HISTORY: In 1923 Timmins already bustling – by Karen Bachmann (Timmins Daily Press – May 23, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – A few stories from the year 1923… let me first, however, set the mood. According to a number of news sites, some of the big news events for that year included the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb (in February), the eruption of Mt. Etna in Sicily, which left over 60,000-plus homeless (in June) and the Great Kanto earthquake that nearly flattened Tokyo (over 100,000 people were killed).

Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president of the United States after the death of President Warring Harding in August of that year – Harding had suddenly died while he was staying in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, Calif.

In Canada, William Lyon McKenzie King continued on as Prime Minister, and, overseas, a young Adolph Hitler led the Nazi Party in a failed coup d’état in Germany (known as the Beer Hall Putsch). On the popular culture scene, Time Magazine was launched (and is still in print today), women’s one-piece bathing suits were all the rage (woo-hoo!) and Agatha Christie cranked out another Hercule Poirot mystery (“The Murder on the Links”).

So while the Cotton Club opened in New York City, Pablo Picasso built the stage sets for Jean Cocteau’s production of “Antigone” and Albert the Duke of York married Elizabeth Rowes-Lyon (later known as King George VI and Queen Elizabeth), this is what was happening in the Porcupine in 1923…

Let us begin with front page news – a report on the regular meeting of the Timmins Board of Trade. It is interesting to note the kinds of correspondence they received (and were expected to act upon for the good of all concerned). A letter from the Dominion Government (a.k.a. the government of Canada) indicated that they (meaning the government) would investigate and consider the matter of the Mattagami docks (the board maintained that improvements were needed – it should be noted that at the time in question, the river was home to a number of commercial enterprises and that the docks were proper loading and unloading areas – much more than the docks we see today!).

As well, the matter of the restaurant service on the T&NO railway (no idea what the problem could have been) was also brought up for review by the feds. A letter from Mrs. Moffat was read out – she asked the B of T to help her find a larger building for her hospital work (there were many private hospitals operating in the town at that time).

As well, the telephone company sent a letter assuring that they were working on initiatives to improve communication in town “to give the best possible service.” With correspondence out of the way, the “shadow cabinet” reported on matters from their respective committees (note the parallel set-up to the Town Council).

The public works committee reported that the roads were in terrible shape and hoped that the town would remedy the situation. The committee then offered its opinion on what should be undertaken and when it should all happen (paved the roads properly and do it tomorrow) – this of course led to a heated discussion of the banging-on-the-tables, teeth-gnashing variety.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.timminspress.com/2015/05/23/history-in-1923-timmins-already-bustling

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