Let’s Talk About – Essex Development

Filed under: Opinion |

by Evelyn Couch

One of the improvements made over the years, to conditions in the town, was bringing water from Lake Erie. The first lake water began to flow through the town watermains near the end of August in 1958; one-year short of 60 years ago.

I remember that day, do you? All of the explanation of trying to manage water requirements are explained on page 71 of the Three Rs of Essex history. The first water was chlorinated only. The next year it was filtered.

Construction of a junior school began in 1950 and it was named J.A. Dowswell after a beloved principal.

As a memorial to the 44 Essex men who died in World War II, a Quonset-type arena was built to make Essex as the only town in the county to have an arena.

Telephones were manned by operators who said, “Number, please,” when you lifted the receiver. The wall-hung phones were replaced with a dial system.  Houses were numbered. Because it runs from north to south, Laird Ave. was made the central point of the main street. That defined Maidstone Ave. as east and Gosfield Townline as west. Because those streets intersect at Talbot, Essex has streets labelled with same direction crossing one another at right angles.

Another achievement in the town development was the establishment of a medical centre in 1957. In 1958, the Alice Street public school was considered unsafe, so the Maplewood School was built in 1959.

I hope you are finding this recall of events as interesting as I am.  There is more for next week.