Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: September

Sometimes, You Don’t Have to be Searching to Make a Fascinating Family Find

Family Tree

I work at an educational institution and my department hires student tour guides. Because many students take 2 year programs, we will usually have guides for about a year and then they move on.

One guide in particular, Andrew Leaman, took several programs in a row so he was with us for a few years.  In the beginning, assuming he would be with us a short time, I only made small talk with him and smiled when I saw him since I didn’t expect to know him long.  As he became more of a familiar face sticking around over the course of his various programs, conversations lasted longer and my team got to know him a bit more.  Come to find out, he was a graduate of the same high school as me and came from my home town. That, of course, led to chat about what we had in common from old haunts to people we knew.  He brought in treats once in a while and we all developed a respect for him as he grew as a tour guide.  Later, he became a student ambassador speaking on panels to prospective students of his pathway to success.

As I was thinking about a gravestone discovery for my husband’s great aunt one day in my office, Andrew stopped by to say “hello”.  The great aunt’s name of my stone discovery was Cora Leaman and it occurred to me that Andrew’s last name was Leaman also.  I knew since I first met him that his name was Leaman but at that moment it was like I heard it in my head for the first time.

Andrew Leaman, branch on the Cornish tree

“Andrew!”  I said.  “You’re a Leaman!”  He responded with “Last time I checked”.

“My husband’s great aunt was a Leaman.  Any chance there might be a connection since you are from my area?”

He said it was possible since he knew of there being Cornishes in his family line.  I pulled up my  online family tree and instantly he pointed out “Hey, that’s my grandfather!” and from there we had quite the conversation filling in the gaps of our shared family tree. His great grandmother, Cora (Cornish) Leaman, was the same Cora whose grave stone I was looking for the week prior; my husband’s great aunt.  She was a sister to my husband’s great grandfather Ken Cornish (the same Kenneth Verne Cornish I mentioned in last month’s Crestleaf’s entry).   That makes Andrew a 3rd cousin through marriage. Incredible!

I’m always amazed at how small the world is sometimes but it seemed to be even smaller that day.   The fact that the woman, whose stone I was in search of, was the great grandmother of this student, who I worked alongside for almost 2 years without making the connection, astounded me.  And the timing of the two discoveries was equally astounding.  Synchronicity at its best.  Sometimes, you don’t have to be actively searching for something to make a fascinating find.  Sometimes, you discover something fascinating right there in front of you and you didn’t even realize it was there the whole time.

12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds

One Step at a Time – Lyrics (Jordin Sparks)

One Step at a TimeAdapted from “One Step at a Time” performed by Jordin Sparks

Hurry up and wait
So close, but so far away
Everything that I’ve always dreamed of
Close enough for me to taste
But I just can’t touch

I wanna show the world, but no one knows my name yet
Wonder when and where and how I’m gonna make it
I know I can if I get the chance
In my face as the door keeps slamming
Now I’m feeling more and more frustrated
And I’m getting all kind of impatient waiting

[Chorus:]
I live and I learn to take
One step at a time
There’s no need to rush
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love
It’s gonna happen when it’s
Supposed to happen and I
Find the reasons why
One step at a time

I believe and I doubt
I’m confused, I got it all figured out
Everything that I’ve always wished for
Could be mine, should be mine, would be mine
If they only knew

I wanna show the world, but no one knows my name yet
Wonder when and where and how I’m gonna make it
I know I can if I get the chance
In my face as the door keeps slamming
Now I’m feeling more and more frustrated
And I’m getting all kind of impatient waiting

[Chorus]

When I can’t wait any longer
But there’s no end in sight
when I need to find the strength
It’s my faith that makes me stronger
The only way I get there
Is one step at a time

[Chorus x2]

Writer(s): Robert S. Nevil, Lauren K. Evans, Mich Hansen, Jonas Jeberg, Joseph Belmaati
Copyright: Murlyn Music Publishing, Laurel Krown Music, R. Nevil Music, Cutfather Publishing Limited, Murlyn Music Publishing/ Crosstown, Joe Belmaati Publishing Limited

Be King of Your Content

Content is King

CONTENT IS KING” is the message that resonates through the social media know-how kingdom.  What does that even mean?  There are so many thoughts out there on what one should think about when preparing content for social media that I found it difficult to sift through it.  “Connect emotionally with your audience”, “use video on your site”, “be sure to use as many ‘keywords’ as possible to ‘optimize’ your ‘search engine optimization’, “use a content calendar to strategically post at times when your audience is online”, “use plenty of images”, “don’t use too many images”, “use other’s content”, “don’t use other’s content”, “hashtag everything”, “be careful how often you hashtag”, “here’s 22 things to include as content for your blog …” etc. etc.

 

I thought “there’s too much to know, I can’t do this effectively, why even bother”.  Despite those feelings of inundation in the beginning, I carried on.   I eased myself into the vast, evolving and ever-changing world of social media much the way one might enter the water from a sandy beach; step-by-step, adjusting to the water as I gradually gained confidence to take the next step.    Getting different perspectives on expectations for a credible social media presence was good but I’m glad I didn’t let the different schools of thought squash my desire or need to get out there in the social realm. From my experience so far, I’ve surmised 4 key things that keep me forging ahead and striving to be King (or Queen) of my content.

 

  1. Allow Myself Time

I am of the type to want to reach perfection instantly.  The learning curve is not my favourite part of a journey.  I want to start out an expert.  When I was reading up on content, I thought I needed to write the best posts and capture the best of other’s content so that I would sign in as a superhero of social media immediately.  I wanted to have a hundred posts ready to go so that I could post continuously while creating new content.  I had to take a step back and give myself permission to take time to grow as a social media persona.  I know I have a long way to go and I’ve accepted that.  The journey is providing me with learning opportunities.  If I waited until I felt I was an expert, I’d never be here, creating content on feeling confident to create content.

  1. Keep It Sweet and Simple.

This is one rule that I come back to again and again in all areas of my life.  Content creation is no exception.  I think back to my years of textbook reading.  If a page was solid text, I was less enthused about reading it but if it had lots of pictures, graphs or tables with text boxes and quick bullets of information, it was much more appealing to read and digest.  The same thoughts happen with any kind of media content.  Visual appeal with quick points are more likely to entice me to continue reading so I keep that in mind when preparing content.

  1. Stay True to Myself

When all else discourages or overwhelms, I stay true to me.  Sometimes, I just have to ignore the hyperbole and go with what my heart tells me to write.  Of course, I need to give consideration to my audience to entice them to return but if it isn’t true to me, the audience will see through it and I may lose valuable trust.  In my opinion, it’s best to be transparent.  You’d be surprised at how many others were just waiting to hear something that resonated and your content was it.

  1. Use a Scheduling Tool or Calendar

It seemed scary to prepare a content calendar at first.  What content would go where over the course of a month seemed like a lot of work.  When all was said and done, it saved time and more importantly, anxiety.  It helped me organize thoughts and keep creativity flowing because I wasn’t stressing over what to post and when.  You can go online and source out content management tools or create your own in Word or Excel.  It’s worth it.

 

Despite all the blogs, posts and information out there on all the things to consider when creating content for your social media presence, these 4 ideals have helped put it all into perspective.  Are you King of your content?

 

Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: August

Kenneth Verne Cornish – Not Just a Set of Dates

Genealogy essentially comes down to dates.  The date a person is born and the date a person dies.  Baptism dates, immigration dates, marriage dates, divorce dates.  Dates, dates and more dates.

Kenneth Verne Cornish

Kenneth Verne Cornish, my husband’s great grandfather, was only a set of dates;  April 11, 1903 to June 16, 1950.  That made him 47 years old.  It seemed young for a man to die at this age in the 20th century but one can never tell when there are just dates.  Perhaps he was a smoker in a time when little was known about the detriments of smoking.  Perhaps he passed away peacefully in his sleep from a brain aneurysm that no one could explain.   Or perhaps he died of heart failure that was characteristic of his family line, something that perhaps, my husband should consider since he is a descendant.  Dates, a grave stone and a few pictures.  That was all Kenneth Verne Cornish was to us.  Until…

Kenneth Verne Cornish, Gas Poisoning Inquest
Kenneth Verne Cornish’s Obituary and Inquest Coloumn

About two months ago my husband came home with a photocopy of an obituary and a newspaper story.  Two newspaper columns photocopied on a white piece of paper.  There wasn’t any date or any mention of the newspaper it was clipped from but the words painted a picture that suddenly added humanness to an otherwise anonymous ghost.  “My Aunt wanted you to have this since you are the family ‘genealogist,'” he said.  The story read:

An inquest will be held in the council chamber of the town hall at eight o’clock this evening in the death of Kenneth V. Cornish of Ostrander, who died late Friday night in the Tillsonburg Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, believed to be a victim of methyl chloride poisoning.

A preliminary inquest was held at the G.A. Barrie Funeral Home on Saturday afternoon, when Coronoer Dr. R. E. Weston and the inquest jury viewed the body.  The jury empaneled by Chief Constable T. I. Corbett includes W. A. Anderson, foreman, H.C. Armstrong, Clarence Ronson, Fred Yager and I. H. Crosby.

Later Saturday afternoon, a post-mortem was performed by Dr. F. W. Luney of London, provincial pathologist.

Mr. Cornish, who was in his 48th year, suffered the gas poisoning while making repairs to the refrigeration unit at the Massecar Locker Service plant at Glen Meyer, early last Wednesday evening.  He returned to his home late in the evening, feeling rather ill.  He suffered a convulsion shortly after one o’ clock the following morning, and was rushed to the hospital.  He suffered a series of convulsions after admittance to the hospital, and never regained consciousness.

Dr. C. A.Richards, who attended Mr. Cornish, hospital authorities, and local pharmacists contacted several laboratories in an effort to find something to counteract the deadly poison.  Finally Professor M. E. Watson of the University of Western Ontario suggested that molar sodium lactate might be of some assistance and a supply was rushed from Victoria Hospital, London by the Tillsonburg Police Department.  A quantity of blood was also brought from London and transfusions were given.

Doctors say that there is no known antidote for the deadly methyl chloride poisoning.

Kenneth’s obituary further provided details to his life.  It mentioned he was a well-known refrigeration expert and electrician, he was married to Marion Watcher, had a son Allan and a daughter, Mary who were both married and had children of their own.  He was also a member of the Otter Lodge and the Canadian Legion.  He didn’t die of lung cancer, aneurysm or heart attack.  He died a terrible, premature death and left a wife, 2 children and 3 grandchildren behind.  He was a husband, a father, a grandfather.  My father-in-law was only 2 when he passed and has no recollection of his grandfather and namesake.  With these 2 columns clipped from an old newspaper, we got a glimpse of who this man was.

Kenneth Verne Cornish – no longer just a set of dates.

Kenneth Verne Cornish, Kenneth William Cornish
Kenneth Verne with Kenneth William, his grandson

12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds

The Sound of Happiness

When I was young, let’s say my teen years, happiness was loud. Sounds of laughter, loud music, screams from roller coasters, the phone ringing when a friend would call, traffic because I was in a car travelling to the next event, parties etc. I loved the buzz of having noise around me. I preferred visiting the city over camping and hiking. If I was alone, I turned on the television or the stereo at high volumes to have sound with me all the time. I fell asleep at night to the radio. I felt safe and I was happy.

Loch Ness
Tranquil Loch Ness

 

Sometime in my early twenties, that changed. I spent 4 months in England for school and when I think back to my most loved memory of that stint, it was a day spent outside Inverness, Scotland, on a rock, skipping stones on Loch Ness. We ventured away from the crowds of tourists who wanted to view the lake from Urquhart Castle and shimmied our way down an embankment with a snack of apples, crackers and cheese. There were just 3 of us, 2 other travel companions and myself. It was so tranquil. I remember being hyper-aware of the sound of each skip of the stone before the final “plop” into the lake. I felt calm and I was happy.

Soft snow falling
Gently Falling Snow

Another time, my oldest was 2 and we were at a cottage in the winter in Northern Ontario – far off the beaten path of civilization. My husband, son and I were outside playing in the snow – real snow – 5 feet deep. We were doing somersaults and jumping off the deck into the fluffy banks below. After one spectacular jump, landing on my back looking up at the giant flakes of snow gently falling from the sky, I felt I had been pulled back out of warp speed and my senses became super-attuned. It became quiet, my body completely relaxed into the snow-form my body made from my jump and I could hear the sound of every snowflake land around me. I felt love and I was happy.

Birds chirping
Early birds calling

Just this morning, being on holidays and sleeping in without the hurried routine that I am accustomed to on a “regular” day, I had the window open and I listened to the birds as they began their calls. The world was still asleep. There were no cars, back-up alarms from heavy trucks, sounds of conversation or lawn mowers. Just the sound of the birds and the trees swaying in the breeze. I felt peace and I was happy.

The sound of happiness has changed from when I was young. Once busyness and noise was necessary to feel content. Now, the absence of noise is much more profound in experiencing happiness. I still have great moments of happiness when there is lots of uproarious laughter and sounds but I do cherish the tranquil moments of silence.

What are the sounds of happiness for you?

Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: July

Elijah Vincent: “A terror to all those who opposed the crown”

United Empire Loyalist

From my genealogical researching, I’ve discovered many of my ancestors were farmers.   They seemed to live uneventful lives, at least when you only have census records and family lists as data to go by. Farmer John married Jane Farmer’s Daughter and they had 8 children. Those eight children married farmers and farmers’ daughters and they had 8 children and so on.

Every once in a while, you hit something solid in your proverbial digging.  Through another of my Dad’s lines, I uncovered Elijah Vincent, a United Empire Loyalist, who came from the United States after the American Revolution.  Elijah, himself, was a 6th generation American when he was born in Eastchester, New York on Christmas Eve 1759.  He was the oldest of 6 children born to Lewis Vincent and Abigail Fowler.  His 4 X great-grandfather, Adrian Vincent, came from Belgium to America in 1633 but it was Elijah who brought this line to Canada.

That isn’t the interesting part.  In July 1781, during the Revolutionary War, Elijah’s brother, Gilbert, a blacksmith, refused to shoe a French officer’s horse because it was a Sunday.  A conflict ensued and the officer killed Gilbert.  When Elijah heard of his brother’s death, he sought vengeance.  As an ensign for James DeLancey’s Westchester Refugees, he laid hiding in some bushes and when a French group of hussars passed, he fatally shot their captain.  According to Commemorative Discourse Delivered at the Centennial Anniversary of the Erection and Sixtieth of the Consecration of St. Paul’s Church, East Chester, Elijah “throughout this whole region became a terror to all those who opposed the crown”.

Isn’t this the stuff that Revolutionary War movies are made of?  In fact, wasn’t it already a movie?  Oh no, I’m thinking of “The Patriot” and clearly that wasn’t about a “Loyalist”.  It was an intriguing research project to say the least.  There do seem to be some details that show up differently in sources.  For example, some sources indicate the officer in need of the blacksmith was French and others say American.  Some stories say that Gilbert Vincent was shot and killed and others say he was sliced apart by a sword and lived.  The heart of the story remains consistent, Gilbert Vincent, a Blacksmith, was killed or critically injured and Elijah sought vengeance and killed a captain opposed to the Loyalists.

He married Abigail Bayeux in 1791 and brought his family officially to Canada in 1796.  He settled in Willoughby Township which is now a part of the Region of Niagara Falls.  Of his four children, his oldest daughter, Abigail, my 5 x great-grandmother, married John Amerman and settled in Bayham Township close to modern-day Straffordville, ON.  Many of her descendants remain close to Bayham Township to this day, myself included.  It’s an area rich with my family history. What else might I unearth in this Vincent line?

12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.  Wilkerson, Lyn. Historical Cities-New York City. (USA: Caddo, 2010) Google Books, accessed July 9, 2015.

2.   “America Meets France Outside New York City,” accessed July 9, 2015, http://web.ncf.ca/dc253/Adams%20Ground/America%20Meets%20France%20Outside%20New%20York.pdf.

3.   Coffey, Rev. William Samuel.  Commemorative Discourse Delivered at the Centennial Anniversary of the Erection and Sixtieth of the Consecration of St. Paul’s Church, East Chester.  (New York: Perris and Browne, 1866)  Google Books, accessed July 9, 2010.

4.  Scharf, John Thomas.  History of Westchester County: New York, Including Morrisania, Kings Bridge and West Farms: Volume 1.  (Philedelphia: L. E. Preston & Co., 1886)  Google Books, accessed July 9, 2015.

5.  “Elijah Vincent,” accessed July 9, 2015, http://trees.ancestry.ca/tree/45656741/person/6889121046.

 

 

In My Own Backyard

Ode to be Canadian…

The Ginger Genie

I was born, raised and live in Southwestern Ontario. You would think, with that much time spent in one area (over 40 years but under 42 years), I would be able to explain everything about it, right?.  And being Canadian, I could define the Canadian experience – right?  I’ll tell you, one can certainly have a Canadian foundation but really not know, nor understand, anything about what it is to a be a Canadian.  It wasn’t until I spent 4 months of my life living and travelling abroad, that I began to realize I needed to explore my roots and embrace my nationality.

View from the Glass Ceiling atop the CN Tower View from the Glass Ceiling atop the CN Tower

During university, I spent 4 months living, studying and travelling abroad.  I was based in London, England, but being in such close proximity to so many other countries, I used my weekends, school breaks and summer, to travel the UK and…

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Bye-Bye To Bill’s Pizza of Tillsonburg

Bill's Pizza, Tillsonburg, Cheese PizzaAt the far south end of Tillsonburg, amongst the tumbleweeds where activity once abounded, lies a treasure hidden within a small hole-in-the-wall shop between the old “Royal Hotel” and the bowling alley.  A treasure now buried but to be remembered fondly.  A treasure of amazing pizza and people: Bill’s.

I just read The Tillsonburg News page that Bill’s Pizza in Tillsonburg is done. I’m in shock and disappointment.  Without question, the best pizza around as far as I’m concerned. So great, in fact, I had intended to write a blog post about it as one of the best things about living in Southwestern Ontario: convenient access to Bill’s pizza.  It was one of those “best kept secret” kind of places I would recommend to someone spending time in the area. Not just for the pizza but the staff and the joint also.

The crust was thin and homemade. According to End of an era: Saying goodbye to Bill’s Pizza posted in the Tillsonburg News, Bill’s went through 4 homemade batches a day. The sauce was just the right amount of spice and sweetness with a deep rich, red colour. My usual order was an extra large cheese pizza for my fussy family.  Once in a while I got a deluxe or a meat-lovers if the occasion warranted. The bacon was always real pieces of deli bacon, not bacon bits as many contemporary chain pizzas offer, and the deluxe would have fresh vegetables.  And the cheese, I can’t forget the cheese. There was always a tonne of cheese. So much, that when it melted there was a shimmery coating of grease that would sit on top. I know that may not sound appealing and your arteries may constrict just thinking about it but that was what made it a taste phenomenon. Before even taking a bite my taste buds would do sommersaults in anticipation of what was coming at them.

Bill’s Pizza quickly became the favourtie of my and my sister’s, out-of-town significant others and we have passed on the tradition to our children as well.  This was our go-to pizza growing up in Tillsonburg and a must-have when we are back visiting.  There is simply no other pizza like it.  It’s what I imagine a New York pizza to be like if I ever the opportunity to try it.

Bill’s has survived many years on their incredible reputation for great pizza and customer service.  It even managed to be one of the only businesses (that I’ve patronized) that never succumb to the use of electronic fees transfer.  If you wanted to purchase a pizza from Bill’s you had to do it “old-school”.  No debit or credit.  Cash only.  Luckily, the bowling alley next door was equipped with a bank machine or there would have been several nights of disappointment for me.  It was part of the charm of Bill’s.  It stayed constant and authentic through all the 43 years in business.

It was always a marvel as well, to see Irene or Don every time I would go in to pick up the pizza. I wondered if they ever took a holiday. According to the Tillsonburg news, I guess they didn’t. Obviously they loved what they did. They were always chatty and congenial. Every pizza passed over that counter was delivered with a smile and a thank you.  43 years of dedication and commitment to getting the best pizza out to generations of hungry patrons.  With retirement already underway, I wish them the best and happiest wishes for an amazing life from the other side of the counter.  And may they sense the biggest smile and sincere thank you from one grateful and satisfied customer.

Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: June

12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds

I’m very intrigued and excited about Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds Challenge.  During my family research journey, I’ve discovered lots of great stories and uncovered interesting personas that I want to share with other genealogy enthusiasts.  The problem is that I don’t always get my stories together in a timely fashion due to a full-time workload, mommy to 2 busy boys and being an active community member.  This just might be the right challenge to motivate me to get these tales posted.

Norfolk County “Cowan’s”

For my first month challenge, I dug into my paternal grandmother’s lineage to discover The Cowans were amongst the first settlers to Norfolk County in Ontario.  I hadn’t spent much time on my father’s side of the genealogy tree because he had cousins who had done quite a bit of research.  Why reinvent the wheel and redo something that had already been done?  When I finally joined Ancestry.ca and had my eyes opened to the wealth of information available, I soon realized that my dad’s cousins had only revealed the tip of the ancestral ice berg.  In fact, I only had detailed information about my dad’s father’s line and nothing about my dad’s mother.  She was Marjory Cowan.  I grew up with several Cowan’s around where I am from.  Some of them related, some of them not, but not really knowing the Cowan connection.

Cowan Ancestry
Marjory (Cowan) Noels

Through my membership, I was able to go back through my father’s mother, Marjory (Cowan) Noels (1926 – 1993) her father, William Burton Cowan (1900 – 1962), to his father, William Henry Cowan (1873 – 1948) to his father, David Cowan (1843 – 1923) to his father John Cowan (1813 – 1894) and it ended there.  I was content with that for a time and jumped over to other branches for a while.  I came back to John Cowan and explored deeper.  Where was he from besides Norfolk County, Ontario?  The census records indicated he was “born in Scotland”.  I wanted to know where in Scotland.  I spent months searching Cowan records trying to find the right connection but nothing added up.  I was able to find a cemetery through the Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid that had a David Cowan buried in it.  There were John Cowan’s listed also, but they didn’t meet the criteria I needed for “my John”.  So, I loaded the van up one Sunday afternoon with my parents and my sons (who were 5 and 9 – not too enthused to be “cemetery-hopping” – ice cream helped) and sought to find the cemetery of this “David Cowan” that was buried there.  I was  hopeful of finding clues to other Cowan’s that might make the connection over the sea.  I did, in fact, find David’s grave and it was indeed my 3X great-grandfather.  Buried beside him was his wife Anna Eliza Garnet.  The stone was barely legible but he was buried in the North Middleton Baptist / Acacia Cemetery.  Their daughter, Mary Catherine Cowan, was buried with them also.  She died at 42 years of age of Typhoid fever according to her death certificate (Ancestry.ca).  Although the trip made for an adventurous afternoon, I did not learn anything new about David Cowan or his lineage.

Colquhoun, Cowan
Colquhoun Tartan – Cowan is a sept of

Back to the research I went.  I searched the internet again and again.  I found reference to a John C. Cowan on “The Long Point Settlers” site.  His life dates, however, 1747 – 1826, didn’t match the dates of my John Cowan.  The short description, however, on this site did indicate that he had 4 sons, James, John,William and Alexander.  This could possibly mean that the John listed here was who I was searching to connect but I couldn’t prove it without further cross referencing.  I did finally find a missing piece to this whole puzzle.  John, the son of John was not the John I was looking for.  There was a piece in between.  A 1841 document found on Ancestry.ca indicated a James Cowan from Scotland (John C. Cowan’s son) settled in Charlotteville Township in Norfolk County.   This James came from Scotland with a family.  His wife, Elizabeth and 3 children, Elizabeth, James and John.  Other children followed upon arrival to Canada, but this information was enough for me to see my John’s place in this family line.  James Cowan came to Canada in 1817 with his father, John C. Cowan (of the “The Long Point Settlers“),and family from Scotland, England.  His son, John, my John, was 4 years old, born in 1813.  This was the piece I needed.  Further exploration allowed me to cross-reference this information with that of John’s wives, Catherine Pettit and Charlotte Gibbons.  My mystery was solved.  My John Cowan, according to research, came from Glasgow, Scotland.

Another Scottish branch on my family tree.  Cowan’s belonged to the Colquhoun clan.  And a new search begins…

There is More to Port Dover than Great Fish

Port Dover, hot dog, Norfolk County


Whether you live in Southwestern Ontario or are just visiting, a great place to hang out is Port Dover. Many come for fish at the popular Erie Beach Hotel or for a swim at the beach but I like to go for a footlong hot dog at The Arbor. It’s been close to 100 years (since 1919) serving its famous Schneiders footlongs. They are able to serve many people quickly because of their unique serving set-up. Hotdogs and burgers are ordered at one station, fresh-cut fries at another and ice cream cones at yet another. I usually go with my family and parents and we split up so that one group gets the hot dogs and the other, the fries. We get our food fast and we are eating before you know it even though the serving booths are packed with people. It’s great.  And of course, we don’t leave until we’ve had our amazing soft serve or hard ice cream cone to round out the meal.

They are also unique in the toppings available for hotdogs (or hamburgers if you’re not a “dog” person). There are hot peppers, cole slaw, pickles, radishes and I think, even pickled beets. I always joke with my mom: “Did you get a hot dog to go with your salad?” I’m a bit boring, only “ketchup” for me.

Footlong, The Arbor, Port Dover ON

I almost forgot to mention their Golden Glo. These are special fruit beverages that are only available at The Arbor. Even if you are just in the mood for something to quench your thirst, The Arbor is a place to be sought.