What’s in a Street Name

I am going to play the Andy Rooney on this one (or maybe the Andy Barker). I also know that the town has a short list in case they need to name new streets.

Occasionally the naming of streets come up to me. I know that it is impossible to name a street for the surname of every important person or pioneer family in the history of Grand Falls-Windsor but there are many names that are deserving of a street name.

Sanders-George Sanders was one of the first people to be on site for the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. He was a surveyor and he worked surveyed the site of the mill and the town. He lived in the community for most of his life after that, and lived on Carmelite Road.

Burke-Joseph Burke was anther one of these early employees. He may have been on the same crew as Sanders and he was employed in the spring and summer of 1905 taking soundings of the river. Plus there was another family of Burke’s in town, that of John Burke, which was quite large and that Mr. Burke was a Navy Veteran of the First World War and lost a son in the Second. Plus bassist Terry Burke has probably played more Salmon Festivals than Blue Rodeo.

Connors-I do believe that one of the local councils of the Knights of Columbus is named for P.J Connors, but there is no street named for him or his family. Connors was the station master at the railway station for many years.

Chow-Harry and Tom had a couple of the most successful restaurant businesses in Central. The Globe was in business for many many years and the Taiwan is a a Central Newfoundland icon, having been in business since 1964.

Harry and Marg Chow at the Globe. 

Marsh-I am not even talking about my own family, but having one of the oldest car dealerships in the Province, and one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in central Newfoundland is a bit of an accomplishment. But there was another family of Marsh’s that included the long time groundskeeper for the Grand Falls house in the early days, who was largely responsible for the beautiful landscape that used to be up there. Plus Rev. Edward Marsh was probably the first Bishop of the Anglican Church to be born and raised in the town!

GF Map 1913.jpg
There has been a lot of growth in Grand Falls-Windsor since this map was made. None of the original streets were named for anybody, except Sir Humphrey Gilbert. 

Montgomery – There are many streets name after World War One battles and one named for a World War One Field Marshall. But there is little named for World War Two. Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery was the overall commander of the forces that included the 166th Newfoundland Artillery Regiment, in which a number of local men served. Montgomery also visited in the late 1960’s and gave everybody the day off school.

Crowe-Andy Barker has touched on this one before, but Harry J. Crowe was an important figure in getting the pulp and paper development in Central. In the early days he was a big pulpwood supplier to the Company and a frequent visitor to the town. His relationship with the Company soured after they became involved in the legal dispute over wood cutting that went all the way to the supreme court, which probably also soured his chances of having a street named for him. He was also instrumental in developing Gambo, Badger, Botwood, Point Leamington, Norris Arm, Bishop’s Falls, Gambo and Glenwood.

Harry J Crowe
Timber Magnate Harry Judson Crowe. Crowe operated mills in Botwood, Badger and Point Leamington and was a driving force in attracting pulp and paper interests to Newfoundland.

Earl Grey – Governor General of Canada, Early Grey visited Grand Falls in 1911 and he was shown a scenic promenade along the river, which was then named for him as Earl Grey Boulevard. This is long forgotten and I guess the road dramatically lost class over the years, for many years it was known as Rushy Pond Road and was used mainly to bring trucks full of pulpwood to the river and mill. Later it received the spectacular title of “Mill Access Road.”

Grimes-Fred Grimes was one of the first Councillors in the Town of Windsor and was a driving force in the development of the municipal council in that town. Plus the fact that he and his wife Winnie had a boat load of children some of which became important figures in Business, Religion, Politics, Sport and softball officiating. Not to mention the fact that their son Roger was the first Premier born and raised in the Town!

Gruchy-Phillip Gruchy was the first Newfoundlander to became the Vice President and General Manager of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. He came to town from Pouch Cove during mill construction, started fairly close to the bottom (as an office boy, not as far down as water nipper) and ended up at the top.

Philip Gruchy was the first Newfoundlander to be General Manager of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. Gruchy worked his way up starting with the Company when he was about 16 and the mill was under construction. (Atlantic Guardian)

Cooper-There is a Cooper Avenue in the Windsor part of town and I think that that was named after Uncle George and/or his brother Hayward. But I think it is awfully funny that there isn’t nor wasn’t a street in Grand Falls named for L.R Cooper, he was the Town Manager for the A.N.D Company until 1948 and as such he was the de-facto mayor of the town for decades. He also served in World War One rising to the rank of Captain. It was said that he was instrumental in organizing the Great War Veteran’s Association after the war. His wife was also very active in the community and was a noted artist.

Hiscock-There are a number of families with this name on both sides of the tracks. Hiscock’s Drive in was a famous GFW institution for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Heber Hiscock were prominent citizens and pillars of the Salvation Army, their son Vernon became the first Grand Falls born principal of Grand Falls Academy and later a university professor at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.

Reid- From my considerable research it seems as though the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company and the Reid Newfoundland Development Company did not have the best relationship. However, if it wasn’t for the Reid’s completing the railway the region would have been inaccessible in 1905. The Grand Falls portion of town is also built on a Reid lot.

Riff- There were a number of Jewish immigrant families to set up business in the early years of Windsor. Only a couple of them stayed and two of them became household names across the province, and the Cohen family recently had a street named for them. The family of James Riff originally came from Latvia and started a dry good store in Windsor in the late 1930’s. Like Cohen’s, there are Riff’s stores all over the province.

Steele – David “Davey” Steele was the roadmaster in charge of the Railway between Bishop’s Falls and the Bay of Islands before the establishment of Grand Falls. He went on to work with the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company supervising the construction of the Botwood Railway and later as roadmaster of the Botwood the railway itself. Would probably be an appropriate name to be used on a street in Bishop’s Falls or Botwood as well.

Tubrett-They have a ville, which technically is on Whitmore Street Extension, I don’t recall knowing if there were any Whitmore’s in Windsor, but there sure were a lot of Tubretts!

Wood– Alex U. Wood was one of the early directors and a very important person in the early history of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. Hardy and Lincoln were consulting engineers and they have streets named for them. Wood played an important role in the building of the mill and the town and was one of the very first employees of the AND Company, having come over from Newfoundland Timber Estates when the Harmsworth’s bought the Millertown property.

I am sure there some I have missed and countless others that could be suggested. Hopefully the town will somehow grow to actually need some of these street names one day.




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