the page. So either the Library has the wrong date or the Spec has a mix up. The only way to verify would be to check that day in the microfilm.

Edit;
I have attached a section of the Beach 1877 map, this would be near the canal and the City of Hamilton is list as the owner of a long piece of land beside the railway tracks.
 

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scotto

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#73
Dianne
12-02-2016, 06:30 AM

hi Dianne,

this thread,News Paper articles from 1953 has some information about a N. Hughes, at 22 Bellevue Avenue.

http://hamiltonbeachcommunity.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-2230.html

I believe Noel Hughes was a member of the Beach Commission, he is in a couple photos with the Beach Fire dept. and I don't know if he was related to John Hughes. We presently have a Joel Hughes who is a long time resident on the Beach and has no relation to the past Hughes.
 

scotto

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#74
thanks, David, for that reference... very likely Noel was a relative of John's? it is strange that a telephone pay station is mentioned at John Hughes' residence- Church Crossing, Beach from 1883 to at least 1890 (except 1894), yet have found little information about him. where was/is Church Crossing?
From our discussions, we believe Church Crossing was near the Bethel Church which was near Fourth Ave, also near to John Hughes.
Notice the Vacant Station at the bottom of Fourth Ave near the tracks.
 

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scotto

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#75
I believe this is the Keeper's Cottage in the foreground in the other location. the 2nd picture shows the original tracks to the right. the 3rd picture was marked 1890
This has me completely baffled?
I see in the first picture (which is one of our common postcards) that the Keeper's house in the front and where it sits today, unlike our original photo, it has a porch on the front. To the right there is a set of track for the radial railway. The bridge and other railway are not shown.
The second photo (many thanks to Charles Cooper) shows the first railway swing bridge and behind the trees on the right, the yacht club can be seen as well as some of the radial railway swing bridge. But I don't see any other tracks? I also cannot make out the Keeper's house.
The third picture is what makes everything confusing, the picture must of been taken from the closed radial bridge. The white concrete section on the pier is where the bridge would rest when opened. If we look at out original (Bell) photo, the poles are different and there doesn't seem to be any wires running along the side of the house.
 

Dianne

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Nov 30, 2016
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#76
very sorry, Charles, for neglecting to credit your swing bridge photo.
re: railway in archive photo of Keeper's House (that has been uploaded many times)- Charles said it has no overhead wires for a radial railway, and must be the North Western.
Scott, do you have a date for the "common postcard"? perhaps after 1962?
 

Dianne

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Nov 30, 2016
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#77
thank you, Scott. are you saying "Church Crossing" was a railway station? John Hughes' telephone pay station was marked as "Church Crossing", but was also marked "residence."
do you have any information about him or his relatives?
 

Dianne

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Nov 30, 2016
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#78
the hut/telephone building in the archives photo does not look like the same building as the one in the 1890 photo to me (although they have similar siding). it looks much smaller- in comparison to the Keeper's Cottage it barely reaches the height of the window. two sides of the small building are not visible in the 1890 photo; however there are poles that also may have wires to the ground as in the archives photo. it would be good to have a clearer image of this photo.
 

scotto

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#79
very sorry, Charles, for neglecting to credit your swing bridge photo.
re: railway in archive photo of Keeper's House (that has been uploaded many times)- Charles said it has no overhead wires for a radial railway, and must be the North Western.
Scott, do you have a date for the "common postcard"? perhaps after 1962?
By 1962 the area became very different, the Skyway was in use and the Lift Bridge just opened, I would this postcard is from the late 1800's.
The Radial was electric, maybe you are referring to something else. This picture of the radial bridge shows wires along the top of the span.

SwingBridge.jpg


Kind of the same angle, but you can see the Keeper's house;
Radial1.jpg
 
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