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