5 incredible pictures from Hamilton's past

 

Photo of the Hamilton Farmer’s Market courtesy Hamilton Public Library’s Local History and Archives.

It’s incredible how much of Hamilton’s history has been preserved in photographs.

It’s even more incredible the resources available to us to be able to access this information.

Here are five pretty amazing images from the Local History and Archives at the Hamilton Public Library and a couple of local historical societies dedicated to sharing our story.


5. Farmer’s Market in the 1890s

This photograph (above) shows the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, the best-known farmers’ market in the province at the time. It was located in the heart of the city where going to the market was a tradition. This image also shows the Market Hall, before it was destroyed by fire in 1917, and the old City Hall on James Street North.


4. Moving House on Ottawa Street


This picture is of a house being moved down Ottawa street in 1956. Besides the super tight fit and all of the seemingly unconcerned onlookers, this photo is pretty amazing because anyone who’s grown up in Hamilton knows that house. That design is so common all over the city that most of us can picture the inside layout. It’s certainly unsettling to see this house on the back of a truck in the middle of Ottawa Street.


3. Beach strip amusement park

HPL’s Local History and Archives

This picture is just plain fun. It shows a mini roller coaster the Burlington Beach Amusement Park on the Hamilton Beach Strip, circa the 1950s. The park also featured a merry-go-round, ferris wheel, pony rides and swings, among other things. The park actually operated from the early 1900s to the late 1970s when the city chose not to renew the lease for the company that ran the amusement park.


2. The Lister Block in 1923 following a devastating fire

HPL’s Local History and Archives

This picture was taken shortly after fire crews battled a devastating blaze that destroyed Hamilton’s Lister Block. In February 1923, a fire tore through the iconic building and when crews battled the fire, the city was experiencing such a cold snap that the water froze. This picture is stunning in its clarity, considering the time. It almost looks like a movie set.


1. Easter at Fairfield School


This picture comes to us via the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board’s archives Instagram account. There are a lot of gems to be found here. This picture was taken sometime in the 80s at Fairfield School in East Hamilton. The school no longer exists, unfortunately, but at least we have this image to haunt us for all eternity. The fact that children are not cowering in fear from this satanic bunny is what makes this picture absolutely astonishing. Man, the eighties were awesome!

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