Historical Plaque Properties


Herbert A. Salisbury - Fitter/GTR
41 Duke Street
Stratford, ON

41 Duke Street was one of a number of houses built by jeweller Norval F. Babb on property previously owned by his father-in-law, John Corrie. When Norval Babb married Etta Corrie in 1904, they were given a lot and built the house at 180 Mornington Street. In the early 1900s, he built a number of houses on the east side of Duke Street. In 1914 those along the west side were constructed.



Herbert Austin Salisbury and his family moved into 41 Duke Street in 1915. Herbert, his wife, Edith Adeline Rainbow, and their sons Frederick and Leslie had all been born in England.


Herbert who was born in King’s Norton, Worcestershire on September 1878 was the son of Thomas and Mary Salisbury. Thomas was a gardener by trade and his son Arthur followed in his footsteps. Herbert, however, was more adventurous and joined the rail service. Edith was the daughter of Thomas, a watchmaker, and Hannah Rainbow. She was born in June 1875 in Birmingham.



When Herbert and Edith were married in the fall of 1900, they lived in King’s Norton. In the 1901 census there, Herbert’s profession is listed as a steam train engine driver. Their family grew with the birth of two sons, Frederick in 1901 and Leslie in 1903. A few years later, they made the momentous decision to emigrate from England to Canada.


Herbert Austin went ahead alone to make arrangements for his employment and his family. In April 1905, Henry boarded the ship Carthaginian and sailed to Halifax. Exactly a year later, in April 1906, Edith and the two boys followed aboard the Victorian and landed in Montreal. By 1908 they had settled in Stratford in a house on William Street.



Here they must have experienced great joy with the birth of their daughter, Gwendoline Marie, born in their new country on January 16, 1908. This turned to tragedy when In January of the next year, shortly before her first birthday, Gwendoline died. After this, the family moved to 148 Elizabeth Street where they are listed in the 1911 Stratford Census. It is noted on the census that Herbert was a fitter for the Grand Trunk Railway at the time.


In the 1916 Stratford Directory, Henry is listed at 41 Duke Street. After a number of years living in Stratford, the family relocated to Toronto where they lived on Davisville. Here, their younger son, Leslie, became a draftsman. He married Violet Taylor in 1928 and moved to Detroit where they lived before later returning to Toronto. Leslie and Violet were listed on the 1972 voters list in that city.