‘Little mysteries’ solved as Watford celebrates 150th

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The history book prepared by the Watford 150 Committee

Warwick Councillor Joe Manning has learned a lot about his hometown in the last year.

The self-proclaimed history buff is chairing the Watford 150 Committee. It’s gearing up for this weekend’s major three-day celebration of all things Watford.
Manning says he’s been suprised by some of the history of the community he has learned since the 150 Committee began its work.

“I always knew that there was smaller settlement here and another one outside of town. With the way that the railroad came through, splitting in two Saunders Corners and Brown’s Corners…it was actually almost instantly that Watford started migrating to the tracks as opposed to the little settlements and even though that was like 20 years before Watford was founded, it was built up almost instantly and that was kind of neat,” he says.

Manning also learned the site of the Dollar Store was once a factory. “Seeing things that were there that you didn’t realize were there and it’s kind of like a fun, little mysteries and trying to solve them like that.”

The committee also learned the interesting origins of the first fairground building.

“The Crystal Palace being in Watford, which is a really neat looking building, it used to sit where our arena is. We found out that actually it was a military building built for the Fenian wars in Warwick and it was actually brought to Watford to become a fairground,” Manning recounts. And there is some urban legends attached to the building as well. Manning says its said the settlers “picked it up and they had people carry it almost all the way here.”

Manning says there will be lots of interesting history on display this weekend, with families contributing old photos to share with the community for the special event. Many of those were from the 100th anniversary celebrations.
Manning promises a lot of fun as well with events scheduled throughout the weekend for every age.

And the Watford 150 Committee has produced a history book called Our Shared History, which will be sent to every home in Warwick and is being sold for $5 while supplies last.

For more information visit www.watford150.com.