Reporting the Falls View Fire Tragedy of 1910: One Newspaper Editor’s Response - Champlain Society October 2020 Findings/Trouvailles

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This month the Champlain Society is pleased to present a preview of its October 2020 Findings/Trouvailles. Read the full post at http://bit.ly/CSFindO20

 

 

Reporting the Falls View Fire Tragedy of 1910: One Newspaper Editor’s Response

By Roger Fast

 

As a third-year university student I was introduced to newspaper archives on microfilm, and since then I have been hooked on this type of historical research. I find the years between 1900 and 1920 an especially fascinating period in Canadian history, as the nation struggled to cope with many challenges brought about by social and technological changes. Newspapers offer us a glimpse into the everyday lives of people from this time, and they highlight the issues that concerned readers, editors and publishers. Small-town newspapers, such as those from Welland or Niagara Falls, Ontario, often reflected the voice of their editors, and it is interesting to discover how individual editors shaped and manipulated news items that appeared in their publications. This month’s Finding focuses on how coverage of the Niagara Falls fire tragedy in the Daily Record was shaped and manipulated to promote the glaring need for improved housing conditions for workers and criticize the authorities of Stamford Township.

 

In the early morning hours of 15 June 1910, a terrible fire broke out in Falls View, an area outside of Niagara Falls where foreign labourers helping to build the Ontario Power hydroelectric development resided. Unfortunately, many of the “shacks” that housed the workers were poorly constructed, often overcrowded, and provided only the most rudimentary accommodations. Three buildings were destroyed by the fire, and in the conflagration twelve men were killed and eight others hospitalized, including one woman and a child.1    Read the full post at:  http://bit.ly/CSFindO20

 

 

1Welland Tribune, 16 June, 1910.

 

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