Monday, April 16, 2012

grave post #16

The Eaton Family Mausoleum, Mount Pleasant Cemetery
A well known name to all Canadians as the family behind the Eaton's department store 
(sadly now gone under due to not quite keeping up with the new generation and era of 21st century).
Patriarch Timothy Eaton came from Ballymena, Ireland and started his new life in Canada in the 1860's moving to several locations and trying his hand at different businesses before buying property at the corner of Queen and Yonge Sts in Toronto and opening his namesake store. By 1907, the year of his death from pneumonia, Eaton's had become the most influential and important department store in the country. Apart from the retail empire, there is also the Timothy Eaton Memorial Church built from donated funds of son Sir John Craig Eaton.
Interred inside the family mausoleum along with Timothy and his wife Margaret are three of their infant children who died at 10 months, 11 months and 22 months as well as three older children including Sir John Craig Eaton who became company president after his father's death until his own in 1922.
There are several more family members inside the mausoleum 
with John Craig Eaton (4th generation) and his wife Sally not quite ready for their place of eternal rest
and a few more in a nearby plot.
For years, the Santa Claus Parade in Toronto was sponsored by Eaton's with Santa ending his trip through the streets at the Eaton store on Queen Street. A bronze statue of Timothy Eaton sitting in a chair was commissioned to commemorate the store's 50th anniversary in 1919 as a thank you to the family for their support and generosity to employees during the war and now sits in the Royal Ontario Museum. It soon became a tradition to rub Timothy's toe as you passed him through the entrance and this tradition still stands at the museum (the only thing in the ROM that is encouraged to be touched!)

There is so much to be said about this family, but I will encourage you to read this excellent article if you are interested.

read about more family legacies in Julie's Taphophile Tragics




32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. My mother used to work at the old Eaton's catalogue. She went through the tearing down of the Queen St store and the new Eaton Centre, the loss of the College St store and the loss of the catalogue (though she still had a job taking telephone orders). She retired long before the store went into bankruptcy.

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  2. That is sad that the stores have been torn down. What happened to history heritage then. It is a coincidence that the same name appears on Julie's post.

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    1. The beautiful College St location is still standing but is like an arcade now. And the name lives on in all the malls that were named "The Eaton Centre" even though the stores are no longer existing.

      I tried to see if there was some remote connection, but no luck!

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  3. I forgot to mention how beautiful the light is in your photos.

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    1. thanks. I liked the quote on John Craig Eaton's stone about the descending sun - as this was frantically taken before the sun set behind the trees!

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  4. Great verse on John and sally's stone. A very interesting post.

    Herding Cats

    http://seathreepeeo.blosgpot.com

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    1. I like that verse. It is especially suitable for philanthropists such as they are.

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  5. The Eatons seem to be creating their own little empire even in the cemetery! Sad to see that an icon needs to fade on the streets!

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    1. They were almost royalty in their heyday. And they were a large family! Now I had trouble finding out just what John Craig Eaton is doing (besides donating lots of money to St John's Rehab Hospital).

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  6. I would have preferred being buried outside the mausoleum. It seems like just a bit too much of an oppressive place to spend forever in. I magine being interred there with all the other dead. brrr...

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    1. Oh, I don't know, maybe they have parties and seances and wild, full moon antics.
      I often wonder if anyone ever actually visits inside the mausoleum.

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    2. If this were a Filipino family, you could count on the parties would be wild and wonderful. Yeah, maybe the Irish, too... :-)

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  7. Oh, I am jealous that you visited the cemetery without me! ;)
    So what's the connection with Eaton and Simpson, you can't go leaving comments like that without an explanation. Inquiring minds want to know. :)

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    1. sorry... we will go together, soon
      Simpsons department store was across the street from Eaton's at Queen and Bay/Yonge. Simpsons is now The Bay. When going downtown shopping, it meant going to these stores and it was always "EatonsandSimpsons" all one word.

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    2. Love this interchange ...

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    3. I'm not much of a shopper but I was in Ontario for much of the '70s and did go to both the old Eaton's store at Yonge and Queen and the new Eaton Centre with Eaton's and Simpsons as anchors. I remember being hugely impressed by the new aarchitecture of the mall, as well as the fights with the old city hall and little church there (and I'm glad they won and were not demolished).

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  8. the setting sun behind Eaton's - great shot!

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  9. Nice shot, the sun shows up those impressive columns really well, splendid lions too.

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  10. The lighting in these photos is so beautiful, even magical! Well done! I love how those verdigris lions show up in that light, against the backdrop of the mausoleum. Beautiful and romantic, in a gothic sort of way! :-) I just discovered some beautiful graves of some of the town's founders in our local cemetery (just a couple blocks from where we're currently living), and intend to go get photos of them when conditions are favorable. I can only hope for light as beautiful as yours!

    I've never heard of Eaton's Department Store, so will have to check out the article you attached. It's a shame they tore down the old stores.

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    1. I love taking photos in the late afternoon (at this time of year). the light does seem magical.

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  11. I like the lions doing the guardwork.

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    1. they are a nice shade of green, too!

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  12. the first picture is very pretty! what a big tomb...
    but why do rich people want something big after life as well? maybe because that is expected... sometimes i just wonder...

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    1. or maybe just because they can afford it. it may their way of 'taking it with them'!

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  13. Toe-rubbing ... mmmm ...

    That happened with department stores around Sydney. They go under because they do not change when society changes. One such was Gowings which was family owned. I suspect at least one more will bite the dust due to the e-tail revolution.

    Yep the light in that first shot is bonza! And I do like how successive generations have not felt obligated to follow ancestors into the vault, even given the tempation of midnight soirees!

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  14. Just went over to that article you recommended! That family was seriously monied! Old Timothy was quite handsome in a 19th century way. Such a shame that his original family mansion was demolished in the 1960s. Why do we continue to do that!

    That bloke sure put a lot of work into his Eaton post. I love the series of catalogue covers he included.

    Taa ...

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  15. One more thing ... I was sooo disappointed to find it was not toe-rubbing as such, but shoe touching. Doesn't conjure up quite the same level of intimacy.

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  16. What a wonderful post! I learned a lot about the Eaton famiy (quickly read the article you linked) and your photos of the famiy mausoleum are splendid, as others have mentioned.

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