As millennials and Generation Z might put it, local history is “blowing up.” It’s amazing the detail that can be scanned from even a small postcard print, going on 85 years old.
Courtesy of the Pelham Historical Society, we see an image of Pelham Street, just south of the Highway 20 intersection in Fonthill. No date is provided, but judging by the vehicles, foliage, and shadows—not to mention the stylish hats worn by the gentlemen at the right—this was likely snapped on a summer day, right about 12 noon, sometime in the early to mid-1930s.
Even on a bright summer day, it took a bit longer back then to ensure that enough light made it to a film negative to record an image, meaning that shutter speeds were slow by modern standards. As result, the ghostly image of a vehicle passing on Highway 20 is just barely discernible, to the left of the car and men speaking next to it close to the intersection.
Was this stretch really called South Pelham Street back then? It’s a common mistake today, with many thinking that Pelham Street south of Highway 20 adds “South” to its name. In fact, as the friendly but firm folks at the Fonthill post office will tell you (as will Google Maps), there is no “South Pelham Street.”
Pelham Street extends all the way down to the Pelham border, just north of Foss Road. From there it becomes “South Pelham Road,” continuing all the way south to River Road, and the Welland River.