Old St. Andrews

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Sir Donald Smith

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Sir Donald Smith, Lord Strathcona

 

Pilot
Oct 21/1880
Syndicate formed of Hill, Stephen, Angus, Kennedy and Smith to complete remainder of trans-Canada railway line

 

Pilot
Nov 12/1885
Completion of the Canadian Pacific
Winnipeg, Man. Nov 8. The last spike of the CPR was driven near Farwell, BC, at 9:22 on Saturday morning by the Hon. Donald Smith. General Manager Van Horne was present; and the party went through to the Pacific Coast, thus traversing for the first time the whole line from ocean to ocean.

 

Pilot
Feb 23/1889
From Boston Post:
The syndicate of wealthy capitalists, numbering several well-known Bostonians, who have undertaken the development of SA, NB, the pretty little seaport of Passamaquoddy Bay, as a summer resort, have already spent $100,000 in beautifying and improving the place. They have erected a superb hotel, the Algonquin, containing eighty-seven rooms, with every modern convenience, at a cost of $60,000, and placed it in charge of Fred. A. Jones of the Dufferin Hotel, St. John, N. B., a widely known host. A public park has also been laid out at a cost of $15,000, and numerous cottages erected. [not true] The scheme comprehends the laying of water pipes and electric lights in the near future. Climate and scenery being all that could be desired, distance from, the New England capital seemed the only possible obstacle to overcome. This has been met as far as practicable by the Boston and Maine, Maine Central and New Brunswick railroads undertaking to run through trains in twelve hours from Boston to SA, at very low rates, on and after the 1st day of June next. The fine boats on the I. S. S. Co., also offer a pleasant and cheap means of access to this Mecca of summer tourists. Of course under the forcing power of all this Yankee activity and capital, town lots in the little Shiretown are ‘booming.’ Eligible building sites are at 300 percent premium over last spring. The inhabitants of the provinces are also rapidly awakening to the possibility of development enjoyed by St. Andrews when it becomes one of the termini of the C. P. R., as it will in June next. The new line from Mattawamkeag Junction to Sherbrooke P. Q., through northern Maine, will be by that time open for traffic, with a schedule of fourteen hours from Montreal to Passamaquoddy Bay. The knowledge of this may have induced Sir Donald Smith, vice-president C. P. R. and Sir Leonard Tilley, governor of NB, to invest, as they have, in building lots. This line, as now constructed, is practically the old route as projected before the construction of the Intercolonial railroad, but decided against by the British government for military reasons. The traffic of the C. C. R. is sure to suffer heavily by the completion of the new line. A steam yacht is being built to enable visitors to explore the islands of the bay in comfort. There will also be excellent facilities for dancing, lawn tennis and fishing, both for trout and land-locked salmon.”

 

St. Croix Courier
April 4/1889
Mr. Stevenson, president of the New Brunswick Railway Company, was here on Saturday last for the purpose of selecting a lot upon which to build a summer residence. He is reported to have secured one from the St. Andrews’s land company near a lot lately purchased from that company by Sir Donald Smith, and will proceed to build thereon at once.

 

Beacon
Oct 10/1889
Visit from Railway Magnates
Sir Donald Smith Makes a Hurried Inspection of the Future Winter Port
The air was full of rumours on Friday last, when it became known that a special train, with a number of railway magnates on board, was on its way to St. Andrews. "Van Horne is coming," said one gentleman, and as the refrain was taken up and spread throughout the town, speculation was rife as to the objects of his visit. Even when the train rolled into the station and it was learned that the CPR man was not among the passengers, speculation did not cease. The party was composed of Sir Donald Smith, Judge Bain, of Winnipeg, Mr. George Meighen, of Montreal, a brother-in-law of Sir George Stephen, Mr. Meighen's son-in-law and Mr. Cram, General Manager of the NBR. A barouche was in readiness for them, and the visitors at once started out for a drive. They circled the Park, and as the tide was ebbing, they had an excellent opportunity of witnessing the shore. After viewing the Park they drove to the Algonquin Hotel, where Mr. C. M. S. Horton, the Land Company's Superintendent, received them, and allowed them through the hotel from cellar to garret. They were all delighted with the hotel and the beautiful prospect that was to be obtained from it. Mr. Meighan said he would come down sure next season, and spend some weeks here with his family.  Mr. Hoar’s cottage was subsequently visited, and the party got out on foot and had a walk over the grounds. Sir Donald inspected the lot that had been chosen for him off the Bar Road, and he also obtained a glimpse of the lot the late Mr. Stephenson had purchased in the same neighbourhood. The party afterwards drove to Joe’s Point, after which they returned to their private cars and dined.
            Before dining, the Beacon reporter sought an interview with Mr. Cram, who very courteously informed him that the visit of Sir Donald and his companions had no significant whatsoever. They had been attending the meeting of the railway company in Saint John, and having half a day to spare they chose to spend it in visiting St. Andrews. This he said was the secret of the visit.
            About 4 o’clock, the special train which bore the visitors here, steamed away from SA, Mr. Cram going to Saint John, and the remained of the party pursuing their way to Montreal.

 

Beacon
April 9/1891
SA as a summer Resort
Manager Van Horne of the CPR to erect a palatial residence on Minister’s Island. Sir Donald Smith and others to build elegant summer home.
Mr. Robert S. Gardiner, vice-president of the St. Andrews Land Company, and Mr. F. W. Cram made a flying trip to St. Andrews this week to look after their interests here. During their stay, Mr. Cram exercised the option on Minister’s Island, made by the Messrs. Andrews some time ago, by purchasing 150 acres on the south end of the island.  This property is purchased for W. C. Van Horne, Esq., and president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, whose plans for the erection of an extensive and elegant summer residence thereon are completed. Mr. Van Horne expects to have it ready for occupancy this summer. A right for a carriage way from the end of the bar to Mr. Van Horne’s property has also been secured from Messrs. Andrews. It is Mr. Van Horne’s intention to keep a private steam yacht at the Island during the summer, and a floating dock for that purpose will be erected on the S. W. side of the island. It is part of the agreement with the owners of the island that the sand beach at the north-east end of the island, facing Hardwood Island, shall be included in the property purchased to be used for bathing purposes.
            In addition to the purchase for Mr. Van Horne of the Minister’s Island property, several other important sales of land have been made. Sir Donald A. Smith has bought and paid for five acres of the Mowatt farm, opposite Mr. Hoar’s residence. It is Sir Donald’s intention to build a dwelling house either this spring or summer.
            Mr. Thomas Shaughnessy, assistant president of the CPR has bought a lot of about 14,000 feet in “Acadia,” (formerly the Parker property), near the Algonquin. Mr. Jas. Burnett, of Montreal, has purchased similar-sized lot opposite Mr. Shaughnessy’s in “Acadia.”
            Mr. E. A. Taft, of Boston, president of the New York and Boston Despatch Express Company, has become the owner of a 9600 feet lot in “Acadia” as well.
            It is the intention of the Land Company to proceed with the construction of the dam across the mouth of Katy’s cove (in order to better fit the Cove for bathing purposes), immediately on their obtaining the necessary permits from the land owners adjacent thereto. Mr. S. H. Richardson, of Bangor, who has had a wide experience as a mill and dam builder, having built them all the way from Saint John to Wisconsin, has been here and inspected the propose dam site. The thinks that dam can be easily built, and that it will prove very effective when it is built.

 

Beacon
June 4/1891
The deed of the Minister’s Island property, purchased by Mr. W. C. Van Horne, president of the CPR was forwarded to that gentleman last week. There is a report that Mr. Van Horne will divide the property with Sir Donald Smith.

 

Beacon
July 9/1891
W. C. Van Horne, General Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, accompanied by Supt. Timmerman and Messrs. Grant and Woodcock, arrived in St. Andrews by Tuesday’s train. Mr. Van Horne viewed his purchase on Minister’s island, before leaving town. He was greatly pleased with it. He chose sites for his summer residence and for Sir Donald smith’s residence. Work on the approaches will be at once begun. Mr. Van Horne, talks of bridging the bar, so as to bring the island in constant communication with the mainland.

 

Beacon
Dec 17/1891
Reciprocity in Summer Homes.
The recent purchase of real estate in SA, for the location of summer houses, by a number of well-known Canadian and American gentlemen, among whom are Sir Donald A. Smith, president of the Bank of Montreal and president of the Hudson Bay Co., President W. C. Van Horne of the Canadian pacific; Thomas G. Shaughnessy, vice president of the same company, and James Burnett, the banker and broker, gives evidence of the present estimation in which St. Andrews is held as a healthful and naturally beautiful place and conveys in some degree the importance of its future.
            Mr. Van Horne has begun the erection, on Minister’s Island, of a two story house, mainly to be built of stone boulders, covering a ground area of 40x80 feet, with verandahs 10 feet wide on three sides and, from the fact that he has acquired for this purpose of 150 acres of land in one of the most sightly and romantic locations on the whole Atlantic coast, it may safely be assumed that no expense will be spared to create an establishment rivalling many of Bar Harbour’s “cottage” estates. The house is to be ready for occupancy at the opening of the summer season of 1892.
            On another beautiful location, known as Hume’s Hill, within a mile of the Algonquin hotel, Sir Donald Smith has purchased five acres of land, from any part of which panoramic views of SA, Passamaquoddy bay, with its spatter of islands, and the ocean beyond, are had. Here he will erect a summer “cottage” worthy of the location and in accord with the wealth and surroundings of the owner.

 

Beacon
April 13/1893
President Van Horne’s visit
He inspects his new cottage, talks with the Beacon concerning the winter port, plans a new summer hotel, and attends to other business.
Following close upon the heels of the regular express, on Friday afternoon last, was a special train in charge of Conductor Cassidy, consisting of the private cars of president Van Horne and Superintendent Timmerman.
            Among the occupants were Mr. Van Horne and his private secretary, Mr. George MacDonald, Superintendent Timmerman, Messrs. H. H. McLean, John Hammond and Mr. Colonna, of Montreal, the architect of Mr. Van Horne’s summer residence.
            The train came to a stop at the Bar road, where Mr. Van Horne and is party took boat and were landed on minister’s island. Mr. Mallory awaited them there with his barouche, and they were at once driven to Mr. Van Horne’s new cottage. A couple of hours were spent by Mr. an Horne inspecting the building and grounds, and giving instructions as to the manner in which he wanted the finishing touches carried out. On returning to the mainland, the Beacon was on hand to extend a greeting to Mr. Van Horne and his associates. The President was in jolly mood, and showed no hesitancy in answering the questions that were asked of him.
            “I’ll not be able to come down much this summer,” said he, “as the programme I have mapped out for the season will not permit of it, but my family will come here in June and spend the season with you.”
            “How long will it take to finish up? Oh, five weeks’ work will make the house habitable. Of course, there’s a great deal to be done towards ornamenting the grounds.  But I son’ do much in that line until I can come down myself and look after it.”
            “Will Sir Donald Smith build on his St. Andrews property this season?” asked the interviewer.
            “I don’t think he will. He is not in very good health just now. Will Mr. Shaughnessy build? I can’t answer that question. I don’t know what his plans are.

 

Beacon
Jan 4, 1894
Concerning SA
Saint Andrews is the Shiretown of Charlotte County, in the Province of New Brunswick, delightfully situated on a peninsula in Passamaquoddy Bay. It is s a terminal point for the CPR, and is utilized by them largely as a coal port, and as a shipping point for Aroostook and Northern Maine. It has a splendid harbour—the finest con the Atlantic coast—almost completely land-locked, and affording shelter for the whole British navy. Can be entered by two channels from the Bay of Fundy—via Head Harbor and St. Croix river, or via Latete Passage. Nearest Canadian port to Montreal; open all the year round. Has prompt connection with Boston and New York steamers at Eastport, twelve miles distant, and whit the island of Deer, Campobello and Grand Manan; daily rail connection, with all points East and West. Lies contiguous to the finest fishing grounds on the Atlantic—cod, haddock, Pollock, mackerel and herring being he principal sea fish. Landlocked salmon and trout abound in the lakes and steams adjacent to the town,. Such game as deer, partridges, black duck and snipe may be shop in proper season. There is a fine agricultural district surrounding. The town is laid out in squares, with broad, tree-bordered avenues, charming driveways, romantic beaches, etc. Has first class schools, five churches, (Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and roman Catholic); also, Mason, Knights of Pythias, Forester, A. O. U. W. and temperance societies. Fast developing as a Summer resort, largely on account of its absolute immunity from Hay Fever, its picturesque location, and healthy, salt-laden atmosphere. It is a Paradise for artists. The famous Algonquin Hotel is located At St. Andrews. It is also the summer home of W. C. Van Horne, President of the CPR; Sir Leonard Tilley, ex-Lt. Governor, George, Innes, Jr., the famous artists of Montclair, NJ; Robert S. Gardiner, of Boston; J. Emory Hoar, of Brookline, Mass, and many others. Sir Donald Smith, General Manager Shaughnessy of the CPR, and a number of other capitalists of Canada and the US, have purchased land with the intention of building summer cottages thereon in the near future. Nearest NB town: SS, 20 miles distant, and enterprising town of 5000 inhabitants, reached by land or water; SG, 22 miles distant, a red granite manufacturing own, located alongside the romantic Magaguadavic Falls, delightful scenery intervening.

 

Beacon
may 31/1894
A more beknighted town than St. Andrews does not exist in the Lower Provinces. We have now three knights on our tax list,--Sir Leonard Tilley, Sir Donald Smith, and last though not least, Sir William Van Horne!

 

Beacon
June 7/1894
There Should be Another
The St. Andrews Beacon is putting on airs because that popular watering place has three knights on its assessment roll. The distinguished gentlemen who contribute towards keeping up the town, are Sir Leonard Tilley, Sir Donald Smith and Sir W. C. Van Horne, each of whom own extensive properties there—Fredericton Herald. Since the Beacon’s last paragraph on the subject was published, we have been told that another knight, Sir Charles Tupper, owns land in Sa, so that instead of having a claim on but three knights, we should have four on our list.

 

Beacon
Feb 28/1895
Sir Donald Smith has returned to his Montreal home, after an absence on the continent of several weeks. Sir Donald appears to have forgotten that there is a lot of land in St. Andrews belonging to him, on which he has not yet erected a summer residence.

 

Beacon
May 2/1895
Townspeople are planting flowers at the request of the town Improvement Association. Flower beds at railway station. Honorary members Sir Donald Smith, Van Horne, R. S. Gardiner, Cram, Tilley. Life members Dr. N. G. D. Parker, president; r. S. Gardiner, Mrs. B. S. Stevenson

 

Beacon
July 1/1897
Since sir Donald Smith was created Lord Glencoe, St. Andrews can boast of the proud distinction of having a real live lord on its list of tax-payers. There are few communities so well fixed for titles as we are here. (So Smith still owns property in SA)

 

Beacon
Sept 2/1897
SA can now boast of a peer of the realm on its tax list since Sir Donald Smith became Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal.

 

Beacon
Aug 25/1898
Algonquin Hotel Company and Land Company Meetings
the annual meeting of the Algonquin Hotel Company was held Saturday last, when the following officers and directors were elected:--W. A. Murchie, president; F. H. Grimmer, Vice-President; A. D. S. Bell, Secretary-Treasurer. Directors: W. A. Murchie, F. H. Grimmer, A. D. S. Bell, D B. Claflin, R. S Gardiner, D. J. Flanders, E. F. Fay.
            The St. Andrews Land Company’s officials chosen were: F. W. Cram, President; Robert S. Gardiner, Vice-president; a. D. S. Bell, Secretary-treasurer. Directors: f. W. Cram, Robert Gardiner, A. D. S. Bell, D. B. Claflin. R. A. Cobb, E. F. Fay, D. J. Flanders. J. E. Hoar, E A. Tat, j. B. Coyle, George L Connor. R. E. Boothby, C V Lord, C F. Bragg, Sir Donald A. Smith.

 

Beacon
Feb 8, 1900
Lord Strathcona, who is equipping a troop of Canadian soldiers from his private purse to aid Great Britain, is a citizen of SA, being the owner of large piece of property here. St. Andrews people feel particularly proud of the broad-spirited patriotism of their distinguished fellow-citizen.

 

Beacon
March 1, 1900
Lord Strathcona’s Last Princely Gift
One of the most princely gifts contributed by a single individual to the assistance of the empire in the present African crisis has been the troop of Canadian horsemen, which has been equipped by Lord Strathcona, Canadian High Commissioner in London, and known as “The Strathcona Horse.” This is not the first time that Lord Strathcona has made a public contribution of a noble character, nor is it the first time he has given a practical demonstration of his devotion to the empire. The troop of horsemen, which he has equipped from his private purse, are picked men, the very flower of our western manhood—men who have been brought up in the saddle, who have been a almost born with a rifle in their hands, and who have spent the grater part of their lives in the rough and tumble experiences of the western prairies. There can be no finer body of men anywhere and no expense has been spared to equip them with the most effective accoutrements of war.
            Perhaps a word or two about the man who has contributed this princely gift may not be amiss at this time. Sir Donald Alexander Smith, Lord Strathcona and Mount Stephen, G. C. M.G. these are his full titles), was born in Morayshire, Scotland, in 1821. Like mot young Scotchmen he received a good English and classical education: Medicine, says his biographer, was the subject to which he was at first attracted, but he relinquished this pursuit and in 1938 entered the service of the Hudson Bay Company. His first assignment was at a place called Mingan, one of the most desolate spots on the desolate coast of Labrador. The qualities of indomitable energy and stern self-reliance, which have marked his career as a public man, were, even more marked as a servant of the Hudson Bay Company. He was advanced step by step, until he reached the exalted position of local Governor for the Hudson’s Bay Company. Only a man of extraordinary character could have gained such a position under the circumstances. His name first appeared in Canadian history when the transfer of the North-West territories was under negotiation. He was at that time Governor of the H. B. Company. When the Red River Rebellion broke out in 1869, Mr. Donald A Smith was appointed a commissioner by the Canadian government and empowered to proceed to Fort Garry and endeavor to settle the difficulties which had arisen.  With such tact did he perform the delicate duty assigned to him that he succeeded in bringing about the sending of delegates to Ottawa and a temporary suspension of hostilities. For these and other services he was in 1886 created a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Mr. Smith had the distinction of being the lat resident Governor of the H. B. Company. Subsequently, for several years, he was chief commissioner of the Company and afterwards Governor of the Board of London. He was appointed a member of the first Executive and Legislative Council of the North-West Territory. In 1870 he was elected the first member for Winnipeg in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba. On the final admission of Manitoba to the Canadian Confederation he was, in 1871, elected to the Dominion parliament as member for Selkirk. In 1887 he was elected for Montreal West, and represented that constituency until he was appointed High Commissioner in 1896. He was appointed to the Peerage by the Queen in 1897. One of the most important periods in his life was that in which he was connected with the building of the CPR. In 1880, in conjunction with Sir George Stephen and others, he undertook the construction of the road, and so rapidly and effectively did they perform their work that in 1885 he was privileged to be present at the driving of the last spike.
            Among the princely benefactions of this wealthy Canadian Lord have been the following:--$500,000 to the Royal Victoria hospital, Montreal, in commemoration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee; $320,000 toward Female Higher Education in Montreal; and $100,000 for the founding of the Royal Victoria College for women, besides many smaller amounts for charitable enterprise. In 1888, when the summer resort movement first seriously began in SA, Sir Donald Smith became a property owner here. He also invested of his means in the Algonquin hotel. Though he has never been able to carry out his idea of erecting summer residence in SA, he is still in sympathy with the ambitions of the place.

 

Beacon
Nov 12, 1903
Greatest Living Canadians [Van Horne fifth; Strathcona second]
The Montreal Herald has just completed an interesting contest as to who are the ten greatest living Canadians. The result of the voting, says the Herald, shows remarkable unanimity in regard to the three names which should head the list of Canada’s roll of honor. Without exception, everyone of the great number of ballots which have come into the Herald office during the last two weeks has borne the name of Sir Wilfred Laurier. In a large majority of cases his name headed the list, but no ballot was received with did not contain it near, if not at the head. Lord Strathcona’s name ran a good second, few of the ballots omitting it, and many of them placing it as the name of Canada’s greatest son. Sir Charles Tupper’s name appeared on about 70 percent of the ballots, and while considerably behind Lord Strathcona’s name is far ahead of the next name, that of Sir Gilbert Parker, who takes fourth position, with about half the number of votes cast for Sir Wilfred Laurier. Sir William Van Horne and Hon. Edward Blake run Sir Gilbert parker closely in the order named. A little below comes Sir Percy Girouard, while close to him are Sir Louis Jette and Hon. W. S. Fielding.  The tenth name is that of Lord Mount Stephen.

 

Beacon
Dec 2/1909
Senator MacKay Leads
Pointing out that the control of Canadian companies is in very few hands, Moody’s Magazine shows the directors who are at the elm in the big enterprise. Of the important concerns, Senator Mackay leads, for he is a director of 14 concerns, having total assets of $765,000,000. The list in part is as follows:

 

Mackay, R.                            14                    $765,000,000
Hosmer, C. R.                        10                    $667,000,000
Strathcona, Lord                 9                      $662,000,000
Shaughnessy, Sir T.             6                      $620,000,000
Van Horne, Sir W.                12                    $594,000,000
Meighen, R.                          5                      $481,000,000

 

Beacon
Jan 13, 1900
Lord Strathcona has cabled $25,000 for the Montreal emergency typhoid hospital and says he would gladly contribute $100,000 more to eradicate the causes of the epidemic. What a pity men like Strathcona cannot live always!

 

Beacon
Sept 22/1910
Strathcona at Ninety
Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, for years known throughout the British Empire as Canada’s Grand Old Man, though born in Bonnie Scotland, celebrated the other day the 90th anniversary of his birth.
            His career is certainly one of the most wonderful in the annals of modern times. Born at Forres, Scotland, on August 6th, 1820, as a son of a saddler, he made the prediction, as plain Donald Alexander Smith, to his cousin Lord Mount Stephen, then a herd laddie, that as there were no lairds in Canada to lord it over man, he would leave for British North America to tempt fortune and win a competency.
            Accordingly, as a raw youth of 18, he set sail for the west, years before Horace Greeley was known, as has done better on this continent than any man from the east who ever crossed the western main.
            Arriving at Montreal, he at once entered the services of the Hudson Bay Co., and for years was immersed in the solitudes of Labrador. He endured terrible hardships, but finally became superintendent, for that company, whose sphere of influence extending 3,000 mile.
            Afterwards, in company of his cousin, now Lord Mount Stephen, he advocated, against strong opposition, the building of the CPR. He was told that the receipts of the road would not pay for the axle grease of the trains. He had faith in the proposition, however, and has lived to see it the greatest transportation company in the word. Carrying passengers from Great Britain to Hong Kong over its own lines.
Lord Strathcona is today the world’s oldest multi-millionaire, Canada‘s greatest philanthropist, optimists and financier, the British House of Lords second oldest peer, Great Britain’s most prominent railroad builder and Canada’s high commissioner at the seat of empire.

 

Beacon
Jan 29, 1914
Late Lord Strathcona. Great National figure passes Away. Details. Became Sir Donald in 1886.