Monday, 9 April 2012

Jolley Cut

namesake

Hamilton is a city that hugs Lake Ontario on one side and the Niagara Escarpment on the other. The part that is above the escarpment is called The Mountain; the part below the escarpment is called The Lower City. Getting from one to the other during the 1800s was a tricky business.

James Jolley was a saddler, harness maker and politician who financed the building of the access road that became known as the Jolley Cut. in 1860 James Jolley moved his family to the Mountain (highest elevation 1,063') and needed a footpath to get to his business in the lower city. At a time when most roads were privately owned and tolls were collected for maintenance, Mr Jolley managed to get this access road built in 1873 as a toll free road with the city covering the costs for maintenance. It is a steep switchback access and this site gives you a bit of the story, with excellent pictures, of the Jolley Cut.

James Jolley emigrated to Canada about 1823 from Argyllshire, Scotland and was married to Sophia who outlived him by 27 years. The other sides of this monument are difficult to decipher, but it seems they had a son Archie who also died in 1892 and another son James E who died in 1874. The third side includes another Sophia, the wife of Charles (who took over the business after his father's death) and also a Jane who died possibly in 1862 at 7 months (which would have made Sophia 37 when she gave birth). The fourth side is the least clearly marked but has the name Emma who died in Columbus Ohio in 1893(?) Clearly the year of 1892-93 was not a good year for Sophia and her family.

for a Taphophile Tragics from the Hamilton Cemetery

12 comments:

Gemma Wiseman said...

Fascinating details of a pioneering family! It can be so difficult to decipher some words and numbers! Strange how faded even the embedded prints can be!

Sondra said...

How clever of him to get his road built and free to use! I have read that some times it helps to dust the stone with Flour and it helps to highlight the script...but of course you should wash the flour off when you're finished.

Paul in Powell River said...

Nice post and write-up!

Herding Cats said...

Fantastic, interesting post. Poor Sophia and her fmaily.

Julie said...

Interesting how many families have an 'annus horribilus'. Mr Jolley would stare disbelieving at how his 'cut' has morphed into a multi-lane throughway, were he to return to Hamilton. I suppose the land was in public ownership for him to be able to wheel and deal as he did. Sign of a true politician.

I am continually having difficulty deciphering the chiselled words on inscriptions. But would not dare sprinkle flour on a headstone ...

VioletSky said...

I am still working on getting the nerve to drive up the Jolley Cut. And back down. Great views, I'm sure, but my fear of heights makes me a bit white knuckled whenever I venture up the mountain!
I have wondered if this was the same Jolley, but there seem to be so many stones with familiar names in this cemetery it is hard to tell which are the ones places were actually named for.

Francisca said...

A particularly interesting piece of history for me since I lived right on the edge of that escarpment for a couple of years, but in St Catherines. :-)

NixBlog said...

Interesting post. Good on Mr Jolley!

Nellies said...

What an interesting read! Thanks for sharing.
Have a nice weekend.

CaT said...

im always frustrated when i cant read the stone... :)

Donald Pye said...

My father's name is John Jolley Pye. He just passed away Feb 9th, 2016. His mother's name was Sophia. She passed away in 1970 at the age of 81.

Donald Pye said...

Sorry, I should have made myself clear. Sophia's last name was Jolley. She married Roderick Pye, hence, my father's last name.