Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Canada`s largest Hardware Retailers of the time.


Here we have another example of a sponsorship between a retailer and a local hockey team. But some businesses were so big they were able to form their own leagues and have individual teams formed from different departments, I will write about examples of these in a future blog.
          The more I research the more I have become aware of the vast numbers of leagues and teams that sprang up all across Canada and the US.
Unfortunately a large proportion will just be forgotten, that is why I am trying to collate as much information as I can about these teams before it`s too late.
          Like so many of these teams and leagues it seems not much was written about them and therefore near impossible to research further than a name, but hopefully with help from readers they may know, or know someone who knows some useful information. Maybe a family member played for a local team, or went to see them play many years ago.
The Wood Vallance ltd Hockey Club were champions of the Wholesale Hardware Hockey League on consecutive seasons 1910/11 and 1911/12.
Brief history of Wood Vallance & Leggat.
Andrew Wood fwas from Northern Ireland and was working in Toronto by 1846. By 1856 he was in Hamilton and running his own hardware business, three years into this he joined partnership with a Mathew Leggat.
In 1880 as the Canadian Pacific Railway branched out west, the company set up in Winnipeg.
1885 saw Wood and Leggat reorganize their business by bringing in two more special partners, William Valiance (manager at head office) and Wood`s eldest son William Augustus who had been with the firm since 1872.
As Wood Vallance they became the LARGEST Wholesale Hardware business in Canada.
573 Carrall St Wholesale Hardware 1918.
It`s practice was to order by the car load, for example, 10,000 keg`s of nails from the Ontario Rolling Mill`s Co, 200 ton`s of wire from the Ontario Lead and Barbwire Co, 40 ton`s of twine from the Brantford Cordage Co and 1 million bolt`s from the Ontario Bolt Co.
W. Cordova St 1917 Retail Premises.
These days the Army & Navy store occupies the space, although only the first few metres of the store are original construction, the remainder of the building having been rebuilt in the early 1970`s.
Once again I hope you enjoyed this blog, if you have any interesting material about these early amateur leagues please contact me.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Fraser Mills and the Savage Cup.

Here we have the New Westminster Fraser Mills Hockey Club of 1914.
They played in the NWSHL for two seasons from 1913-15 and were Savage cup Champions in 1914.
                   I would love to hear from anyone with more information about this team and the New Westminster Senior Hockey League as any records have been pretty sparse. I have found records of only one player that of George `Trooper` Box a right winger.
He had quite an  impressive 9 goals from only 5 games not a bad turnaround.
                    When I found this photograph my first thought was this was a sponsorship from a mill of sorts, but then found out that Fraser Mills is a Township sited on the northern shore of the Fraser river. It was the site of the first Sawmill opened in 1889 called the Ross McLaren Mill however it did close down soon after when co-founder James McLaren died.
                    It remained closed for many years until it was taken over by the Fraser river Sawmill.
As I have mentioned earlier, finding out about this league and the other teams involved has been pretty fruitless, hopefully with the help of yourselves, more information might be found.
                    The hockey team from Fraser Mills were no slouches taking back to New Westminster, the Savage Cup. The trophy was first presented in 1912/13 to the Vancouver Rowing club Hockey Team.
Victoria lumber merchant James M. Savage and the Canadian Colliers hockey club donated the cup. Ironically, Savage`s team would never win it.
The Savage Cup was awarded to the British Columbia Senior Hockey Champions and historically meant the winner would advance directly to the Allan Cup playoffs with the first playoff game against the Alberta champions.