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Elmira - Click here for Google Map

In 1834, Edward Bristow became Elmira's first settler when he purchased 53 acres of land for 50 cents per acre.  First called Bristow's Corners, then West Woolwich in 1853, the settlement adopted the name Elmira.  Edward Bristow established the settlement's first store, tavern, shoe shop, as well as, a potashery.  It is also interesting to note that the first post-office was located in his premises, only to be moved in later years to Christmann's Hotel. 

The earliest inhabitants were of English and Irish origin, including families named Halfpenny, Seaton, Bristow, Isenhour, Kenning, Thompson, Thomas and Girling. In the 1850's, German settlers moved into the community.  Among these families were Oswald, Esche, Steffen and Tresinger.  These settlers followed the original settlement patterns of Waterloo County by other German immigrants, namely the Pennsylvanian Dutch, or more accurately, the Mennonites.

In 1861, The Elmira House was erected for the numerous artisans and merchants came to Elmira to earn a living.  This activity helped Elmria become known as an enterprising community.  In December 1886, Elmira entered a new chapter of its history with the incorporation of the settlement as a village by charter.  At this date, the population of the newly incorporated village stood at 760 people. 

Throughout the 1870's and 1880's, Elmira acquired various cultural trappings, including a brass band (1873) and a library (1885), which boasted an initial membership of 20 people. Industry has always held a vital place within Elmira.  Apart from a sash and door factory, Elmira possessed a flour mill.  This particular business was in fact, the community's earliest industry, built by a joint stock company.  In 1869 this business was purchased by John and Jacob Ratz. 

On January 1, 1923, Elmira, with a population of 2500, became an incorporated town and today Elmira is a thriving community of approximately 8,000 people with a variety of restaurants, bed and breakfasts, and specialty shops such as quilt, bridal and gift stores and home to the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. The Bandstand, located in Gore Park, Elmira, is a reminder of the centre entertainment in a small town in the early 1900's.  It was built in 1912 by A.M. Bowman, from a design prepared by members of the Elmira Musical Society.  The bandstand was historically designated in 1985 and it was restored as a project to celebrate Elmira's centennial.


How to Keep Pets Safe in Winter Weather

read more articles The arrival of cooler temperatures sparks various changes. Chilly air and precipitation can be dangerous, especially to pets that are unaccustomed to extreme changes in temperature.

Pet owners may be well aware of the hazards of warm weather, including the threat of leaving pets in hot cars. But cold weather also has its share of risks. Heed these tips to keep pets safe and secure.

  • Schedule a well visit. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests scheduling a visit with a veterinarian to check for any medical issues. Cold weather can aggravate symptoms of certain conditions, such as arthritis. A thorough examination can shed light on potential problems.
  • Keep homes humidified. Going in and out of the house and moving from cold air to dry indoor heat can affect pets' skin. Itching and flaking may result, causing pets to scratch at such areas. Maintain humidity in the home for comfort. The ASPCA also says to reduce bathing to help preserve essential oils on the skin.
  • Protect paws outdoors. Pet paws are sensitive to sand, ice, snow, and chemical ice melts. Massage petroleum jelly or another protectant onto paw pads, or consider the use of pet booties.
  • Keep pets indoors more often. Pets should not remain outdoors for long stretches of time in frigid temperatures, even if they are accustomed to roaming during other seasons, advises The Humane Society of the United States.
  • Provide options for sleeping. Come the winter, cats and dogs may need new sleep spaces to avoid drafts and stay warm. Give them other spots they can call their own.
  • winter pets care coatsConsider a sweater or vest. Some pets are more tolerant to the cold than others. However, some dogs and cats may benefit from a sweater, vest or coat designed for pets to offer a little more insulation.
  • Update identification and contact information. Snow and ice can mask scent cues that help pets find their way home. Update contact information and make sure pets' collars are on tightly.
  • Keep coolant and antifreeze locked away. Coolant and antifreeze are lethal to dogs and cats and should be kept out of reach. Clean up any spills from vehicles promptly.
  • Provide fresh food and water. Pets may burn more calories trying to stay warm. Be sure the animal has a little extra food and plenty of water to stay sated and hydrated.
Winter weather requires pets owners to make changes so pets can remain happy and safe.