Gilliandr's Blog

Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments


Family History

107 Whitehead Road, Aston

107 Whitehead Road Aston - home of family 1897

I have started a new blog – dedicated specifically to the Paulin(e) family.  This picture is of 107 Whitehead Road in Aston where my family lived in 1896-7.  I have been transcribing a series of letters written by my great-grandfather Ernest Alfred Paulin to his brother Frederick Arthur Pauline, who lived in Victoria.  The letters have been lent to me by the Cormack family, Frederick’s descendants.  What a gift of information.

To follow the Paulin(e) family visit the site here:


Auntie Grace’s gift – 1974


In the summer of 1974 our family went on a trip to Ireland and England.  Mom, Dad, my brother and I, along with my dad’s cousin Gwen (who was also my godmother) went to Ireland. There we explored the Republic and got our first glimpse (Hugh and I) of Swinford, where Dad and Gwen’s family came from.  Mom had invited Gwen along because she thought it would be good for her, as she had recently lost her mother.  I don’t know if that worked or not for Gwen.

The second part of the trip was to visit Mom’s family in England.  Gwen had been invited, but declined. The occasion was my grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary.  I should mention at this point that I share my birthday with my grandmother, and my grandparents married on her birthday. There was a party.

While it was my birthday, the main focus of the family gathered at my grandparent’s house that August day was the 50th.  My memories of the day centre around the preparation of the food, and all the family arriving at the house.

My best memory though is of my Great-Aunt Grace.  When she arrived she took me aside and gave me a present, and made me feel like it was my special day too.  I still have that present (Pictured above).

It is a white plastic base with a blue cone hat, attached with a string, which originally held some balls of wool, and had knitting needles poking out of the top. (One of the pictures I put needles in to show how it looked – ish).  The wool and the needles have long disappeared but the case survives.

I was rather young so I have relatively few memories of that trip, but remember Auntie Grace’s kindness perhaps the most. that is possibly why I have hung on to the toy she gave me.

Dorchester School, 1787

Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 18 Jun 1787, page 1

Dorchester School

The Rev Mr. Cutler begs leave to acquaint such parents as have children now under the care of the Rev Mr. Henchman, at this School, or may have children to place out for education, that the Trustees thereof have agreed to appoint him to succeed to the Mastership on the resignation of Mr. Henchman, which will take place on the 24th instant.

To this important trust, Mr. Cutler is appointed, by the recommendation of the Rev Dr Davies, Master of Eton School, under whom he received his education; and in the strict performance of this trust, but Mr. and Mrs. Cutler beg leave to assure the public, that in their different spheres they will earnestly endeavour to obtain the patronage of the several parents and guardians of the young gentlemen that may be committed to their care.

The terms of boarding and school (as under the two preceding masters) viz

Entrance               3     3  0

Board, washing and education in the English, Latin and Greek languages, per annum  21  0  0

Writing and arithmetic, ditto                                       1  10 0

Drawing, music, &c by proper masters, if required, on the usual terms

NB The holidays begin the 13th inst and the school will open again on Monday the 23d July next.

Prehistoric Reptiles, WE Cutler – 1924

Aberdeen Press and Journal, 5 March 1924 page 2

Prehistoric Reptiles

For some time, past it has been well known that Alberta is one of the world’s greatest storehouses of remains of prehistoric creatures.  The principal place where these are found is in the banks of the deep canyon of the Red Deer River, which in the course of thousands of years has cut down deeply into the hard clay underlying the prairies.  In the steep clay banks thus formed lie embedded the fossilized remains of giant lizards and other reptiles which roamed the swamps and forests which covered that part of the world millions of years ago.

A very interesting address on prehistoric giant reptiles of Alberta was recently given in Winnipeg under the auspices of the National History Society of Manitoba, by Mr. WE Cutler, FGS, who for several terms has been lecturing on geology to the students of the University of Manitoba.  Mr. Cutler, who has been deeply interest in the exploration for these remains, has made a journey from the Rocky Mountains to Lake Winnipeg by punt on the Belly, Bow, Little Saskatchewan rivers and Cedar Lake, his purpose being to inspect the banks for traces of fossils.  Mr. Cutler told of the finding of the remains of these monsters in the “bad lands” of Alberta along the Red Deer River.  These beasts had been vegetarians, and had lived on the foliage of the oak, fig, willow and walnut trees which had flourished about 4,000, 000 years ago. The deposits were in the upper cretaceous layer of the “bad lands” along the river near the mouth of the Deer Lodge Canyon.

Some of the Monsters

Along with the remains of other monsters, he had discovered a sabre-toothed tiger and a rhinoceros together with a previously undiscovered type of dinosaur.  The Canadian members of the reptilian family were about 35 feet in length and stood erect in a manner similar to the kangaroo of Australia.  The diplodocus of the swamps of Utah sometimes reached the length of 85 feet, and could stand in water 40 feet deep with its feet on bottom and its head above water. The clay of the “bad lands” was impervious to water, and for that reason the remains had been preserved.  He regretted that there was no provincial museum in Manitoba, as there was a wealth of material at hand which was gradually being sent to the United States and overseas instead of remaining at home.  Among the exhibits of the evening were a section of a vertebra which weighed 40 lb.  it was one of the 92 vertebrae of the dinosaur.  There were also fossil figs in an excellent state of preservation, and several dinosaur teeth.

Family Album of a Centennial Pioneer, 1966

Daily Colonist 31 July 1966


Jim Nesbitt Browses through Family Album of a Centennial Pioneer


Recently I spent a happy two hours poking through the Gardiner family album in the possession of Mrs. THE Jones, 1044 Pendergast Street, a peppy lady, who is a registered Centennial Pioneer for Canada’s 100th birthday party next year.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones keep in trim by taking walks every afternoon, rain or shine, along the Dallas Road waterfront and through Beacon Hill Park.

“I’ve been going there since was two, and that’s a long time ago,” says Mrs. Jones.  “There’s no more beautiful spot this whole wide, wonderful world.”

That, you see is the loyalty of a native daughter of Victoria.

Mrs. Jones is a granddaughter of Capt. John Allan Gardiner, who came here more than a century ago.  Her father was Charles Frederick Gardiner, and his brother was George, and they married sisters – the daughters of Frederick Pauline, who lived at the turn of the century in the old John Tod House at the Willows, a house still standing, and willed to the Victoria section of the British Columbia Historical Association.  It is now occupied by Mrs. TC Evans.

For many years Charles and George Gardiner and their families lived in homes that backed on each other – George on Pockington Street, facing south, and Charles on Fairfield Road, facing north.  The Charles Gardiner house is gone now, but the George Gardiner house stands yet, now an apartment.

Capt. John Allan Gardiner was a popular seaman in this port, a great spinner of tall tales of salt waters around the pot-bellied stove in McQuade’s ship chandlery shop down on the waterfront, where the sealers and the seamen gathered each day.

When he died here in 1899, the Colonist said of him: “Another familiar face to every old resident of the city will be missed by those who had learned to love its friendly lines, Capt. John Allan Gardiner having passed to the great majority.  The deceased was a native of Newport, Rhode Island, his ancestors having crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock; he came to Victoria during the gold excitement of the early sixties, and at the time of his death was in his 64th year.

“Capt. Gardiner, who lived on Labouchere Street (Now Fairfield Road) was connected with British Columbia coast navigation here for the past 30 years, during which time he commanded steamers, among them being the California, an American vessel trading between Portland and Sitka, the British steamers Fidelita, Otter and Enterprise, and others.  He was also at one time in the employ of the United States government, engaged in survey work in northern waters, and at different times acted as pilot for British men-of-war going north.  He leaves four sons and three daughters.  His wife died a few years ago.”

“The funeral took place from his Labouchere Street home to the Reformed Episcopal Church, with Rev John Reid officiating, and burial was in Ross Bay Cemetery – very many old friends attending to pay their last tribute of respect to their old companion of early days.  The following gentlemen acted as pallbearers: EA McQuade, Thomas Earle, Charles A Lombard, Edgar Marvin, WT Drake and Henry Waller.”

Mrs. Jones’ parents were married here in September of 1890, as noted in the Colonist: “Still another of Victoria’s fair daughters has bestowed her hand and heart upon the object of her affections, and Mr. Charles Frederick Gardiner, and Miss Amy Pauline, daughter of Mr. Frederick Pauline, were made one before the altar of Christ Church Cathedral.  Rev Mr. Kingham officiating.  “The bride, who was elegantly attired, was attended by Miss Florence Pauline, Miss Abbie Gardiner, Miss Violet Pauline, Miss S Pauline, Miss Nellie Pauline and Miss Polly Pauline, the last two named juveniles deporting themselves in the most staid and dignified manner, appearing to fully appreciate the importance of the life contract at whose assumption they were assisting.

Mr. P Lowe acted as best man, the bride being given away by her father.  After the ceremony the wedding party adjourned to the house of the bride’s father, where a merry concourse sat down to the wedding feast, and shared in the subsequent festivities.

“Later the newly made man-and-wife left by the steamer North Pacific for the Sound and San Francisco. They are attended by the best of wishes of a large circle of friends.”

One of Capt. Gardiner’s daughters was married here in December of 1887: “Wedding bells – Mr. Alfred Nelson Codrington King, cashier at the Moodyville Saw Mill Company, was united in marriage to Miss Clara Amy, eldest daughter of Capt. John Allan Gardiner of this city.

“The ceremony was performed at Capt. Gardiner’s residence, Rev Percival Jenns of St John’s Church officiating.  The bride’s sister, Miss EJ Gardiner, was bridesmaid, and Mr. J Carsman ably supporting the groom.

“Only the immediate friends of the high contracting parties were present.  The happy couple departed later in the steamer Olympia for the Sound.  They will take up their residence at Port Moody.”

(Mrs. Ernest Ware, 310 Linden Avenue, is a daughter of this marriage.  Her mother was born in Valparaiso and came here to live as a child.)

The pictures on this page are from Mrs. Jones’ family album and she has now presented them to the Provincial Archives, so that this bit of the history of Victoria may be preserved for all time.

New Blog – The Amazing Paulin(e) Family, 2019


Following the successful family reunion held this July in Victoria, I have taken the initiative to create a new website called “The Amazing Paulin(e) Family” where in future my research for the Paulin family will be featured.

It was a bit of a difficult decision for me to split my work from my main blog, but after talking with a number of family members it seemed like a necessary thing.  So I have created this new website as a means for all of the family to go for information on the family, and also for them to come and post their material. So this blog/website is not a gilliandr website per se, but a Paulin family collaboration.

The site is organised around the descendants of Frederick Paulin(e) and his wife Mary Cutler.  Each child has their own page, and there is a drop down being created for each of their children.  I will limit the categories to grandchildren because of privacy concerns.

My first load of content in the blog part of the site is the transcription of a number of letters written by Ernest Alfred Paulin to his brother Frederick Arthur Pauline between 1884-1912, which were kept by Frederick, and lent to me by his descendants, the Cormack Family.  They are awesome reads.

A lot of the pages are just placeholders right now, and will be updated with content when time and information allows.  This is a collaborative effort, and I welcome all suggestions, submissions, and so forth.

Conmee-Corley Wedding, 1914

Winnipeg Tribune, 27 October 1914 page 6



Montreal, Que – Oct 20 – A quiet wedding took place yesterday at the Church of Saint Leo, in Westmount, when Miss Madge Corley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Corley, Roslyn Avenue, was married to Mr. Arthur B Conmee, only son of the late Mr. Jas Conmee and Mrs. Conmee of Port Arthur, Ont.

William Christopher Leitch, Obituary, 1924

La Presse, 2 Mai 1924 p11

Entrepeneur Bien Connu Qui Disparait

M William C Leitch, est decede hier, apres une maladie de plus de deux ans, a sa residence, 476 avenue Strathcona, Westmount.  Le defunt qui etai ne a Cornwall, Ont ete age de 57 ans.

Pendant plusieurs annees, il fut a l’emploi de Moffat, Hodgkins & Clark, fabricants de machines hydrauliques de Syracuse NY; il y a 33 ans, il vint demeurer a Montreal ou il occupa le poste de surintendant de la “Montreal Water & Power Company”.  En 1904 M Leitch fit partie de la firme Laurin, Leitch & Company, et depuis ce temps, il s’occupa activement de construction.

Sa femme, nee Mary Cashion, et deux fils lui survivent.

La depouille sera transportee a Williamstown, Ont, demain.

Rock-Crushing Plant of Messrs Laurin & Leitch, 1910

The Canadian Engineer, 1 Dec 1910, p691-4 and 697

Rock-Crushing Plant of Messrs Laurin & Leitch

Paul C Van Zandt

leitch laurin 1

General Description

The rock-crushing plant of Messrs Laurin and Leitch engineers and contractors, Montreal, Canada, is unusually interesting from its enormous capacity of production and remarkable flexibility of operation.

Having obtained from the Montreal Water and Power Company, the contract for constructing within four years a reservoir of 43,000.000 gallons at Outremont, one of the city’s suburbs, they recognized the advantage of crushing and marketing the rock at the time the excavation is made instead of piling it on a waste bank, the usual custom in the past.

As the reservoir will be 800 feet long, 400 feet wide and 40 feet deep, formed partly by excavation and partly by enclosing walls, it will be necessary to crush within four years approximately one million tons of hard trap and granite rock and to provide storage for approximately one hundred and fifty thousand tons in various sizes after crushing so that it can be marketed to the best advantage.

The limited time at the disposal of the contractors and the enormous quantity of stone to be removed within that time necessitated the erection of one of the largest rock crushing plants in the world.

leitch laurin 2

The site of the reservoir from which the rock is quarried is upon the north slope of Mount Royal, and quarry operations have been started at the lowest point in the reservoir site, where an excavation of approximately twenty feet has been commenced.  From this point the quarry face will be gradually cut back towards the mountain parallel with the lower edge of the reservoir.  The rock as fast as quarried is loaded direct by steam shovels into six yard side dump quarry cars, which are made up into trains of four each, to be hauled to the crushing plant.  The rock is drilled by Temple electric drills along the quarry face which is 800 feet in length, and after blasting the cars are brought to the proper location alongside of the steam shovel, close to the bank of blasted rick, by Shay locomotive, which is 6’ the geared type so s t take the grades, pushing the empty cars up to the quarry face, and bringing the loaded cars from the quarry face to the bottom of the incline haulage system leading from the lowest point in the reservoir to the crushing plant.

leitch laurin 3

Hoisting System:

The crushing plant is advantageously located upon an excellent site about 1500 feet from the centre of the reservoir, and to bring the rock from the excavation to the crusher a haulage system has been installed operating in balance, drawing a train of four loaded cars up the haulage incline of about 4 per cent, to the foot of the two incline trestles leading from the ground to the dumping hopped over the large crusher.  At the same time, a train of four empty cars is lowered down the haulage incline back to the quarry, balancing in part the up-going load. At the upper end of the haulage incline there is a third track for empty cars, and the trains of loaded cars which are gathered upon first one then the other of the two outside tracks shown upon the cut accompanying this article, are hauled up these incline trestles of approximately 20 per cent grade, one at a time and alternately upon each of the two trestles as shown in photo 776, so that the large crusher is receiving a carload of rock first upon one side and then upon the other, making its operation almost continuous.


The reservoir, which will be the largest in Montreal, was designed by Frank H Pucher, Chief Engineer of the Montreal Water and Power Company.  Approximately one-half of this reservoir is to be completed first and put into operation, while the remaining half is being completed.  The main water pipe leading from this reservoir is now being laid by Messrs Laurin and Leitch, and consists of a line of 60-in cast iron pipe, the laying of which, with its valves, etc., is in itself as item of considerable interest, but which is dwarfed in comparison with the quarrying and crushing operations going on.

This plant is unusual in many respects: primarily on account of its size and initial cost in proportion to the amount of work to be done under this contract.  The size of the plant and the excellence of its equipment are resulting in a saving in the cost of construction of the reservoir, and the disposal of the rock taken from it which should pay for the entire equipment.  It has sufficient capacity to crush the rock as fast as taken from the quarry, so that the product can be marketed immediately after excavation.  The rock is handled but once from the excavation to the marketing, and in this way it is immediately disposed of and is out of the way.  The rock is excellent in quality and instead of being thrown away on a waste bank, as was the case of the rock taken from the excavation for the Chicago drainage canal, for example, is made to yield a profit. Messrs Laurin & Leitch use a very great quantity of crushed rock in their own work on other contracts, noticeably, street paving, concrete work, and other engineering work of similar character, and a portion of this rock will be used in this way, the cost of which will be less to them than rock purchased upon the open market.  The plant, which was designed and equipped by the engineering force of Allis-Chalmers Company, possesses an unusual flexibility of operation in addition to unusual economy of production, so that it may be operated to suit both the work of excavation and the market for crushed stone, producing rock for the lowest possible cost of production.  The plant is exceedingly compact, resulting in the smallest possible buildings, and is well arranged for operating with the smallest crew of men. One man handles the hoisting and haulage equipment, tow men the dumping of cars and feeding of crusher, two men the handling of cars at the foot of the incline trestles, one man for the spring floor, one man for the number sixes, one man for the transmission and hoist floor, one engineer, two boiler men, one oiler and two men upon the conveyors, loading, etc. and these men constitute the entire operating force of the plant. One side of the haulage incline may be operated independently of or without the other. Any one or all of the number of sixes maybe cut out temporarily, and when the balance of the plant is shut down rock may still be loaded or piled on the storage piles, or the drills at the quarry may be operated.

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