Buildings Being Moved For Road Widening, Palermo, 1940's
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- This is the first of eight pictures (click on the "Pages Select" link to view them all) taken when the Province of Ontario widened "the Dundas Highway" and Bronte Rd. in the 1940's.
This first picture shows a timber frame house, ca1845, being moved. The view is looking east across Bronte Rd., just north of the church. There are 2 more views of this house as it is moved.
Image TTHSACL00048f has a .pdf document attached which points out architectural features of the house being moved.
Image TTHSACL00048d also has a .pdf document with observations about the photograph attached.
Image TTHSACL00084a showing the northeast corner of Bronte and Dundas (because the hall is visible down the street to the south), shows the barn at the north end of the general store that was in this location. The car is ca1938, possibly English or a rare car like a Hudson as the wheelbase is short. Contributor John Shearman describes the front doors of the car as "suicide doors" and notes the rear doors open to the rear.
- Palermo boasted, at one time, 300 residents and a foundry that rivaled the Massey Ferguson Plant. It was part of the Underground Railroad, had one of the first grammar schools in the province and had one of the first public schools to include music as part of its curriculum,” said Gordon Kaitting of the Trafalgar Township Historical Society.
“Palermo has the largest concentration of heritage buildings this close together outside of Old Oakville. You’ve got the two churches, the one-room school house, the two cemeteries, the doctor’s house, the store keeper’s home, the blacksmith’s shop, the parsonage and its barn.”
Palermo's history dates back 200 years, two decades before the ports of Oakville and Bronte were in operation. The village was clustered around Dundas Street West and Bronte Road, an arterial intersection for east-west traffic travelling between Toronto and western Ontario, as well as north-south traffic moving between Bronte to Milton. Come the 1870s, it was a charcoal supply link for factories in Hamilton. By 1920, the village boasted 30 houses, a community hall, school, foundry, sawmill, church, cemetery, and two corner stores. Wolves, bears, and deer roamed the surrounding wilderness.
But, in one of history's ironic twists, Palermo was besieged by its own advantages, and it began to crumble in the 40s. The Province wanted to speed up Bronte and Dundas, and construction consumed stores and homes were relocated. Meanwhile, fire destroyed the foundry. The Bronte Bypass was built to make traffic even more efficient, and the trend continued right into the new millennium, with a recent realignment of Dundas Street West causing further disturbance.
Although Palermo failed to receive a heritage district designation, very stiff guidelines, as per the Winter 2011 Trafalgar Township Historical Society Newsletter, were approved by the Town of Oakville.
- Photograph TTHSACL00048f .pdf text: This building has small 6/6 windows on the second floor, and an oddly placed door on the corner of the gable facade suggesting it may have been a store or possibly a post office. On the adjoining elevation, the outline of the smaller wing (with two doorways) suggests it was attached to an older wing, perhaps a kitchen wing, which had a verandah on one side (where the siding is unpainted past the further doorway). From the height and shape of the old roof line, it would appear to be an early storey and a half house that was no more than 12 feet high at the eaves. This is similar to the old wing that we saw on the back of 3015 Dundas St., (the Jonathan Hagar house), so may have been a contemporary. The 2/2/ window and 4 pane glazing in the doorway suggest that they were replaced in the early 20th century.
Image TTHSACL00048d .pdf text: Notice the two moving trucks with a set of beams lying on the ground in front of what appears to be another building, while the first one being moved is already up on the beams and wheels. Perhaps the two buildings where side by side before the move.
- Personal Name(s):
- Early land registry records and Trafalgar census records from 1851, 1871, 1881 use the family surname spelling, "Hagar". However, the 1861 census and the family gravestones in the Palermo cemetery use the spelling "Hager". Please research under both spellings.
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- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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- Buildings Being Moved For Road Widening, Palermo, 1940's
Trafalgar Township Historical Society
Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton