Within the collection are dishes that not only represent a business but also a snapshot of time within the business’ history.
The first is a plate with “J Korman Hartley House Walkerton ON” painted into the top edge. The Hartley House was established by James Hartley, who came to Walkerton in the 1860s. The hotel was established in the late 1860s and was originally known as the Hartley Hotel. After Hartley’s death, there were several owners including John Korman who ran the hotel around 1920. The maker’s mark on the back, belonging to Wood & Sons dates the plate between 1910 and 1920. In 1930, the Hartley House was purchased by Charlie Schmalz, and it stayed in the Schmaltz family until it closed in 1993, after approximately 130 years in operation.
The other wares, consisting of saucers and cream pitchers, boast the name “The Pacific Hotel D. Huether Wiarton Ont.”. The Pacific Hotel in Wiarton was established between 1881 and 1887. The hotel was managed by David Huether beginning in the mid to late 1890s until his death in 1915. The maker’s mark on the back, also Wood & Sons, along with the date of Huether’s death places these plates in use between 1907 and 1915. In addition to the Wood & Sons mark, is the mark of Gowans, Kent & Co. Ltd. of Toronto. Known for being makers of cut glass, Gowns, Kent & Co. Ltd. were also importers and decorators of china, earthenware and glass, and are likely responsible for putting Huether’s name on the wares.