In 1985, a group of dedicated Owen Sounders came together to create a museum in the old CNR station. In 2015, we celebrate their foresight, along with three decades of community support that brings us to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. 30 People 30 pieces is a unique exhibition that matches some of our founders and builders with our significant artefacts. – Exhibit opened July 4, 2015 with a 2 p.m. ribbon cutting.
#24 Pat and Don Nicol
Description=A photograph of Alexander Leslie. This photo was donated by Don Nicol whose grandmother, Kate was the sister of Captain John Simpson. The photo is a colourized black and white photo of the freighter Alexander Leslie in open water from a starboard view with the boat coloured teal. Alexander Leslie was built in 1901 at Cleveland by the American Shipbuilding Co. and was originally the J. T. Hutchinson for the Pioneer Steamship Co. of Cleveland, Hutchinson & Co., Managers. The boat was wrecked on Point Iroquois, Lake Superior, in the Great Storm of November 9, 1913. She was then salvaged and later returned to service. In 1920, she was extensively rebuilt and operated in the short-lived and unsuccessful Forest City Steamship Co. (Cleveland) fleet as H.A. ROCK for several years during the 1920s.
In 1985, a group of dedicated Owen Sounders came together to create a museum in the old CNR station. In 2015, we celebrate their foresight, along with three decades of community support that brings us to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. 30 People 30 pieces is a unique exhibition that matches some of our founders and builders with our significant artefacts. – Exhibit opened July 4, 2015 with the 2 p.m. ribbon cutting.
#22 Wayne King
Accession Number= 2009.005.004
Description= Authentic Canadian National Railway Conductor’s at, last owned by Wayne King. It is a black hat with black visor. There is a gold strip on the bottom of hat band with 2 gold buttons at edge of visor (Canadian National Railways). A Copper colored badge with CNR CONDUCTOR is visible in raised black letters. It is a size 6 7/8.
Empire Stove and Furnace Company Stove on display at the Museum
The Empire Stove and Furnace Company was established in Owen Sound in 1903 by W. J. Christie under the name Canadian Heating and Ventilating Company. Its primary products were stoves and furnaces. In 1917 after company reorganization, the name changed to the Empire Stove and Furnace Company. The company expanded its line to also include gas water heaters and a lot of custom work.
In a newspaper article dated January 8, 1938, and entitled “Empire Stove Company had Good Year ’37”, it indicated that they had introduced
a number of years ago porcelain enamel work to it is manufactured product and since that time has specialized in this line for other products. . . . [The company] is making iron castings which are used in the manufacture of the engines for Russell Bros., boats, a new industry which became firmly established in the city during the past year.
On July 22, 1944, the company had a large fire and the company never really recovered from that setback. In 1950, Maurice, Willard and Harry Christie sold the company to the Moffat Company. Two years later the company closed the foundry. At its peak, it had employed 165 employees and even in the thirties had about 100 employees.
The foundry was located near Russell Brothers. Both are now long gone from the Owen Sound landscape.
“Empire Company had Good Year ’37”, Owen Sound Sun Times, 8 January 1938.
Hay, Ellen, “Empire Stove One of the Industries that put Owen Sound on the map” Owen Sound Sun Times