Waterloo County Eighty Years Ago
We have not space for further details concerning the development of telegraph service of the period under review and our reference to railway construction must be brief.
March 18th a newspaper item stated that the site of the station at Guelph for the Guelph and Port Sarnia Railway was being located and that the land required for the railway east of Guelph had been procured at prices varying from $20.00 to $40.00 per acre.
Earlier that year an item from the Huron Loyalist was reproduced in the local papers that "Surveyors have completed the survey of the Goderich and Fort Erie Railroad line between Goderich and Brantford and that ground will be broken in a few days. (Jan. 14th.)
An advertisement appeared under date of Dec. 24th, 1852—"Notice is hereby given that I have this day deposited in the office of the Clerk of the Peace for the United Counties of Wellington, Waterloo and Grey, the plans and books of reference to the lands taken by the Toronto and Guelph Railway Co. in the Counties of York, Peel, Halton and Wellington. Signed F. Shanley, Resident Engineer.
Feb. 28th, 1853—Engineers visited Galt to decide on site and size of station to be built for the Great Western Railway, the cost to be between $10,000 and $15,000. Announcement stated that by April 1st rails would be going down and it was expected the line would be open in July. This was not accomplished so soon, In December it was announced the road would be opened January 18th, 1854.
A news item of Dec. 15th, 1853, stated that the pioneer locomotive on the Great Western line went through from Hamilton to London and on Dec. 17th it was announced that the road had been officially opened that day with a demonstration in the evening in London; that the road was now in operation from Niagara to London and that in January it was expected it would be open throughout its entire length.
A newspaper report of the meeting held in Berlin at the new Court House, April 8th, 1853, will concluded our references to railway development. This meeting was called to decide upon the best location for the station there.
Sheriff Davidson was chairman and Mr. Peter Eby, proprietor of The Berlin Telegraph, the secretary. The report states "An animated and friendly discussion commenced in both languages and lasted until a late hour" (the report does not say in which language the discussion closed).
"It was moved by Michael Correll and seconded by Henry B. Bowman that it is the opinion of the inhabitants of the Town of Berlin" (not then even incorporated as a village) "that it would be for the advantage of this Town and the neighboring country if the station of the Guelph and Sarnia line at Berlin were to be laid out on the easterly side of Berlin instead of the west side, (etc., etc.) and that the Committee (Chairman and Secretary) bind themselves to give the station 8 acres free should it be so located."
An amendment was moved that the line of said road do not go below the barn of Mr. C. Eby. The amendment was only supported by the mover and seconder and the motion was then declared carried.