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Showing posts from December, 2017

Water Street Ghost Signs update

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Thanks to my friend Jennifer, who was able to read this heavily painted cast iron column base!

"Wm HELM, PETERBORO, 1873"

I learned the William Helm Foundry and Machine Shop was located on Simcoe Street where the city bus terminal now stands.

Water Street Ghost Signs

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Architectural signage that remains after a business or organization has long gone is called a ghost sign.  The word FURNITURE on the north side of the building at 376, 378 and 380 Water Street caught my attention from childhood.  The letters "URE" of this sign are visible in an 1880s photo of Water Street in the T.H.G. Denne Collection.  The above photo was taken in the early 2000s.  The letters have since been removed after having hung on the building some 120 years.
Today, the outline of FURNITURE is still visible; a ghost of the ghost sign! #380 Water Street is currently undergoing renovations, revealing the old cast iron and transom windows.  The three window panels over the plate glass show the ghost sign WHOLESALE AND RETAIL.  Was this to do with the furniture?
The base of the cast iron column at the entrance shows the name of what was probably the ironworks.  Unfortunately, many layers of paint have obscured it.  I can read: "Wm" (William), but the second n…