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Letters From Margaret: "My Walkerville Roots"

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margaret.jpgI was born in Walkerville, July 19, 1915. My father was a barber, a friend of Bert Snowden who was mentioned in one of your earlier papers. My dad's name was Harry Myers (wife Mable Dickson). I was born above Petch's Drug Store (corner of Victoria - now Chilver and Wyandotte).

When I was born, my father was barbering above Black's Bakery which was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Blackmore who had a daughter nicknamed Bubbles. Then my dad moved around the corner and down a little ways from Ed Keith's gas station. There was a pool hall behind my father's shop and on Chilver next to it, a Chinese laundry (now called The Complex, and new home of The Walkerville Times- editor).

When we moved to a flat on the corner of Windermere and Cataraqui, my father liked to go to Bert Graham's Pool Hall for card games on Sunday afternoons. It was across from the Victoria Hotel. My big brother Malcolm and I would be sent by my mother to tell dad to come home for supper. She would say, "Malcolm, you go in - Margaret, you wait outside!!" We were probably 7 and 6 years old.

Later my father moved his shop to the Crown Inn Bldg., at that time owned by the Walkerville Land and Building Company. He faced the railway tracks and next door to him was the Telegraph Office. Later, the W.L.& Bldg. Co. added a small storefront to it and we also sold ice creams, tobacco and cigarettes.detroitriverschooners.jpg

In 1927, my family moved to what is now 666 Devonshire Rd., one of the houses owned by W.L. & Bldg. Co. across from the Pentilly Manor. At that time, a Colonel Robinson (either an M.P. or M.P.P.) owned Pentilly Manor with his wife and six grown children: Cecil, Sydney, Edward, Florence, Edith and Louisa. Whenever we got too noisy, my mother would say, "Shish! The Robinsons will hear you!"

My mother's dad, William Dickson, worked as a boy at the "Scotten Farm", I think at what is now Moy and Hall Ave., [formerly Moy House] on the Detroit River front in around 1878. William bought a spyglass so he could read the names of the sailing ships up and down the river.

Until next time, All the best, Margaret

April 18, 2000

Dad moved his store to the first store on the right of the central entrance of the old Crown Inn on Devonshire (where the printing shop is now). The store where "Nancy's" is was the C.N. Telegraph office, which later moved beside Lanspeary's Drug Store on Wyandotte near Devonshire.

For a while during the late 30's, Chase and Tina Breese's daughter Flora and son Ralphie lived in the apartment above our store. Flora and I grew up together. Her dad was the Manual Training teacher who later built a beautiful boat on Dacotah Drive in behind King George School.

If Mrs. Breese was in a good mood, she'd call me "Flora's child" as I was tiny and much smaller than Flora who was two years older. If Mrs. Breese was in a bad mood, she'd say, "Here comes that Myers brat!"

crowninn.jpgMrs. Breese was Christine Graham and her sister, Elizabeth Graham, became the famous "Elizabeth Arden", of the cosmetic company. Elizabeth used to send boxes of clothes etc. to Mrs. Breese - lovely things. I remember once Flora and I paraded around in a long peach cut velvet, with lace negligee. Elizabeth had also sent a cigarette holder - why I don't know, as Mrs. Breese didn't smoke. My parents did so Flora, who was 14 at the time and I (12) got a cigarette and lit up and paraded around puffing on the "cig" in the holder wearing the peach negligee. (In my case, it dragged along the floor as I was so tiny.)

Mrs. Breese came home a little later and said, "Who's been smoking?!" I quickly said, "Ralphie!" Ralphie was eighteen. By the way she rolled her eyes I didn't think she bought it and I hoped she wouldn't mention it to Ralphie, but I don't think she ever did.

The best to you, Margaret Stokes

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