Thursday, September 3, 1874 The Woodstock Weekly Review (Woodstock) Page 4

Excursion to Erie.

Early on the morning of Tuesday, August 24th, large numbers of inhabitants of the southern parts of Oxford and Norfolk counties assembled at the different stations of the P. D. & L. H. R. R., to participate in an excursion to Port Dover, and from thence to Erie, Pa., where the excursionists were given to understand a public reception would be tendered by the inhabitants of that City, in return for courtesies received from Port Dover and Simcoe on former occasions. A large train of well filled "flats" arrived in Dover about 10 a.m., and many at once proceeded on board a fine looking steamer the "Alma Munro," awaiting their arrival. After a pleasant run of some four hours' duration the beautiful City of Erie, the great outlet on Lake Erie or the iron, coal and oil industries of Pennsylvania, came in sight. When within about five miles of the City a steamer well laden with Erie's citizens came out to meet us and accompany us in, the shrill whistle of the boat and the hearty cheers of those on board giving us an earnest of the splendid welcome in store for us. Drawing near the City a very animated scene presented itself; the beautiful harbor of which Erie is so justly proud seemed alive with steamers, tugs, steam yachts, etc., and whistles and voices gave forth a hearty greeting. On arriving in the bay the committee of reception was transferred from the steam yacht Hunter on board the Canadian boat, and a hearty welcome tendered on behalf of the citizens of Erie. When opposite State Street a truly grand sight met the gaze of the astonished Canadians, the wharves and streets as far as the eye could reach being literally crammed with Americans, all eager to greet their Canadian friends. The number who were present to welcome the visitors is estimated from 10,000 to 15,000 people, including a fine band, the fire department, members of the Corporation, etc. Passing up State Street under an arch formed of the Stars and Stripes and Union Jack, with the word "welcome" intertwined, the visitors soon arrived in the cool and pleasant park, where addresses of welcome were presented. The Mayor being absent from the City, acting Mayor Jones introduced the Hon. Wm. A. Galbraith, who tendered a cordial welcome on behalf of the Mayor and Council of the City of Erie. He said it was seldom indeed any visiting excursion had excited so much interest among all classes as the present, and there was an earnest wish prevailing that the brief stay would be as pleasant as possible. He said, our people are happy to meet you and return friendly greetings and congratulations. They open wide their doors, and will try in some small degree to reciprocate the hospitalities you have on more than one occasion in the past so generously extended to them. There are many reasons apart from our wish to return former civilities why we should regard your coming with more than common interest. There are business reasons, commercial reasons, considerations arising from prospective trade advantages and facilities to be given and received. Your are near to use—from our Water Works tower on a bright day can be described your bay and town of Dover, but by the course of trade you have been as practically remote from us as if hundreds of miles intervened. But now, with the building of Railroads on either side reaching far into the interior, and the creation of termini on the north and south shores of Lake Erie, new channels of trade will be opened, and we hope to divert much of the trade that has lately gone east and west to our mutual profit and advantage. Your new road will connect you with the entire net-work of Canadian Railways, and will bring to your port the product of an extensive country in timber, cattle and grain; while here on this side we have our lines reaching Erie into all parts of the Commonwealth [of Pennslyvania]. Then we expect soon to have the great Baltimore & Ohio, now pointing this way, which will open still another highway to the inexhaustible mines of coal and oil, so necessary to our future prosperity. What is needed by both of use is that that narrow spare of forty miles between your town and ours should be bridged by a line of Steamers running in connection with the Railroads on either side, to open a new channel for freight and travel. We want your trade and you want ours. We are a trading people, but I could never discover that Bro. Jonathan was sharper at a bargain or shrewder in business than his uncle John Bull. In conclusion, I again tender you, on behalf of the Municipal authorities of Erie, our sincerest, most cordial and heartiest welcome.

J. Ross Thomspon, Esq., followed with an address of welcome. Said we were descended from the same ancestry; there had been family quarrels; but can it be possible, he asked, that after a hundred years there can be any bitterness remaining? 'Tis true many thought we erred in severing ourselves from parental restraint, but we have succeeded far beyond our most sanguine expectations. Rejoice with us, Canadians, in our prosperity; our successes are yours; we are all descended from the same Anglo-Saxon race; we are neighbors, cousins by blood, joint owners of the beautiful Erie. We should "love our neighbors." Let us then hope for a better acquaintance, for increased prosperity, and for the drawing closer of the bonds of mutual good fellowship.

Rev. Mr. Savage, of the Methodist Church of Canada, said: "We feel extremely honored in the grade and glorious welcome this City has given to use as Canadians. He referred to the Queen's anxiety for peace between the two countries, and alluded to the ties of civil and religious liberty that should bind us closely to one another, and hope the time would never come when the sword would be unsheathed between us as antagonists. Eighty millions of people speak the English language, and to them, I believe, is entrusted the peace of the world, and I pray this bond of union may never be broken. The Rev. W.W. Ramsay of Erie, Rev. John Wood, Episcopal church, Canada, Rev. Mr. McGuire, Presbyterian church, Canada, Rev. Adam Slaight, Waterford, and Rev. John Odery, Otterville, followed with speeches, holding the attention of a very large and appreciative audience to the last. The visitors were especially pleased with the action of many of the "Erie" citizens in placing carriages at their disposal, whereby many were enabled to see and appreciate the numberless beauties of the city and its surrounding, prominent among which are the many stately mansions of worthy citizens. Shortly before the steamer left, a large number of American well-wishers being on board, an impromptu meeting was held and a vote of thanks moved by Rev. Mr. Savage, seconded by Rev. Jno. Odery, and carried unanimously, acknowledging the favors received and tendering the good folks of Erie a hearty invitation to call on their Canadian friends, and promising to reciprocate to the best of their ability. After farewell had been said and the boat had moved from the dock the Canadian band struck up "Hail Columbia," and darkness intervening Erie was lost sight of amidst vociferous cheering on both sides, the visitors being fully satisfied with the reception accorded them and promising themselves ere long another trip to that portion of Uncle Sam's dominions. The Lake was decidedly lumpy on the return home, sea sickness being more of a rule than an exception. The boat arrived in due time at Port Dover where the train awaited, and home was reached in the "wee small hours" without an accident of any kind to mar the harmony of what was a decidedly pleasant excursion.

Railways: Pt.D. & L.H.Ry.