The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

February 26th, 2014

Oct. 27, 1938 Springhill Record Thieves at Work

     Tuesday night was a bad night for three Springhill merchants, when their places of businesses were broken into with considerable loss of cash and merchandise.

     At Hyatt’s a window was broken in the kitchen at the rear of the building and about twenty dollars was missing from the two tills in the main store.  It could not be determined if any merchandise was taken.  The robbery occurred after the restaurant closed at 12:30.

     A. Leadbetter’s Men’s Wear store was entered from the rear through a small window which had been cut out.  The window was very small and he neglected to have it barred thinking that no one could enter the shop through it.  No definite value could be placed on the merchandise taken.

     Bert Dawson’s poolroom and billiard parlor was also broken into and $18 in cash and a quantity of cigarettes taken.

     The proprietor and Jack Weatherbee were away hunting and the store was left in charge of Cecil Colwell.  Entry was made by forcing a window on Junction Rd. near the front door

Nov. 24, 1938 Springhill RecordHorse Racing Boomed in 1897

     Merve Boss, who still takes a great interest in horse racing locally walked into the office this morning with a score card of the races held in the Victoria Driving Park on Tuesday, November 16, 1897.  It is rather remarkable that the card is found in such good condition, a great deal of the scoring being still legible.  From time to time The Record will the races of other days which may strike a chord of remembrance in the minds of the old timers particularly.

     In the first race that November day, the 2:33 class, there were only two entries, “Kate Derrick” driven by Wm. Mahoney and “Northport Chief” owned by A.J. Burns and driven by Chappell of Port Elgin.  Kate Derrick took the first heat but Northport Chief came back to take three straight first in the times of 2.421/2, 2.481/2, 2.42.

The 2:50 Class – There was plenty of opposition in the 2:50 class.  Here we had “Maud Blair” owned by D. W. Belliveau of Joggins and driven by that old horseman H.A.B Glendenning; “William K.” owned by Charles Kelly of River Hebert and driven by Fred Fraser.  Then there was “Bradalbane Boy” owned by Michael O’Brien; “Hunter” owned by Harry Cooper

     “Motto” winner of the race was owned by Sol Keiver and was driven to victory by J.T. Leadbetter.  “That’s why Sandy, Doe and Jimmy like the tang of horses.  How they follow them”

Three Minute Class – In the three minute class we find the name of Baldwin Ryan, another great lover of racing.  At that time, T.B. owned “Honest John” and drove him to victory in three straight heats.  The time of the race is blurred by age.  “Barney B.” was another entrant owned by Frank S. Black of Amherst and was driven that day by the late Bill Blair, at one time driver of the stagecoach.

     “Minnie D.” was owned and driven by John R. Harrison of Maccan.  There was “J.E.C.” owned by Blanch Mattinson who lived here at that time and was a driver himself.  Other entrants included “French Pilot” driven by Thomas L. Wood and “KlondikeHarry Hopper.

The Green Race Charlie Simpson was prominent in the green race of the day.  At that time Charlie owned “Harry Mattinson.”

     “Wild Harry” was owned by Jim Hennessey of River Hebert and was driven that day by Fred Fraser, winning the race in three straight heats, the first heat in 3:05.

    William McPherson, another local enthusiast, owned “Harry” whom he also drove that day.  Other entrants were “Blue PrinceJ.R. Gay and “Tutsey SloperJames Hennessey of River Hebert.

Running RaceH.G. Murray, a former resident here, owned and raced “Darkey” that day.  Then there was “Maud” owned by Sam Turner.  “Locotion” owned by Gordon Fraser and ridden by I.C. Chappell and a second “Maud” which is coupled with the name of George Hopkins, was entered but did not run.  

     And so we have come to the end of the race card   Think of the enthusiasm there must have been behind racing in those days when they held races in November.  We can recall ourselves how the grandstand would be packed with an excited racing mob, but those were the days when the mine owner, J.R. Cowans, in 1899, was the spark plug behind racing and owned quite a number of horses himself.  Mr. Cowans added a great deal of color in those days for his drivers always wore brightly colored uniforms that caught the fancy of the crowds.  Mr. Cowans, so Hi Glendenning tells us, thought nothing of building extra stables when the entries swamped the accommodations available – and plenty was needed in those days.

     Would you be surprised if we told you that Herb Terris bought that old racer from William McPherson for his delivery team and later sold him to Fred Somers who lived in Cape BretonMerve tells us that Somers did not work the horse and that he spent his last days in comfort.