Our Local History

 

Calvin Alexander Farr [1839-1916], one of 14 children of Pelick Tabour Farr Jr., married Mary Ellen Chambers [1845-1913].  Mary Ellen’s father lived on both sides of the river.  Prior to Mary Ellen’s and Calvin’s marriage, he gave her a  parcel of land, approximately 55 acres, in Lot 20 Concession 6 in Wainfleet Township, directly south of the Chambers home.  This area is now known as Beckett’s Bridge.  Calvin started to construct their house, on the bank of the River, before their marriage in 1867.  He hauled bricks by team and wagon, a 4 day round trip, from Niagara on the Lake staying overnight at a tavern in Allanburg.  He made the walls solid brick, approximately 16 inches thick, and had completed the house to just above the windows of the first storey by 1865.  Then the troublesome Fenian raids occurred [1865-67] ad Calvin sered as a volunteer with the militia at Fort Erie.  The building of the house was deferred until after the hostilities ceased.  While the house was being finished, Mary and Calvin lived in a small wooden house which was later moved to the back of the lot and used as a blacksmiths shop.  This structure still stands today on the river bank.  Mary and Calvin and five children.  Their fourth born was Allen Jorden [1872].  Allen married Florence Early and inherited the homestead.  They had two sons: Ernest and Harry.  Ernest [1898-1967] married Elta Robins [1898-1981] in June 1919.  They had one daughter, Pearl Evelyn.  As their home was situated near a busy cross-road, Ernest and Elta build a small canteen in 1926 where they sold hot dogs with mustard for $.10 and coffee for $.05 a cup.  They operated the canteen for six years before moving to Welland.  They rented the Wainfleet property to tenants and Ernest worked at Maple Leaf Mills in Port Colborne.  They moved back to Wainfleet in 1957.  Pearl married John Dohn of Welland in 1940.  He owned and operated the Pelham Coach Lines, a bus service between Welland ad Pelham.  They had a son, Gordon Allen, and a daughter, Judy Margaret.  In 1955 the Dohn family moved back to Pearl’s former home.  They cleared the corner yard, leveled the ground, moved a garage onto the lot and proceeded to renovate it, making it into a gasoline station and restaurant, know as the 2 x 4 Diner.  The Diner was open seven days a week from 1957 to 1983.  Ernest ad Elta returned to live with the Dohn’s to help with the children.  During this time the Dohn’s also opened a furniture stripping business.  After John’s death in 1983, the property was sold.  The present building was completed in December 1990 with a lot of help from local friends and patrons.

 

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