Historical Plaque Properties

 

Albert Victor Wood - Proprietor, Wood's Service Station
371 Ontario Street
Stratford, ON
1925


The first owner of 371 Ontario Street was Albert Victor Wood. He was born on March 23, 1896 in London, UK, the son of Richard Wood. Very little is known of his early life or when he came to Canada. His marriage record omits his mother’s name with the explanation that he left England at a very young age. We do know that his father enrolled him in Snowfields School in Southwark at the age of 3 in 1899. He may even have been part of the British Home Children who were sent to Canada in search of a better life. There are three people named Albert Wood listed in the British Home Children registry who stayed at the Annie McPherson House at 51 Avon St in Stratford. One of them is listed as being born in 1895 and coming to Canada in 1903 but it is impossible to be certain that child was the Albert Wood who later purchased the house on Ontario Street.

 

In 1917, while working as a farmhand outside of Stratford, Albert volunteered to serve in World War I and was inducted on June 17, 1918 in London, Ontario. On his recruitment form, he listed his father Richard as his next of kin who at that time was living at 90 Cromwell Road in South Kensington, London, UK. Upon returning home he married Ellen May Satchell, the 20 year-old daughter of Samuel Satchell and Elizabeth Hiusser on December 1, 1920. By 1921 they were farming on Lot 1, Concession 9 of Ellice Township, just outside of Gad’s Hill not far from Ellen’s parents’ farm. Their first son Carl Stanley was born on October 13, 1921. Soon Albert, Ellen and their young son moved into Stratford, where Albert had begun a general contracting business out of their home at 521 Albert Street. On July 17, 1925 their second son, Melvin Albert, was born. Shortly after, the family moved again, this time to the newly-constructed house that Albert had built at 371 Ontario Street.

 

Albert soon began operating Wood’s Service Station at 179 Ontario Street, the present location of the parking lot of the Queen’s Inn. He also operated a taxi service out of the same building as well as acting as the agent for the Central Ontario Bus Lines. Sadly, this business venture would not last long as Albert Victor Wood died suddenly on December 19, 1930. The service station that he started would continue to operate at that location until the late 1960’s.

 

Ellen moved back to Gad’s Hill and married widowed farmer William J. Patterson on September 29, 1933. Sadly, Melvin would die of pleurisy at the age of 12 in 1937. His older brother Carl would join the RCAF and serve in World War II. When he returned, he married Rose Victoria Agar in 1945 and they settled in Southampton, Ontario on the Bruce peninsula where he held various occupations. Ellen would die in February 1974 at the age of 73.

 

Albert Victor Wood, Ellen May Satchell Patterson and their two sons are all buried in Avondale cemetery.