The photo at top is from Elizabeth Gillham's Album of Oldies. It shows the Holland Marsh hamlet of Ansnorveldt as it appeared in 1934. I'm not sure that much has changed over the past 80 years in overall appearance and layout of the community along Dufferin Street. Most of the original homes retain their shapes, with some embellishments added over the decades. While the streetscape may not mimic the historical legacy of the rest of King Township, it certainly preserves the original design features of its 20th-century Dutch pioneers.
Pictured above is the northern outflow of Glenville Pond, beneath Hwy. 9, at Dufferin Street.
Elizabeth McClure Gillham, in her book Early Settlements of King Township describes the naming as Glenville as follows: "No doubt Glenville was so named on account of its location, for the hamlet was folded in by hills". While the earthly, physical surroundings of Glenville look much the same today as they did 200 years ago, the remains of a once bustling, little village seem to have disappeared. Other villages and hamlets in King have a number of old buildings that bespeak of yesteryear. Other than the ancient Glenville Methodist Church (pictured immediately below), which is now a private building, there is little else that readily speaks of the past. Glenville is one of those tiny places that has a 'Brigadoon' feel to it, as though one might be mystically transported back a hundred years to a bustling, special place, for a short time.
Glenville once was home to two sawmills, two grist/flour mills,a whiskey distillery, three blacksmiths, a blanket and carpet-making business, a hat store, two hotels, a general store, two hotels, a school, a church and a Temperance Society, among other enterprises. No evidence of these structures is apparent today to passers-by. The homes of modern-day Glenville are mostly large, attractive and complementary to the surrounding woodlands.
Above, a southerly view across a pond, a valley and surrounding hills is bisected by Highway 9, just west of Dufferin Street.
The photo above shows King City's Clearview Motors in December of 1959. The occasion was the Ontario Jaguar Owners Association's Julius Caesar Night Navex overnight car rally. Clearview was the staring point for the rally and the event was organized by local businessman and King City resident, Gerald Gamble. Clearview Motors was started by Ken McQuarrie 59 years ago, in 1954. I was 18 years old and Gerald Gamble was my next-door neighbour. He invited me to be the navigator of his Jaguar in this rally. I had no idea what I was doing, but learned quickly, It was a long, cold, and hazardous event. Despite the uncomfortable introduction to rallying, I was hooked. Over the next couple of years, I was a rally navigator for King City resident John Dew Jr. in his Austin-Healey Sprite. I soon-after owned an Austin-Healey Sprite myself, but never drove it in a rally. At the top of the photo, on the right is the Isaac McBride house which dates back to at least 1860, and stands to this day. Meanwhile, Clearview will soon celebrate its 60th anniversary. Three generations of Macquarries, Ken, his son Wayne, and Wayne's sons have all pumped gas into my numerous cars over the years, none of which was a Jaguar. But you never know. maybe that's why I keep buying lottery tickets. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
The Grackle Coffee Company on Main Street in Schomberg makes more than just great coffee. I think it may sell the best butter tarts in King Township also! They are big, well-filled and delectable. I had a cafe au lait and a butter tart there on Sunday afternoon. The ambience is so low-key and relaxed that even if it's your first time there, you feel like a regular. There is nothing else like it in King.
At left, "the man with the tattoo makes a mean coffee brew".
This photo was taken around 1910 with McDonald's Store and post office (now Locale Restaurant & Bar) on the left, with the automobile parked in front. South of that is Winter's Store (now the Paper Crane Sushi Bar & Bistro). On the right of the photo are the buildings associated with John Hogan's Hotel (now Hogan's Inn). This photo belongs to King City 'old boy' Dave Hunter, who now resides in Parry Sound, Ontario. He shared it with another King City 'old boy', my brother, Bob Wallace, who now resides in Nobel, Ontario, who passed it on to me. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
The core of King City could become home to another eating establishment if a request for a zoning by-law amendment for 12974 Keele Street is successful. The owner and zoning amendment applicant is Catherine Wellesley. She is requesting an amendment that would allow for commercial retail use and restaurant/cafe on the ground floor of the existing one-and-a-half storey historically designated building. A plaque beside the front door notes that 'Jane McMurchy - Widow - 1900' was once a resident there. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace
A newer sign has gone up, on the King Road this week, announcing the opening of the sales office for the new housing development, east of, and adjoining, the King Township Museum grounds. The developer has improved and expanded the museum building for its use as a limited-time sales office. The museum will take back the new space for its own purposes, once the subdivision has been sold out.
Before (above) and after (below)
The new sales office (above and below) is almost complete and gives a good impression of the premises the museum will inherit, once the subdivision developer is through using the large and attractive space and hands it back to the museum.
Photos by Barry Wallace
The sales office opens this coming Saturday, Feb. 9, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place at 12.30 p.m. Local politicians and community dignitaries and developers will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting. Please comment if you wish.
The gift shop at Marylake Shrine & Monastery, on Keele Street just north of King City is basically a log cabin, with a small lean-to at each end and a tiny enclosed porch at the front door. The logs at the bottom of the structure are 16" thick, while the top logs are 12". Books and various religious items are for sale inside but hours are limited during the winter.
A little north of the hamlet of Eversley, on the east side of Bathurst Street and opposite Seneca College's King Campus, is the estate subdivision of Fairfields, where dozens and dozens of multi-million-dollar homes grace the rolling hills of King Township. One of those homes, pictured immediately above, sits on the site of the home that appears in the old photograph at the top. In the early 1900s, William Cairns and Catherine Shanks, the paternal grandparents of my wife Linda, took up residence on this 50-acre farm and in addition to being hard-working farmers, set about raising a family of 11 children. Sadly, William Cairns died at the relatively young age of 52, and his wife Catherine was left with seven children at home and a farm to run. Some of the four older children, who had already left the farm, returned to assist their mother with work on the farm and the raising of their younger siblings. Catherine (pictured at left) was able to purchase the farm that she and her fatherless children lived on, but as the children grew to be adults, she decided to sell the farm. She spent the rest of her days living happily with her children on a rotational basis: a few months here, a year there, and so on, until her death in 1957, at the age of 90, in the home of her daughter, Olive, in Snowball. I have been told that some remnants of the ancient house (logs and stone fireplace) have been retained in the newer versions of the house, but I do not know that this is true. Please comment if you wish. Barry Wallace