Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anglo Enclaves and Such

Unknown man and women. Tighsolas. I think this may be Henry Watters and sisters. Why? Because the only picture of Henry I have (had, I lost it) was a photocopy of a microfilm obituary. And I recall he looked like this, deep set eyes. I found his obit in the New England Journal of Medicine. He studied in the US, his medical studies anyway after being graduated (they used the right term) from St. Francis College. He interned in 1905 at Newton. (I have letters from him when he is starting his practice, working for free for poor people.) He was on the Board of Trustees of Newton Hospital. Died at 56 in 1937. (He's buried in Melbourne.)

I've continued my tour of 1910 Montreal, St-Antoine and I finally found my anglo enclave, on streets around Belmont (Imperial?) that no longer exist. Well, Belmont, is gone too, I think. It is under Place Bonaventure. (McGill Normal School was on Belmont in 1905 when Marion was at college. It was a real hole apparently. Flora was much much luckier to be at Macdonald.
"Everyone hates the Normal," Marion wrote in a letter from school.

And I found my Jewish/Italian Enclave just north and east of Royal Arthur, (St-Felix) just south of Dorchester, again where the Ville Marie now is.

Lots of Russian Jews who had just arrived. In 1910. The worker in one family, a tailor.

I found the richest guy in the area, a jeweller for a store, maybe Birks. Anglo. Made 1800 that past year, he said. The only decent salary in the entire area.

And I found more Italian Presbyterians. All cabinet makers. And some Americans who were written down as Negroes. (Porter.)And Chinese men who worked as launderers, who'd been in Canada since the 70's and 80's. The Railroad!

And I found one Greek, a peanut salesman, working for peanuts, 480. a year, but that's just 20 dollars less than Norman Nicholson makes in 1912 in Hearst, Ontario on the Transcontinental Railway after the Liberals lose the Free Trade Election.

And then I stumbled on an entire page of people who didn't work. I noticed they were written down as "inmates," then I noticed they were all Irish Catholics, most elderly, in their 60's and 70's, one 16 and one 95.

M. Bridges Havre on La Gauchetiere. Must mean haven. Hopefully not a workhouse. They still had those in England in 1910.

My husband asked why I cared about finding these Protestants and Jews. Because they were the families of the kids attending Marion and Flo's Schools. They were the reason the Nicholson women got jobs in the city and why the Flo wrote at graduation time: 'We have the Montreal Board at our mercy."

I still haven't found anyone working at Dominion Textile. I found some tobacco workers, though.