History

Vanished from the Ridge

Ever wonder what happened to some of the stately homes on North Court Street? | Alex Inspired - Vanished from the Ridge

Court Street has a very interesting and long history. It was one of the first streets developed in Port Arthur, with stately homes and sprawling properties. Van Horn Street was actually considered the end of city limits around 1906.

Presently, you can view most original homes beginning at Van Horn Street, working your way towards McVicar Creek.

However, there is a gap; a lapse in time where the Court Street ridge shows an obvious fracture – where houses were built which didn’t quite fit in with the time period. Richard Houston has a very cool Facebook page called: Thunder Bay Then and Now, which features great before and after images of local areas.

Here’s a snapshot from 1921; this was of the home of Mr. Crooks, located on the Corner of Argyle and Court.

Chung Collection Photography - the Court Street Ridge - The private residences of Mr. Crooks at Port Arthur, Ontario - Vanished from the Ridge

Sadly, this home no longer exists. It was owned by the Anderson Family when it was destroyed by a Fire in the early 1960s.

Moving further down Court Street towards McVicar Creek, we come across the private residence of Mr. Emerson. This beautiful home was demolished to create River Street.

Chung Collection Photography - the Court Street Ridge - The private residences of Mr. Crooks at Port Arthur, Ontario - Vanished from the Ridge

Directly beside The Emerson Residence is 194 Court Street North, at the time it belonged to a Mr. Cumbers.  This is now the site of the Port Arthur Clinic.

194 Court Street North - Port Arthur | Thunder Bay Museum Photograph - Vanished from the Ridge

Blogger Brenda Dougall Merriman, lived in this home as a Child. You can read her story here.

The Court Street Ridge - The Chung Collection 1921 - Vanished from the Ridge

And last but not least, the Cheese Stands Alone.

The home on the left is still standing, I believe it was formally owned by a Mr. Russell. It now bodes several not so pretty alterations. It’s currently used as the staff lounge area for the Port Arthur Clinic.

Anyone else have any other information to contribute about the Court Street Ridge? Please, leave a comment!

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Sources | Information & Photographs: 

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2 Comments

  • Reply Tricks and Treats through Narrow Streets - Alex Inspired October 30, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    […] up on the Court Street ridge always destined a really great Halloween […]

  • Reply Sandra E (Anderson) Weiland December 4, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    My maiden name is Anderson. My family owned the house at the time of the fire. The fire started the evening of Dec 31, 1968. The next day, would be January 1, 1969, the first day of the amalgamation of Port Arthur and Fort William to become the City of Thunder Bay. The Fire fighters were celebrating the eve of amalgamation. They were not ready for a fire. The fire started as spontaneous combustion in the coal cellar. The firefighters were called. When they finally arrived, they realized that their gas masks (air supply) had not been properly maintained, and they could not fight the fire from the basement level, because they could not breathe the noxious fumes. So they started searching in the snowbanks on Argyle street for a fire hydrant. They didn’t have the map to help them locate the hydrants. Finally, they found a hydrant, but then they discovered that they didn’t have the right sized “key” to allow them to open the water hydrant. By the time they finally had water available, it was too late, the house was going up in flames. Because the corporation of Port Arthur no longer existed, lawyers told my parents that trying to sue for damages because of their incompetence would be a waste of time and money. Sad, it was a beautiful house to grow up in, with three fireplaces, and beautiful stained glass windows, and beautiful oak everywhere.

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