Historical Plaque Properties


Charles Mummery - Boilermaker - GTR
53 Grant Street
Stratford, ON

In June 1869 Charles Mummery, a boilermaker from Kent, England, his wife Ellen and their 4 sons arrived in Quebec after crossing the Atlantic ocean on board a three masted sailing ship named Prussian which was launched earlier that year in Liverpool for its maiden voyage to Maine, USA. Two of Charles' brothers and their families were also passengers. Two years later in1871, the Charles Mummery family was living in Welland where he had found work as a labourer. By 1881 they had moved to St. Thomas, an active railway town where Charles was employed as a boilermaker, his original trade learned and practiced in Kent. A fifth son, Henry had joined the family.

In the late 1880s they came to Stratford where big changes were taking place in the railway business. The Grand Trunk Railway had just finished an extensive remodelling and expansion of the Stratford repair shops which included a massive transfer of machinery and staff
from Hamilton. In fact approximately 400 families mainly from Hamilton but also some from other railway towns such as St Thomas re-located here. In his book, Railway Stratford Revisited, author Dean Robinson describes the remodelled and expanded shops as being state of the art. Charles continued his career as a boilermaker.

In 1889 Charles and Ellen (also known as 'Effie') and their son Albert, who had followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a boilermaker moved into a new house which Chris Isles, a railway conductor, had built at 53 Grant Street. Within a few months Albert married Caroline Warriner of Hamilton but born in Stratford. They shortly moved to Hamilton where Albert continued his work as a boilermaker and there they raised their family.

The eldest Mummery son, Arthur also pursued a career as a railwayman, working out of Brandon Manitoba as a boilermaker with the Canadian Pacific Railway. His younger brother Samuel kept the family railway connection going as an engine machine operator in Hamilton but later in his career moving into a position as a senior executive with Canada Steel Company in that city. The second son, Frederick began his working life as a blacksmith in St Thomas and continued to practice that trade in Hamilton until his death there in 1920. The youngest son, Henry, as did so many young Canadian men in those early days, found work in the automobile industry in the United States.

Charles and Effie eventually moved to Hamilton where she died in 1903 and Charles passed away in 1907 at 73 years of age.