Ryckman’s Corners – 1952

It would be tempting, especially in the present age, to think of Ryckman’s Corners as only the intersection of Upper James street and Rymal Road (pictured above by Bruce Murdoch in February, 1952, looking north towards the intersection.)

But, beginning in the late 1790’s, Ryckman’s Corners was a collection of farms, hotels, a church and several businesses along what is now Upper James Street, from Limeridge Road south to Twenty Road.

When Bruce Murdoch went to Ryckman’s Corners to collect information and images for his piece in the Spectator, he met W. G. Bond – pictured above at age 75 in 1952. Mr. Bond said that he could personally remember when Upper James street was still a corduroy road and Rymal road was “mud from one end to the another.”

Mr. Bond is again pictured above standing beside the house in which he was born in the year 1877. It was the only home he ever knew.

The Ryckman family was one of the earliest families to settle on what is now Hamilton mountain. In February, 1952, Murdoch pictured the family cemetery located on a knoll in a farm field. The oldest stone had a deceased date of 1844.

The Barton Stone Church was the second building of that parish which had its beginnings in 1811. The church building pictured above dates to between 1845 and 1847 and still stands at Stone Church and Upper James.

Used as a residence in 1952, the building above was originally one of several stage coach taverns in the Ryckman’s Corners area. Most commonly know as the Royal Oak Inn, and later also called the Maryland Inn.

Among the businesses in existence at Ryckmans Corners was a gasoline service station and lunch counter owned and operated by the above couple, Mr. and Mrs. Frans  Knoflook. When the pictured was taken they were still newlyweds and had only been in Canada two years, having come to this country from Dutch Guiana.

Pictured above are two very well-known Ryckman’s Corners characters of the 1952 era – the Walker Brothers, Edwin and Lloyd. As well as both serving as councillors on the township council, the Walker Brothers combined their efforts to operate a business which included a garage and service station, a hardware store and a radio sales and service shop.

All photos by Bruce Murdoch, courtesy Local History and Archives, Hamilton Public Library

17 Responses to “Ryckman’s Corners – 1952”

  1. Karen Warner Says:

    I am doing some research on my family the Ryckmans’. Is the picture above of the cemetary a Ryckman family cemetary and do you know the exact location. It does not look like the one out behind the Nissan dealership on Upper James.

    • I can’t answer your question The information I used was from the caption on the photo – perhaps you should read the whole Spec article – the Local History and Archive department of the library has a far bit of detail on area cemeteries assembled by genealogical society.

  2. Yes this is the cemetery behind the Nissan . I recognize it. Our family lived at 90 Rymal road from 1958 to 2005. We spent all our time playing in the fields . It does not look anything like it did in the 60’s now.

  3. Does anyone remember Reichert’s hardware and food store @ rykmans corners. Called (Al’s highway market from the late 1940’s to 1976. My husband grow up there. Alot of memories and a lot of changes through the years.

    • I remember it very well, Cindy! I grew up in that neighborhood too!

    • bill legere Says:

      hi, I grew up on Kennedy ave and remember the store well. I wasted a lot of my youth hanging around there. Al was great to us kids. Bill

    • I remember Al’s as well! Lived in Ryckman’s Corners from late 50’s to early 70’s and also spent alot of time ‘at the store’. Anyone also remember the other stores in that strip mall…the Jolly Jester…drug store (can’t recall the name)?? Would love to see pictures from that time period as well!

    • The picture of the Walker Bros shouted out at me. Uncle Lloyd was married to my grandmother’s sister, Phyllis. My grandparents took me on frequent visits up there on trips from Painesville, Ohio. One time Uncle Lloyd let me write prices on items in the hardware store with a magic marker. Being in 4th grade at the time, I felt very important. It was good to see Uncle Eddy again too. Tim Goldy Highlands, Texas

  4. I am positively teary looking at those photos! I grew up in Ryckman’s Corners but have been away a long time. I was looking for Ryckman’s Corners school where I spent my elementary school years. So sad to see that it is gone😦
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  5. Ken Knoflook Says:

    The picture of Frans and Johanna Knoflook is of my parents. A friend saw this and sent me the link. Very cool to find this. They are both still alive and doing well, living in St. Thomas. My dad is 85 and my mom is 82. Just wanted to say thanks for having their picture here and wondered if you had any other ones of the family or business?

    • I am looking for information on Ryckman’s Corners school…or a one room Barton school…does anyone know where the foundation would be? Days of the outhouse and a teacher named Miss Dunlop.

  6. Great to see these photos. My brothers and sister and I grew up in Rykman’s Corners too. We lived in a century old farmhouse on Rymal Road that had belonged to the Hess family in the 19th c. We lived there from about 1960. Sadly, Dad died 10 years ago and my step-mom had to sell the old place. But by then, the area had changed so much. I have such fond memories of playing in the fields on both sides of the highway. I remember the Jolly Jester and Al and Henry the barber. Going to the hardware store to buy our Christmas gifts. Collecting pop bottles to trade in for 2c a bottle. We went to Barton School for a bit, but mostly James Macdonald, and a school further down the hwy at Upper Paradise (Trinity School?). Went to cubs at Barton United Church. Lots of memories. Thanks for the photos and everyone’s reflections. Michael Williams, now living in Findhorn Scotland.

  7. Arris Van Dyk Says:

    Would you know where I could find an old photo of the Barton Community Centre which was on Upper James St. where the United Furniture store now stands?

    • Hamilton Public Library – 3rd floor – Local History and Archives. I THINK I remember one from when I worked there but I’ve been retired for 15 years !

      • Arris Van Dyk Says:

        Thanks Brian, I’ve been retired from the ‘Spec’ for 17 yrs. We are having a photo book printed for the CONQUEROR Drum & Bugle Corps of the 60’s and the Barton Community Centre was our official Sunday rehearsal hall!

  8. Scott Carr Says:

    I remember playing in the Ryckmans Corner school when it was being built in 1956 . Went to grades two three & four there . Scott Carr

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