Glanbrook Heritage Society
From material in “Glanford Recollections and Reflections” by Sandy Smith
Tyneside is located at the intersection of Tyneside Road and Haldibrook Road. In 1870, it was named after the River Tyne in England by an English settler from that area, at a meeting with John Neale and James Duncan in the general store. Once a busy, thriving settlement, it is now a quiet country crossroad.
Much of the settlement occurred in Seneca Township south of Haldibrook Road. The store on the southwest corner, built in the 1850's by James Duncan, served as the post office from 1871 to 1915. The Edwards cemetery, the Baptist church, a cheese factory, a wagon shop, another store just west of the post office, built by George Tyler, and a gristmill and wagon shop owned by Tommy Gillan, were all located in Seneca.
Although not in Glanford, these places were a part of the whole community, particularly the Edwards cemetery. The headstones bear the names of many of Glanford’s pioneer families, including Tyler, Edwards, Harris, Neale, Leeming, Gillan and Berry.
The origin of the Edwards cemetery is an interesting and touching story. Daniel Edwards came to Tyneside from Wales in 1850 and built a log house on the farm he purchased that same year, where the cemetery now stands. On his deathbed, he expressed a wish to be buried on his own hearth, so his friends demolished the log cabin and laid him to rest where the fireplace had stood. Other members of the family were buried nearby and eventually it became a public cemetery.
In 1850, across from the cemetery, a frame hall was built, which served as a place for meetings and social events as well as a place of worship for the Baptists of the area. In 1890, the present church was built on land donated by Wm. Harris.
Lot 12, Con. 9, on the northwest corner of Tyneside and Haldibrook Roads, was granted by the Crown to the Canada Company in 1798. It was a small triangular lot consisting of only twenty acres. In 1856, it was sold to John Easton, who is said to have built a house and weaving shop on the site that same year. In 1880, it was purchased by John Neale, who continued to operate the weaving trade along with a wagon shop he built nearby. In 1885, Mr. Neale purchased an additional forty-eight acres immediately north in Con. 8, which was deeded in 1913 to his son, Robert, along with the original holdings of twenty acres.
Lot 13, Con. 9, on the northeast corner and consisting of only forty acres, was granted to John Smith in 1801. In 1851, Eli Wilcox purchased three acres of this land and built a small house and wagon shop. In 1871, John Gillan bought three acres adjoining the Wilcox land, where he built a house and blacksmith shop. In 1886, the property was sold to Tom Awde, in 1889 to Richard Wilkes, both blacksmiths, and in 1903 to Annie Harris. In 1921, it was sold to John Neale and later deeded to his son, Robert, who lived here for many years.
In addition to these businesses that once existed in Tyneside on the Glanford side of the Townline, there are said to have been a bakery, shoemaker and another cheese factory. The locations and owners of these have not been determined.
Tyneside was much the same as most small Ontario villages in those early days, perhaps with one exception; it was one of the first to have street lights. Tom Gillan, who had a gas well on his property behind the gristmill, installed a light in front of the church, and another at the corner by the store and post office. Mr. Gillan's chopping mill was turned with a one-cylinder engine, also fuelled by natural gas from the same well. One morning, when he started the engine, the gas, which had been escaping into the mill, exploded. Tom was blown out to the road but escaped injury. The mill, however, was completely destroyed and never rebuilt, to the disappointment of the whole community. Thanks to the efforts of Mrs. Stan Cox, the village was also the first to have wooden sidewalks, running from the church to the post office.
Today, there is no sign of the commerce that once thrived in Tyneside, and only a few of the old buildings remain. Some of these have been replaced with modern dwellings, but a quiet, rural atmosphere still remains.
Charitable Registration # 0673681-50
© Glanbrook Heritage Society 2012
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