Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bus Bites #2

A recent Wednesday morning found me on the #4 Pinedale West heading to a part time job at Wild Birds Unlimited on Fairview Street. As this route runs close to the homes of the Mayor and the Ward 5 Councillor, I wondered if the opportunity for an “on bus chinwag” on local affairs might present, but figured I probably be keeping my opinions to myself on this day.

This short trip had begun at Sheldon Park where a creek of the same name had once flowed before being relocated to accommodate development and create “ravine” lots.

The bus moves me down Deerhurst past Mathewman Crescent. Named for Benjamin Matthewman, who had settled in the Burloak Upper Middle area around 1835, the street name was registered with one “t”.

Matthewman was active in the Appleby community that had taken its name from a small northwestern English town located in the historic county of Westmoreland. Just to the east, but off this route, Fothergill Boulevard was, in fact, named for an Appleby England family who farmed at Freeman.

Several other streets in this subdivision honour Burlington and Nelson township pioneer women:

#Amelia after Amelia (Cole) Fothergill who farmed on Appleby Line.
#Phoebe for Phoebe (Land) Lucas
#Hannah after Hannah Davidson who farmed on Walker’s Line.
#Amanda for Amanda (Kaitting) Baxter who lived at the historic Balsam Lodge at 2290 Queensway.*

Our bus goes west on New Street, up Wedgewood and turns toward Appleby Mall near Mullin Way. (Owen Mullin was Burlington’s youngest ever mayor, 32 years when elected in 1962.)

John Henry Walker Jr. House

After a quick stop at the Mall we meander along Longmoor eventually making it back to New Street at Eastway Plaza; then, west to Walkers Line and north past the John Henry Walker House Jr. (496 Walker’s Line. Heritage Burlington notes that this Edwardian vernacular Queen Anne Style house with adjoining barn are the sole surviving structures from the original Walker farm.

Built in either 1908 or 1913 John Henry Junior inherited 20 acres of farmland south of the existing Centennial Bike Path. (See for more on this property.)

Our bus turns left and I try to imagine the Hamilton Radial Electric line that ran through here from 1906 to 1925.

I get off at Woodview and walk up to work.

*Peggy and Les Armstrong’s 2001 book Burlington’s Streets – What’s Behind the Name? - is an interest resource on Burlington history