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Happy Birthday – Historical Horoscope May 9 – 16

Happy Birthday from Fort Erie Museum Services! If your birthday falls between May 9 – 15 these are the milestone events that happened in our town on that date. If you would like to read more about what was happening in town on the day and year that you were born to please stop by the Historical Museum to view the digital newspaper collection. A list of newspapers is available on the Museum’s website []. Click on the Archives and Database link and then the Newspaper Collection link. We are located at 402 Ridge Road, Ridgeway, 905-894-5322,

May 9:
1781 – Britain purchases a four-mile-wide tract of land running along the west side of the Niagara River from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario from the Chippewas and Mississaugas. (Welland County Historical Society, Papers and Records, Vol. 5, Louis Blake Duff ed., Welland, Ont.: Welland County Historical Society, 1938, p. 19)

May 10
1932 – At a special Fort Erie Council meeting, the Niagara Racing Association presents a plan to alleviate the surface and stormwater at the Race Track. They offered to build a drainage ditch west into Frenchman’s Creek. Council accepted the plan. (FEHM Files, Municipal Government)
1971 – Fort Erie Town Council bans the sale of firecrackers from May 15 to September 15. Their use was prohibited in “any street, avenue or square, building, doorway or vehicle.” (Buffalo Courier Express, May 12, 1971)

May 11
1948 – The Comet roller coaster opens at Crystal Beach Park. (Rose Ann Jankowiak-Hirsch, Crystal Memories: 101 Years of Fun at Crystal Beach Park, Rochester, NY: RIT Hub, 2004, p. 186)
1983 – Stevensville Planing Mill (rebuilt following a fire in 1908) burns down. (Many Voices, Fort Erie, Ont.: Fort Erie Museum Board, 1996, p. 102)

May 12
1856 – A proclamation separates the County of Welland from the County of Lincoln. (Marguerite A. Raymond, Tales of the Old Town, Fort Erie Historical Museum, 1990, p. 123)
1902 – Joe Gans kayos Frank Erne in a boxing match held at the Peace Bridge Arena and becomes the first black Lightweight World Champion. (Times-Review, Dec. 12, 1957;
1911 – A concert in aid of the Stevensville Library Fund is held in the new opera house. The programme featured performers from Bridgeburg and Buffalo. (The Ridgeway Herald, May 18, 1911)
1937 – Coronation ceremony held at Town Hall, Jarvis St. to honour King George VI. (FEHM Archives photo)

May 13
1876 – Trustees of the Victoria Public School meet and decide to borrow money to buy a lot and build and furnish a schoolhouse. Previously, Victoria Public School was held on Courtwright Street; the new school was built on Phipps Street, Fort Erie and later renamed in honour of Rose Seaton. (Times-Review, June 6, 1984; FEHM Files, Bowen Road Women’s Institute)

May 14
1995 – Fort Erie Historical Museum holds an opening to exhibit the newly acquired collection of 1866 Fenian Raid paintings by Alexander Von Erichsen. These original watercolours, acquired from a family in Virginia, were a joint purchase by the Fort Erie Museum Board and the Heritage Memorial Fund, created by Larry Williams. (Times-Review, Feb. 14, 1995; FEHM Files, Fenian Invasion)
2001 – Groundbreaking ceremony for the new St. George Catholic School on Wellington Street, Crystal Beach. Teachers and students from the former Our Lady of Grace School moved into this building in 2002. (Fort Erie Town Council Meeting Minutes, May 14, 2001; Town Hall Files; Many Voices II, Fort Erie, Ont.: Fort Erie Historical Museum, 2004, p. 161)

May 15
1903 – Canada issues its first regulations governing the admission of tourist automobiles. These were found to be too restrictive and were later changed. (The Times-Review Reciprocal Trade Supplement, 1936, Fort Erie, Ont: The Times Review, June 1936, p. 28)

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