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Historic Sites Committee

University of Western Ontario, Third Campus (1924-)

58

Location

Natural Sciences Building, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario London, ON
Canada
43° 0' 37.6488" N, 81° 16' 23.0448" W

University of Western Ontario, Second Campus (1895-1924)

57

Location

1 Grosvenor Gate, London, Ontario London, ON
Canada

University of Western Ontario, First Campus (1878-1895)

56

Location

280 St. James Street, London, Ontario (present site of the Church of St. John the Evangelist) London, ON
Canada
42° 59' 54.6108" N, 81° 15' 6.8796" W

South-Western Traction Line, 1902-1918

66

Location

185 Horton Street, London, Ontario (present site of Ivy Hall Residence, London International Academy) London, ON
Canada
42° 58' 44.544" N, 81° 14' 46.68" W

Oakwood

69

Location

602 Queens Avenue, London, Ontario London, ON
Canada
42° 59' 25.5012" N, 81° 13' 58.998" W
History: 

The Benjamin Cronyn Junior family originally lived in a smaller house on the site of Oakwood.  Benjamin was the second son of Bishop Benjamin Cronyn, the first bishop of the Diocese of Huron.  Benjamin’s father-in-law was George Jervis Goodhue, London’s first “millionaire.”  George was born on August 1st, 1799 in Putney, Vermont and settled in the London area in 1820.  He died on January 11th, 1870.  As stipulated by his will, the inheritances from George’s $650,000 estate were not distributed until after his wife, Louisa’s death on August 1st, 1880. His daughter, Mary Goodhue Cronyn, used some of her $130,000 inheritance to build Oakwood.   The following excerpt is from the March 18th, 1881 issue of the London Advertiser:

Building operations – the contracts for the erection of large additions and alterations of Mr. Benjamin Cronyn’s residence, corner of Queen’s Avenue and Adelaide Street have been let as follows…Brickwork, Goldsmith & Garratt; carpenter work, Messrs. J.C. Dodd & Son; stone work, Messrs. Powell & Son; slating by F. Riddell. 

Oakwood was built from 1880 to 1882 in the Second Empire style.   The architect was George F. Durand.  It was built of red brick, which was later covered over with stucco, probably in the 1930s.  Today, the best view of the original façade can be seen from the west side.  The initials BC are carved into the terra cotta panels above one of the windows.  Another panel shows the date, 1881, in Roman numerals while other panels are embellished with oak leaves after which Oakwood was named.

Benjamin Cronyn Junior was a lawyer a mayor of London from 1874 to 1875.  Benjamin made poor financial decisions and as a result, he suffered severe losses when the Bank of London collapsed in 1887.  Other financial failures followed.  He and his family left London shortly thereafter.  He died in Toronto On November 20th, 1905 and is buried in the Goodhue plot at Woodland Cemetery in London.

Oakwood was sold to Frank and Louisa Leonard following the departure of the Cronyns.  The Leonards had three daughters and two sons.  Col. Ibbotson and Lt. Col. Woodman fought in the First World War.  Woodman was killed in action at Vimy Ridge on April 9th, 1917.  In 1930, Oakwood was sold to Central Baptist Church who converted it into a church and later built an addition which was used as a school.  In 2004, the church building was bought by Info Tech Research Group who received an Urban League Green Brick Award for their sympathetic restoration of the building.       

Nature London

74

Location

645 Springbank Drive, London, Ontario (present site of Civic Gardens) London, ON
Canada
42° 57' 44.136" N, 81° 17' 48.6708" W

London's Oil Industry

72

Location

249 Hamilton Road, London, Ontario (present site of All Saints Anglican Church) London, ON
Canada
42° 58' 52.644" N, 81° 13' 32.8512" W

Photo credit:

 Photo Credit: 

London's Oil Industry

Location on Google Maps: 249 Hamilton Road, London, Ontario (present site of All Saints Anglican Church)

London Hydro Shop, 1912-1956

66

Location

272-274 Dundas Street, London, Ontario London, ON
Canada
42° 59' 7.0368" N, 81° 14' 42.3132" W
History: 

The Hydro Shop was a retail store established in 1912 by the Board of Water Commissioners (later the Public Utilities Commission) designed to encourage the use of electrical appliances in the home for the convenience of the homemaker while building a customer base for the distribution of power from Niagara Falls, a pet project of Mayor and MPP, Adam Beck.  It was through his leadership that London became the second city in Ontario to obtain hydro at 12:15 pm on November 30, 1910.

When efforts by the Board's general manager, Edward Victor Buchanan, to encourage local businesses to undertake a campaign to promote domestic electrical appliances were met with resistance, the Board established its own retail store in 1912, first in the city hall on Richmond Street and then in a former drug store on the corner of Dundas and Wellington Streets.  There it used innovative marketing tactics such as cooking demonstrations in its showroom, free home trials and payments on the installment plan to attract more users.

It was the first of its kind in Ontario. It is credited with attracting and retaining businesses like Kelvinator and McClary and under the direction of its creative manager E. V. Buchanan with introducing the prototype for the Cascade 40 water heater, the first automobile block heater, and a forerunner of the smart meter. The Hydro Shop turned London into the electric range capital of North America, with more electric ranges per population than any other city.

The success of The Hydro Shop also spilled over to private businesses as public demand for reasonably priced electrical appliances increased. By 1956, the proliferation of such appliances—air conditioners, curling irons, fridges, kettles, mixers and stoves —in electrical business and discount stores meant that the Board’s mission had been achieved and The Hydro Shop was closed.

Adam Beck’s motto was dona naturae pro populo sunt (the gifts of nature are for the public). Through the operation of The Hydro Shop, the commission he established to oversee the distribution of electricity ensured that the farmer, the homemaker and the small businessperson shared in the benefits of affordable, reliable publicly owned power.

John Herbert Chapman

70

Location

Atrium, Physics and Astronomy Building, Western University, London, Ontario London, ON
Canada
43° 0' 34.9164" N, 81° 16' 21.2304" W

First Branch Library

71

Location

795 Dundas Street, London, Ontario (present site of Aeolian Hall) London, ON
Canada
42° 59' 26.3148" N, 81° 13' 29.3484" W