David Jr.,Peter, George
David, Mary, at side of Princess St. home

The Bawtinheimers

This is the Bawtinheimer side of my  family. The above picture was taken beside their home on 34 Princess Street, Dundas, Ontario.  It was a three lot property.  The main house occupies one, a one story "stucco cottage" occupied another.  A large vegetable garden at the back straddled all three.  I remember one summer helping Grandma Bawtinheimer work on it.

Princess St.
This is the house today,

I have two stories about the cottage. When my mother lived there as a very young girl she ran away from home. She was found in "downtown" Dundas several blocks away. The cottage was the cause of a big family quarrel. (Great) Grandma Bawtinheimer apparently gave the cottage to son David Jr., who was something of wheeler-dealer and showman is said to have talked her into selling.  

David is said to have owned the first car in Dundas, bought Sir Malcolm Campbell's "Bluebird" racing car to show at county fairs and ended up in Niagara Falls as a wealthy businessman owning a ship that sucked sand from Lake Ontario.  He owned the dock on the Niagara River where the sand was unloaded

David also owned the land on the Canadian side of river on which  the Rainhow Bridge was built.  He claimed the Ontario government didn't pay him a fair price and fought for years (unsuccessfully) to get what he wanted.

Bawtinheimer farm 52 Mineral Springs Road, Ancaster,
 Ontario (barns have since been torn down)  Picture possibly taken late
1900s early last century.

bawtinheimer farm 2003
Bawtinheimer farm in 2003 (heavily renovated)

The Bawtinheimers  moved to the Dundas house from the Bawtinheimer homestead farm at 52 Mineral Springs Road, Ontario where the Bawtinheimers had lived for generations (most of them are buried at Zion Hill church).

When did they leave the farm and move to Princess Street in Dundas?  No earlier than 1911.  I know that because that's the year Mary and David Bawtinheimer bought 500 shares each in the Cobalt T. Frontenac Mining Co. at a total cost of $ 250.00.  Their address for this transaction is Mineral Springs. Here is David's receipt: 

frontenac receiipt

The history of the Bawtinheimers in Canada is fairly well documented. Click here for a detailed  account of how the Bawtinheimers came  to Canada in the 17th century
My grandfather Peter remembered when there was a permanent spot of burned grass directly below the upper window of the Mineral Springs house. He said his father David peed out the window  every night.

The site of the the Bawtinheimer pioneer home (  a log cabin built by Peter Bawtinheimer after he moved from New Jersey) was known to my grandfather and uncle George. Pete said he visited the abandoned site and so I believe did George. Pete and George and I tried to find and failed to find the site in later years. It could probably still be found with modern detection equipment, especially of an airborne kind.

As I said, earlier generations of Bawtinheimers are buried at Zion Hill United Church (now de-commissioned) south of the Governor's Road.  Pete remembers walking behind a horse-driven hearse to the cemetery when he was living on the Mineral Springs farm.  I can't  remember who the deceased was.

David Bawtinheimer Sr. became coal merchant apparently when he was still on the farm. He had a coal station at hamlet of Mineral Springs where trains would deliver his coal at the road crossing. Pete showed me the site.

The Bawtinheimer children attended a nearby one-room school, which my grandfather (Pete) took me to before it was torn down. Only the concrete steps to the entrance remained the last time I was there.
David Bawtinheimer Sr. was a  gloomy, rather frightening character who always seemed to sitting in half darkness in the heavily-draped front  "parlor". I can't remember him ever smiling or laughing. My Mother disliked him intensely and said Grandma (Mary) Bawtinhiemer had married "beneath herself." (She was born in Scotland and grew up on the Governor"s Road in Dundas. Her home, a traditional farm house perched on a hill, was demolished in my life-time.)

I remember being  told that just before he died of cancer they carried David downstairs so he and Mary could sing hymns together while she played the family pump organ. Today I can forgive him somewhat for alleged faults. Because he was the only member of my family on either side to take the trouble to write down what he knew of the Bawtinheimer history.  The writing and the penmanship suggest to me he was a better educated and thoughtful man than I thought him to be.  Read original document here. As you'll see, the note is in poor shape.

I have his last will and testament which is notable for two reasons: it is short(unlike the modern will) and makes no mention of his eldest son, David. In short,  David was cut out of the will.  The house was left to his wife and after her death his son George. (Mine own mother, Lorine Bedwell, sold the house on George's death).
Click here to view list of Bawtinheimer family members

George lived most of his life in Toronto working for the Ontario government. He rose to become head of the motor licensing division. He was an avid golfer, never married but always had a girlfriend, even into his 80s. The biggest love of George's life was Margaret (I cannot remember last name ). George would have married her if it were not for his mother's fierce opposition. 

Margaret was a Roman Catholic and in those times Protestants (Grandma Bawtinheimer was a Baptist) did not marry Roman Catholics. And George was an obedient son. He moved back into the Princess Street home after retiring.

David Bawtinheimer, I believed the eldest son, lived most of his life in Niagara Falls, Ontario.  He was a successful business man who owned a sand-sucking boat that drew sand from Lake Ontario, the dock at Queenston Heights and the property on which the Canadian side of the Rainbow Bridge across the Niagara River was built.  For years he tried and failed to get claim more money from the Ontario government for the property. He said he had been cheated

I inherited some interesting old pieces of Victorian-era furniture from Princess Street that probably had come from the farm on Sulphur Springs Road. The most interesting piece was a tall, wood hall stand that was salvaged from the Sulphur Springs health spa hotel when it burned do
wn in 1910.

hat stand

sulpher springs hotel
Sulphur Springs Hotel

By the way, the furniture was not willed to me but was purchased from the estate by my mother.

There is another George in the Bawtinheimer story. George was the driver of I believe Mary's sister who lived in New York and was reputed to be a slum landlord in Harlem.  This aunt ( I cannot recall her name and not entirely sure she was Grandma Bawtinheimer's sister; she may been a cousin) was a flamboyantly dressed character that could been created by Evelyn Waugh or F. Scots Fitzgerald.  Her car was a former New York Yellow Taxi  cab that still bore the yellow color and stripes. George was a transvestite.  He would arrive as a man in a chauffeur's uniform or as a woman.

I remember "Georgette" as he/she called him/herself, showing up at Barclay Street dressed as a nurse. I don't remember  my Mother's reaction, but I can imagine.


The above picture was taken on August 21, 1986 at 31 Princess Street, Dundas by Michael Fulcher on the occasion of Uncle George Bawtinheimer's funeral. George was the last Bawtinheimer brother to die.  From left to right  is Vern Fulcher, Peter Reynolds, Joe Anne Fulcher (Bawtinheimer) and Ralph Reynolds. Michael was  one of  Vern and Joe Ann's (I believe four ) sons.  Joe Ann grew up in Niagara Falls and lived as a wife and mother in Toronto. She and I were pals as youngster especially when my mother visited Joe Ann's mother, "Aunty B" in their large River Road home in the Falls.