Friday, June 8, 2012

re-post of Guys original article

Blog EntryJul 17, '11 7:31 AM
by Guy for everyone

I found my notes on the Montheif family included in the E.G. Montgomery memoirs.






When the Twentiethg century was just around the corner, E G. Montgomery of Hampstead, lived on a farm in Verdun. To this day, his fondest and most vivid memories are of early Verdun.

Mr Montgomery remembers when they got the idea of developing Verdun and built a bicycle track for the purpose of having bicycle races. There was only one road in Verdun during Mr Montgomery's youth. It was Lower Lachine Road (now LaSalle). They hadn't put Wellington street through yet.

U.H. Dandurand, who had the distinction of owning the first automobile in Montreal, was the man who organized the building of the bicycle track, Mr Montgomery remembers, and had Verdun first subdivided for building purposes.

Mr Montgomery attended the first school in Verdun which was situated where LaSalle and Gordon are now located. At the same time there was a tollgate across the road from the school. Horses and buggies coming from Montreal on their way west on LaSalle Road paid tolls which kept the roads in repair.

At the back of the school (where the boardwalk is now), they built a dike, the first protection they had against flooding in the spring. The dike ran from where the Grand Truck Boating stood to Riel avenue and from the fields to the high lands.

But one spring, the water broke through the dike and flooded Verdun. Travel had to be done in boats. Everyone living downstairs had four feet of water in their flats. The wooden sidewalks, which had been sitting on wooden cross-pieces without being nailed down, were floating around Verdun.

Mr Montgomery remembers Charlie Baker, probably the first policeman in Verdun, who worked for the city of Verdun for about half a century.

He remembers too, Henry Hadley, City Engineer for Verdun, whose father had a farm which gave some of the streets around Côte St Paul their name.

He remembers the family of Monteiths, the family of the present Federal MP for Verdun, (Old Johnny and young Johnny) who had two dairy farms and who delivered milk to houses in the city.

He still has a newspaper photograph of the children who went to the first Verdun school with him in 1895.

Mr Montgomery remembers Verdun as few people do.

1 CommentChronological   Reverse   Threaded
winnie3rdavenue wrote on Jul 17, '11
Guy. Wonderful stuff. Thanks so much for getting that info to us. Keep up the good work.


Guy Billard said...

The bicycle race track Mr Montgomery refers to was the Queen's Park velodrome wich I posted many times. The track was built in 1898 and the World's Meet was held in august 1899 and Wellington was built at that time. I discovered a map recently wich I previously posted. Here is may album no. 31 on the Q.P. velodrome. Otherwise, all the events mentioned by Mr, Montgomery are acurate.

Les F said...

Good photo account................................................... - Les

Guy Billard said...

One project I have in mind is to have a model (maquette) of the Queen's Park velodrome built with the houses and the streets of that era (1899). This would require much more research and perhaps I can get the city of Verdun involved. This model could be dispIayed at various places such as the "Old Stone House" , our SHGV society, the city of Verdun etc. I can dream can I. This velodrome and the World's Meet International bicycle event is still relatively unknown despite the fact that it was a major international event and probably the most important sporting event that Verdun and the city of Montreal ever had. I would compare it to the Expo 67 and mayor Drapeau, Ucal-Henri Dandurand , the spark plug behind the event being his equivalent.


Les F said...

Absolutely, & always remember the old saying if you can dream it,you can achieve it.(or something like that) ..It sounds like a very attainable project,especially if you get it started & underway,then the city would most likely want to be seen as joining in to support it. Go for it Guy,start with a very rustic model,& then ask for suggestions from maybe archictectural firms who make models of potential buildings all the time,they would certainly know who to contact.Perhaps writing about it in the Messanger & asking for anyone to come forward with ideas,or know how..
Having it on display is a great idea. Remember what the 'Nike' motto is "Just Do It"
- Les