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Letters From Margaret: "My Walkerville Roots"

reprinted from Issue#15: May 2001

I went out today to my IODE meeting (eight of us - there used to be 25 but the years taken their toll) and I was tired, but sat down and read every word of your last issue. It was great to read Danny Duck’s letter and how she remembered Jean Reid (Allison)and I. After reading "A View from Grandma’s Window" by Bonnie (Hazen) Nelson, I’m wondering if her dad was a Walkerville policeman.

I’d like to correct a couple of items. My mother’s family, who bought the farm on Howard Avenue in the 1850’s was "Dickson", not Hickson- (sorry, I’m a terrible writer.)

It seems Grandma Dickson, a determined Dundee Scotswoman, ruled with an iron fist. The house on the property had its front entrance facing the barn, corncrib, milk shed, etc. Grandma Dickson made the men turn the house around so its front door faced Howard Avenue!

My cousin Carl Dickson died at Christmas. He grew up across the road from my grandma on a farm owned by his father Charles, brother to my mother’s father William. Carl’s younger brother Donald said all the Dicksons were reading my letters in the Walkerville Times and enjoying them very much.

The other item I’d like to correct is that the butcher who sold me the ham for my dad’s funeral was Art "Dufour".

The photo of Cam with my doll buggy shows him standing in front of the house across from the flats at 121 Windermere where we lived. I was surprised to see that same house in your photo of the Lincoln Road trolley. I can’t remember that at all! The Pierce Sisters, by the way, owned that house.

The doll in the buggy was mine and it had one smiling face and one crying face. (Oh gosh, if we could have turned our kids’ heads around when they cried and got the smiley one instead!)

A few years before the picture was taken, my family and I moved to Cuba; upon our return, I wanted my doll buggy back (not the one in the photo). I was told it probably had been chopped up for firewood. I was four years old and I remember being broken hearted.Two Christmases later, I got that nice wicker one from Santa (probably Bernhardt Furniture Store).

I have enclosed a photo of the Goderich R.C.A.F. class with some of the boys from Walkerville, Windsor and Riverside. This was my brother Cameron’s first class and from there he went to St. Hubert in Quebec and was in their first graduating class, becoming a Sergeant. Frank Pye of Riverside was there too. He also failed to return from overseas.

My cousin Bill Warnica, is doing research on the Myers family tree. We share the same great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Catherine Wolffe from the Syracuse, New York area. She was raised by her grandmother who was scalped by Mohawk Indians but lived for twelve more years. Half her head was bare and the other half had hair!

I’d love to come down to Walkerville for a day or so and see how all has changed. So glad they kept Dr. Young’s home on Devonshire and the Walkerville Post Office.

Until next time, Margaret

Letters From Margaret (1915- 2002)

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