|The idea for a video history developed following the Beach
Residents' Reunion at Dynes Hotel in December, 1998. It was recognized
that the present and former residents of Hamilton Beach (formerly known
as Burlington Beach) share an unusual love for "the Beach" and deserve
to have available a
complete and accurate account of the romantic and exciting history of
this unique geographic location. Originally expected to be released in
two years, the video project grows broader and deeper as more facts are
revealed, layer below layer.
Topics now to be covered in depth include the geomorphological mechanisms which created the sand bar, the First Nation inhabitants, the early French explorers, the flood of United Empire Loyalists from the United States and the heroic part that some of those who came to our beach played in the American Revolution, the Military Reserve which delayed settlement on most of the isthmus itself, the impact of the War of 1812 on the "beach strip", early government and the unique Burlington Beach Commission which governed the community for half a century, the ages of sail and of steamers, the building and successive rebuildings of the Burlington Ship Canal and its many bridges, the coming of the railway age and the building of the Hamilton & Northwestern Railway across "our beach" and then the Hamilton Radial Electric Railway, and their final replacement by automobiles and buses and the highway across the beach.
Also to be included is the history of Beach Bungalow School and Bell Cairn Memorial, the four churches, the many hotels and the amusement parks, the Fire Department and the Rescue Unit, the Scouts and the Guides, the Masons, the Beach Yacht Club, the skating rinks, the fishing holes, and the many social organizations which came and went over the years, as well as everything that can be recovered about the many retail businesses that now survive only in our memories.
Many research sources have been mined, pictures (10,000+ and still counting!) and films have been collected, and considerable additional videography (over 200 hours!) has been completed, but this has become a very large project and more research must be done, more pictures and movies are waiting to be found, and many more interviews must be videotaped.
Estimated Time of Completion is uncertain, but it's not yet too late for you to contribute facts, leads, research, old photographs, and old home movie film. If you have any material which might possibly be of use in this project, please contact Fred Briggs, 905-662-4406 (or click E-mail below). I don't want to hear about it after the video is released!
This web site is far from complete. The first intention is to use this site to help gather information, and then to add to the site much of the information which will appear in the video. After the release of the video this site will serve as a resource with on-site material and links to other sites for those who wish to delve deeper into some aspect of the story.
Please come back soon
this site grow.
THE BEACH STRIP BURLINGTON BAY CANAL THE LIGHTHOUSE HAMILTON HARBOURLINKS