The Eastland family

After asking my Mom to give me some more information about the family it seemed to be the former post needs a second part. We have more information, more pictures about the Eastland side of things, though I have yet to exhaust the Waters side too.

Here’s the home that my great grandparents live in, the Hiltons – where (Fred and Connie) Grandpa and Nanny lived when they were first married.  They ended up buying the house across the street – this little house below.

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It was in this house that the kids were born and the family lived… in my previous post my Mom talked about how her Dad ended up at the Army because his mother-in-law volunteered him to drive the kids to Hamilton. Well, The Army hall was within walking distance of the house and when we visited in 2004 I got a picture of it.

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Here the family got involved and from her Mom went off to Training College at the age of 18 in 1952.

Grandpa Eastland was a man of many talents and interests. I knew he had several hobbies so I asked Mom to tell us about them.

She writes: “My dad had several business friends in the area of Stamford (which was on the edge of the city of Niagara Falls) who belonged to the ‘Stamford Hunt Club’ and they must have invited him to join because these men would go by train up to the north for 2 weeks every November to hunt. 

They shared the venison and also had a big event at a local hall when they would have Square dancing and a venison dinner with all the member’s families. It was fun.”

Let me comment again: I do remember in the house on Dorchester Road that there were a couple of deer heads hung on the wall and a couple of deerskin rugs on the floor. I never thought much of it but I would often stare at their big brown eyes waiting for them to cry!  Wh? I think my Uncle Jim told me they would.

Back to Mom:

“My dad also had deer hide gloves made for all of us (I still have one pair that were never worn). As far as my family is concerned we only lived in 2 houses – one on St Lawrence Avenue which was right across from my Grandma’s house (which are both pictured above) and then the one my dad had built on Belmont Ave facing the QEW. 

Just before this house was finished it caught fire, apparently, a workman left an oily rag on a radiator and it took hours but caught fire during the night. It was mostly at the top of the house and it had to be repaired before we moved in. My dad took a real interest in Tropical fish and when the new house was being built, he had fish tanks built into the walls in the basement recreation room.  It was so interesting to see the different varieties of fish.  He wrote me a letter (I was stationed in Winnipeg 1955) and I still have that letter where he said he just lost 2 fish and he had paid $10 each for them (what would that be in today’s dollars?) My dad seemed to always have that 8 mm camera for special events and especially when we were kids on vacation  I can still remember a film he took of me rowing a small boat at one cottage which was so funny because of how I rowed and also my scraggly hair blowing in the wind  Jim took that camera and all the films but we only saw them once after dad died”

He also bought a cottage at Niagara on the Lake which was on a side street (west of the Golf course) but we would move down there as soon as school was finished. Our more affluent neighbours were right on Lake Ontario waterfront but we didn’t mind running down the road to the lake. Don’t know if I ever showed you that little house even now it looked great with the upgrade the owners did.

My mother complained after a few years because most Sunday afternoons people from the Corps would go for a drive and call in and of course my mom felt she had to supply afternoon tea (with cookies or sandwiches).

Another thing my dad did was buy things from the Globe & Mail (investments in mines etc) and he remembered he had bought a piece of property up north (I think he said he paid $75 that would have been either 1939 or 1940) He decided to find out exactly where it was. We all went up to Magnetawan one Spring weekend and he got the property location from the town hall. He discovered you had to go by boat to get there. There was still ice in the lake so of course, we couldn’t go so we all stayed in the one Hotel in Magnetawan and he went back later to find this property.

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The land had to be cleared of trees and then he hired a local carpenter to build the cottage. He and his brother (Uncle Arthur) built a sturdy boat that we called ‘the scow’ to take all the furniture across the water. My dad and I also went around the shorelines to get the big stones for the fireplace he wanted to build and we filled that scow until the water was coming close to the top of it.

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Nanny, Joyce, Me and Mom with Jim on the steps

Some years later he bought one acre on either side of his property for the price of the taxes. His intention was to build a small cottage for him and mom and have his children and their family take turns using the original cottage.

My dad was always so generous and I didn’t know until I was an Officer that he was the one who bought every child in the Sunday School a gift from Santa to be handed out at the Christmas concert (he was also the Santa who handed them out)
He was also the one who hired the bus to take everyone to the Sunday School picnic

He liked a good reliable car, of course, he had the trucks for the coal business but he also had a half-ton truck he used for errands and also made some extra money using it for deliveries. He would deliver school books for the Board of Education to the Rural schools and sometimes he would take me with him.

There was also a very wealthy family name Bright who owned Bright’s Winery and Canning company, my dad did deliveries for them and other odd jobs and because they knew he was a Salvationist, they gave him lots of used clothing which we used for Halloween and dress-up, my mom kept them in a trunk in the basement.

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We usually had a new car every 2 years most were GM products. Eventually, he bought his first Cadillac. When I was in my first year as a single Officer in Toronto he made arrangements for me to take my Driver’s License in Niagara Falls and he said he had arranged for me to use a small car. When I passed the test, he handed me the keys, he had actually bought it for me.

Both of my parents loved gardening and my mom knew all the names of the flowers she bought and which flowers the birds liked or the butterflies she planted those There was a large plot of land next to our new house that my dad bought and turned into a garden.

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In fact, he wanted to have my wedding in the back yard of the house but because we were only the second house built on that new street there was no underground city sewer system and our lawn was often too wet with the septic tank but his intention was to have baskets of Gladiolas for the wedding. He planted 1500 Gladiola bulbs but they weren’t blooming at the beginning of July so when they did come up my sister Florence sold them to the florist.

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There’s another post coming – called The Cottage!

 

 

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