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BY BILL LAMB
Special to the Voice

Many years in the past, earlier than the Region existed and when “Pelham” was nonetheless 5 distinct villages, an indication was erected alongside Canboro Road to point to the foreigners from Fenwick, and different locations that made up the Township of Pelham, that they had been coming into the Village of Fonthill. The signal was a wood board about three toes lengthy, bolted to a ten-foot timber publish, with the phrase “FONTHILL” proudly painted upon it. The undeniable fact that the boundary at this location ran alongside Canboro Road and the signal was on the Pelham Township facet of the street was conveniently ignored by all.

So there the signal stood for all to see, whereas it watched over Canboro Road and Clifford Haist’s fruit farm to the south. In 1970, the Niagara Region got here in existence and in a single day the Township and villages grew to become the Town of Pelham and the residents had been united. But a number of issues with their roots within the Village of Fonthill or earlier than managed to outlive, together with the signal, Fonthill Hydro, Fonthill Post Office, and so on., but that’s one other story. Back to the signal, which noticed that Clifford’s Farm started to shrink, first to make room for Vinemount Drive, but that was a great distance away, and it wasn’t too involved.

However, at some point (or evening), 20, 25, 30 or extra years in the past, the signal was unbolted and brought away—but the publish was left behind. Did the Town take the signal down and depart the publish, or did individuals unknown determine that the signal would look a lot better of their basement?

We might by no means know, but the bare publish continued its vigil over the stays of Clifford’s Farm. It watched alone because the deep ravines within the fruit farm—the place our youngsters used to toboggan and ski within the winter, and work for Clifford in the summertime— had been filled-in to stage the bottom for the Oakridge growth. It grew to become dwarfed by newly planted bushes, and eventually the final of the farm disappeared as Clifford and Gertie’s home and their barns had been demolished to make room for Canboro Hills.

The lonely publish has remained all through these years, quietly watching the “progress” occurring round it. It did marvel if its final days had lastly arrived as building of a brand new sidewalk started inside a number of inches of it. The decrease branches of its neighbouring bushes had been trimmed to make sure the protection of individuals utilizing the sidewalk, the contractor’s heavy tools and concrete vans made positive they didn’t hit it, and the landscapers rigorously fitted sod round it. It felt honoured by such remedy!

One wonders what number of extra years the publish can stand alone between the sidewalk and the roadway, watching the visitors pace alongside Canboro Road and the joggers and the dog-walkers utilizing the brand new sidewalk. Will some curious, inattentive driver, questioning what a naked publish is doing so near the street, lastly deliver its lonely days to an finish? (The automotive wouldn’t escape unscathed both.) Or maybe somebody with imaginative and prescient within the Town will say, “Did you see this week’s paper? What’s that post doing there? Get rid of it.”

If you occur to know anybody who has a big, wood, relatively aged FONTHILL signal of their basement, or should you see one on the market at any of the varied native curio sellers, be certain to examine its provenance —it might be stolen property!

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