Hornby Store, after 1944
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The store at Hornby, Halton County sometime after 1940. The previous wooden store burned down in 1929.
Wilmar James Thompson is second from the right. He was proprietor of the Hornby store and postmaster from about 1946 till 1963.
From left to right is Rusty Robertson, Bill Robinson, Ed Robertson, the store owner Wilmur Thompson and John Bradley. This information and more, comes from Jack Robertson (still in Hornby).
Click on "View Comments" to read the information from Jack and Paul Thompson. Also a request for more information about the Robertsons, Harry and Bernice.
Paul Thompson has these memories of growing up in the store and post office, and his family life in Hornby in those years: "My parents purchased the Hornby store from Fred Robertson (perhaps it was "Robson" or "Robinson", not sure. He later owned the old brewery property on the 8th Line [that would have been Brains Brewery], raising mink, and later still standard bred horses). My parents had 4 children when they moved to Hornby, 1 girl and 3 boys. I was a late surprise born in 1950. We all worked in the store and post office. We attended the one room school near the store [this was a "union" school because it sat on the line between Esquesing and Trafalgar Townships].
My older brothers played softball for the Hornby team (there is a picture of the girls team with my brother Bill coaching [in the TTHS internet collection]). In the winter they played hockey in Milton where they went for high school.
The store sold a little of everything. Groceries included bananas, oranges & grapefruits. Some clothes, hockey sticks, boots and a collection of gift ware. Newspapers, candy and tobacco. Ice cream from the Royal Dairy in Georgetown. If a lady came in with a babe in her arms my father loved to give them their first cone. Nuts and bolts, nails and screws, stove pipes and stove wire, gasoline & oil, seasonal bedding plants in the spring. Fireworks for the 24th of May. Back then we had 3" & 4" cannon crackers which were great for blowing things up.
The post office sold stamps, money-orders, gun and hunting licenses and 3 rural routes (RR#1, #2, #3) were sorted and mail sent out. My dad had to meet the mail train at the Hornby station, south on the 7th (Trafalgar) line to deliver the outgoing mail.
My earliest memory was of Hurricane Hazel in 1954. After some debate my father had headed out to meet the mail train and he was hours overdue returning. Tension in the store was very high as the rain was falling in sheets and pepole kept coming in and reporting various bridges being washed out in the area. He had to go a long way around, almost to Milton to find a passable route home.
I remember gatherings at the Orange Hall for square dances, Christmas parties and turkey dinners. They were really a lot of fun for the kids runing around playing tag. There was never a bar but always quite a few drunks who would go shooting out of a grand reel and slam into a stack of chairs.
We had a Bell Canada phone-booth outside the store and a couple of times it was broken into for the change. One time the hammering woke my parents. My mother ran down and chased the thieves off with a broom. When the police arrived she gave them fits for walking all over the foot prints and tire tracks which she thought made great evdence.
I remember when we got the new community ball park on land donated by Busty King at the corner of the Base and 6th Lines. The community raised funds for the lighting, trees etc., by holding euchre parties and an annual summer garden party. All the school kids got free tickets so they would nag thier parents into attending. I used to help Alf Brigdon setting up the plank seats for the live entertainment. His brother Gordon always set up the lighting for the food concessions and stage.
Gordon had a machine shop and fabrication business in the village. He was quite an inventor and had a good business suppling drum snow blowers he designed to the Canadian National Railway. They were attached to the front of a locomotive and could clear the tracks at full speed.
My mother organized a family reunion in the ball park the year Highway 401 was being constructed south of the park. My cousin Donald from Brampton flew in his plane to the reunion and took us up for a ride. We landed on the 401 between the 7th and 6th Line bridges."
In 1910 through 1917, the store owner and postmaster was William John (called Will) Lindsay. The store was called "Lindsay's" under his proprietorship.
The home of the Alfred Brigden family is in the background. Mr. Brigden was very active in the community and Hornby Park was created because of his tireless work. The Milton newspaper, Canadian Champion, featured Alfie Brigden in the August 21, 1968 issue, p.11 - linked in this record for your further information - he is shown with some of the ball team members who benefited from his tireless work in the park.
- Hornby was unofficially centered around the intersection of Trafalgar Road and Steeles but in reality, it is so widespread, people refer to "Hornby East" and "Hornby West". It spread into both Esquesing and Trafalgar
Townships. The village was named for Hornby Castle in England because of a family connection.
Note the B - A sign and gas pumps at the store. The British-American Oil Company was founded by a Canadian in 1906. It was “a British Company with American standards in Canada”. The agent owned the outlet.
- Local identifier
- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
- Language of Item
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 43.56681 Longitude: -79.83293
- Copyright Statement
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Recommended Citation
- Hornby Store, after 1944
- Trafalgar Township Historical SocietyEmail
Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton