Windsor Assembly

Today’s photo was sent along from a regular reader.

An interesting early aerial photo of the Windsor Assembly Plant. I’m unsure of the date on this one, but it’s probably from the mid to late 1930’s. The view is looking south from Walker Tecumseh Road. The photograph dates to before 1948 for sure, as there is no sign of the old Chrysler Office Building along Chrylser Centre Drive.

The photo of the plant, also matches the layout of the buildings as shown in the 1937 Fire Insurance Maps, above (plant 3) and below (plant 2).

Thanks for sending the photo in!

Kelsey Wheel Company

Today is another glimpse into the industrial history of our fair city.

The Kelsey Wheel Company (later Kelsey Hayes) was opened in Windsor in November of 1913. It was the first plant to be unionized by the UAW in Canada. It closed down not too long after I moved to Windsor, in October, 1990.

From the New York Times archives:

COMPANY NEWS; Canada Closing Set By Kelsey-Hayes
Published: Saturday, October 20, 1990

A Kelsey-Hayes Canada Ltd. steel wheel plant in Windsor, Ontario, will be closed by the end of the month, resulting in the loss of about 450 hourly and salaried jobs, the company said. The company cited ”grave operational problems and mounting losses due to significant overcapacity in the steel wheels manufacturing industry.”

The equipment at the plant will be sold to its parent concern, the Kelsey-Hayes Company, based in Romulus Mich., for $8.5 million. Kelsey-Hayes Canada will continue making automobile brake components in Woodstock and St. Catharines, Ontario.

The plant pictured above in the ad dating from the mid-1950’s, was, and still is located on Howard Avenue. It is currently home to Veltri Metal Stamping. Although the have been some additions and demolitions over the last half century.

Anyone out there have any memories of the place to share?

Real Estate For Sale – 1925 Style

Does anyone out there Recognize this house in/near Amherstburg? I need some County help today… :)

From “The Detroiter” (the publication of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce), May 18, 1925:


This property which is suitable for a summer or year round home or for a clubhouse, is situated on the Canadian shore of the Detroit River, facing Bob-Lo Island steamboat landing, on Sunset Drive, below Amherstburg – one of the very finest locations on the whole river.

The property consists of a 14 room fieldstone and shingle residence on a lot having a river frontage of 167 1/2 ft. and a depth of 340 ft. with water lot to channel bank.

Fruit and shade trees, sandy beach, boating, bathing, fishing, electricity, purified city water, hot water heat, garden, country taxes, etc. The commerce of the Great Lakes passes within a stone’s throw of the beach, and presents an ever interesting and ever-changing panorama. One hour from Windsor ferry by auto, electric railway or speedboat.

This frontage will probably double or triple in value within a few years if the Detroit-Windsor bridge is built.

Does the house look familiar to anyone? Is it still standing? There must have been some renaming over the years as I can’t find a Sunset Drive in Amherstburg. Anyone got any ideas?

Streetcar Friday

To the County today, and a little Inter-Urban history.

As usual, if it has to do with streetcar, and history, we need to thank John and Bernie for digging them up.

The first shot shows an inter-urban car passing the corner of Division & Main St. in downtown (or because its the county – Uptown) Kingsville. This shot c. 1907

This shot from around 1910, shows the powerhouse and car barns in Kingsville. The Windsor Car Barns were located on Chatham St., between Glengarry & Aylmer.

Believe it or not, the old powerhouse in Kingsville is still standing. There are a few shots of the powerhouse today, available for viewing on John’s flickr account here.

Now used for storage of some kind, this part of local history sits by the lake, without any recognition of the important and progressive part it played in the history of Windsor and Essex County.

Mmmm… Stucco…

Seeing as it’s been a while since I singled out and ridiculed a bad renovation job…

This one is bad. I used this one as one of my bad renovation examples during the Petcha Kucha talk a few months ago…

Located at Wyandotte and Parent, there are four buildings all in a row, all identical. At least they were before the Lion’s Pizza building renovation. :)

Dominion Twist Drill

I recently received an email from a former Windsorite who was looking for some information about the Dominion Twist Drill. Her Father was an employee there in the late 1930’s to early 1940’s. When he went overseas for WWII, he was given a good luck bracelet. The back is engraved “Good Luck – From the Employees of the Dominion Twist Drill”.

The building is located at 1880 Assumption, just east of the corner with Chilver Road.

The Building has a cornerstone on the front dated 1942, and shows up on the job list of architect David J. Cameron.

However the building also is present on the 1937 Fire Insurance Map. Check it against Google earth today, and you can see it is the same building. Maybe the office on the front was added or expanded in 1942?

Today’s view shows there was a slight expansion on the left side of the plant to fill in that sliver of the plant to make it a rectangle. Also looks like part of Border Cities Wire and Iron was absorbed on the right hand side. Maybe a new facade in 1942?

Does anyone out there have any information about the Dominion Twist Drill Company? Any relatives out there who worked there? Anyone who had a relative there during WWII? Any other “Good Luck” bracelets?