Photograph caption: Talbot Street, south side, looking west towards Metcalfe Street, c. 1900 Elgin County Archives
The 1870s saw tremendous growth in St. Thomas thanks to the arrival of the Canada Southern and Great Western Railways, turning the sleepy village into a burgeoning metropolis and putting it on the road to becoming Canada’s Railway Capital. Huge commercial blocks, many of which still stand, bloomed along Talbot Street housing everything from merchants, banks, and newspapers to a large number of fraternal organizations. The show features a detailed examination of the decade’s principal architect, David Kilpatrick, curated by local historian Paul Baldwin. Photographs of existing Kilpatrick buildings are on view as well as historic images of 1870s-1890s St. Thomas. Selected artifacts including fraternal badges and costumes are also on exhibit.