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Chapter 8
Fire Brigades and Fence Viewers
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
Living with Divided Loyalties
A Time and a Place for Swimming
Community Spirit
The First Village Council
"Wants of the Village"
"A Local View of 1874"
Who Was Who in the 1873 Municipal Elections
The Richmond Hill Fire Brigade
Fighting Fires with Hand Pumpers
The Trench Carriage Works
Miss Aiken Then Sang "The Woodland Tree"
Life in the Newly Incorporated Village
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
Table of Illustrations

The Trench Carriage Works

William Trench
Margaret (Cook) Trench.

The Trench Carriage Works was Richmond Hill's largest industrial establishment and most significant employer during the 1870s.

William Trench III was born in Dunbar, Scotland, in 1831 and came to Elgin Mills with his parents eleven years later. He married Margaret Cook of Langstaff, and fathered fourteen children, nine of whom grew to maturity. He learned the blacksmith's trade from his father, and in 1857 set up his own business in Richmond Hill.

The Trench Carriage Works,Richmond Hill's largest employer during the 1870s.
Trench's initial success as a blacksmith paled before his later prosperity as a carriage maker. In a huge three-storey building (today's 10117, 10119 and 10123 Yonge Street), Trench employed some fifteen men, manufactured various models of buggies, wagons, stagecoaches, and carriages, and rang up annual sales of $15,000 to $20,000.

Wagon manufactured by the Trench Carriage Works.
Trench was active in community life, serving as reeve of Richmond Hill from 1875 to 1879 and again in 1881-82. He also owned and operated a farm west of the village in Vaughan Township. A familiar winter sight in the 1870s was his cutter, drawn by a large dog, pulling some or all of the Trench children between village home and farm house.


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Copyright Richmond Hill Public Library Board, 1991