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Chapter 12
The Village Transformed
Table of Contents

Title Page
Author's Preface
1 The Road through Richmond Hill
2 First Peoples on the Land
3 The European Settlers Arrive
4 From Miles' Hill to Richmond Hill: The Birth of a Community
5 Tories and Reformers
6 Stagecoach Lines and Railway Tracks
7 The Neighbours at Mid-Century
8 Fire Brigades and Fence Viewers
9 Picture Post Card Village of the 1880s and 1890s
10 Rails through Richmond Hill
11 The Flowering of Richmond Hill
12 The Village Transformed
Parading, Dancing, and Skating
Richmond Hill's Fiftieth Birthday: 1923
Richmond Hill's One Hundredth Birthday: 1973
Skating in Style
Pure Water and Healthy Children
The installation of the waterworks in 1921 inspired a Richmond Hill bard to send this bit of doggerel in to the local paper:
"Mrs. Pankhurst's Lecture"
Flying Kites on Richmond's Hill
Between Old and New
"Dr. Langstaff Describes the Advent of the Horseless Carriage"
Alex Hume's Cushions and the Power of the Press
Turn-of-Century Tracks Block Yonge Street Construction
From Radial Cars to Rubber Tires
Table of Illustrations

Skating in Style

Dr. Rolph Langstaff demonstrates his skating skills at age 85. The Liberal,January 23, 1969.

The "Big, Black Old Timer"

The original wooden arena stood right against Church Street on the existing children's playground, to the west of Arena 23. They used to flood it with a pipe, hand pumped from a huge barrel, the water coming from a cistern under an inside room. The building was a real old timer, big and black, probably dating from the 1800s. There were no bleachers; hockey spectators watched from a narrow walkway beside the ice. In the beginning there weren't even any boards so that the crowd had to beware of high passes.

Saturday night the whole town skated - there were large crowds. The Richmond Hill band played, but he doesn't remember where they sat. Perhaps they stood to keep the circulation going during those sub-zero nights. The skaters seemed warm enough, the gentlemen sporting colorful long scarves, and the ladies keeping pinkies snug inside rabbit-fur muffs.

H.J. Suter,"Building the Richmond Hill Arena Tradition,"Richmond Hill Month(January 1988),p. 18

The Liberal Salutes Arena 23

Hundreds of people have visited our new rink in the Park, and the opinion is freely expressed that Richmond Hill now has a building that is a credit to the town, the Town Council and the builders - W.H. Graham and his staff. Although rushed up in four weeks after the frame was started, nobody was hurt, there was no accident of any kind, and everything went together like clockwork. The building is electrically lighted, and next winter the waiting rooms, band stand and canteen will be steam heated. Go and see for yourselves.

"Our New Rink,"The Liberal,March 1, 1923


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Copyright Richmond Hill Public Library Board, 1991