The Home Front
from Issue #19: November 2001
by Currie Bednarick
Peabody Building, once located on the southwest corner
of Riverside and Devonshire, was a Walkerville landmark
for many years. Situated beside the Peabody bridge, the
familiar complex was the home of many companies and associations
over the years, despite the attack it endured during World
War I close to a century ago.
building first housed the Peabody Leather Label Overall
Company, which produced the famous Peabody brand overalls,
known by the shiny buckles on their shoulder straps. During
World War I, the company manufactured uniforms for the
British Army. The company had only been in business a few
years when American-based German sympathizers tried to
blow up the building at 3 a.m. on June 21, 1915.
sympathizers placed a bomb in a hole under the building,
next to the old wooden Peabody Bridge. The framework on
one side of the bridge was blown away, and the other side
was twisted and bent; the concrete crumbled to powder.
The force of the explosion also was strong enough to blow
out every window in the building. Some of the window sashes
also broke and a few sills snapped.
were made, and the building went on to live a long life,
becoming the starting place of several companies. RPScherer,
which produced gelatin for pharmaceutical companies, occupied
the building for several years, as well as Butcher Engineering
Enterprises, Lorence Enterprises, Reid Industries, and
the McCord Corporation. The building also provided space
for Junior Achievement of Windsor. It was demolished in