In every issue of the Hamilton Spectator for many years was a feature which appeared at the upper left hand corner of page 4, the page where most local news was presented.
The feature contained short, point-formed tidbits of local news and it always carried the headline, “The Diurnal Epitome : What Goeth On In and About the City : Items of Local News Gathered by Special Reporters and Presented in Attractive Form for the Interested Reader.”
Among the items in The Diurnal Epitome for August 11, 1884 were the following quoted as appeared with a little extra explanation which readers in 1884 would not have required) :
- Somebody stole a velocipede (an early kind of bicycle) from in front of Thomas Bogges’ second-hand store.
- Yesterday’s temperature as registered at Harrison Bros.’ drug store : 9 a.m., 66 degrees; 12 noon, 2 p.m., 77 degrees.
- Weather probabilities for today : light, variable winds; fair warm weather.
- The asphalt walks laid in the market are the best that have been put down in the city. They are much more even than the others and consequently far nicer to walk on.
- The sidewalks on Hughson street north, near Barton street, are in a disgraceful state of repair, and on dark nights, it is almost impossible to walk in that direction without damaging the sympathetic shin.
- An excursion of the Royal Templars of Temperance from Collingwood, Barrie, Beeton, Georgetown and other points along the N. & N. W. railway (North and Northwestern Railway) will be run today. The members of the order here will receive the excursionists.
- Early Monday morning Boyle’s Dundurn hotel was burglarized and 50 boxes of cigars and a bottle of whiskey were taken. No money was extracted from the till for precisely that you cannot get blood from a turnip – there was none.
- Chief Stewart has returned and resumed active work. He had the new police wagon tried yesterday. He was very much pleased with it and found that it equaled his most sanguine expectation. (Hamilton Police Chief had been on a temporary leave of absence as he had been asked to help collect evidence for the trial of Louis Riel.)
- Prof. Gant has been elected drum major of the Union coronet band. There were several applicants for the position, and the professor was elected by a vote of 15 to 1. Whenever the band appears after this the public ay expect something swell in the matter of appearance and something fantastic in the way of staff manipulation. (‘Professor’ Jesse Gant was a black man and one of the best known Hamiltonians of the day. A barber by profession, he was also a singer, dancer, boxer, debater, kite flyer and much more – he was the self-described ‘spokesman for the colored population of Hamilton” and frequently wrote long, scathing letters to the local press when he encountered racial matters which need to be pointed out. Gant’s athleticism and flamboyance would be welcomed as he led the brass band on parade.)
- Toronto Globe : Fisheries Inspector Kerr, of Hamilton, who is making a report to the Government on the dead shed in the lake was in town yesterday. He says there are plenty of live shed and a few dead ones in the reservoir at Hamilton. They probably reached the reservoir while the filtering basin was being repaired a few years ago. (Hamilton’s water in 1884 was pumped from Lake Ontario through a sand filtering basin on the beach, and then further pumped into a huge reservoir on the side of the escarpment, then distributed from there throughout the city.)
- The sewer on Victoria avenue between Robert and Barton street caved in yesterday afternoon, and a portion of the street went down with it. A horse fell in during the afternoon, but fortunately was not seriously injured, though corporation laborers had to dig it out. The buggy attachment lingered on the road when the horse went own, but was not broken.
- A gentleman who lives on Cannon street near the southwest corner of it and Wellington streets, owns a water spaniel. The water spaniel bites. It carried off a small section of a SPECTATOR reporter’s trowsers and legs last evening, and seemed anxious for more. The gentleman who owns the dog will consult his own interests by getting rid of it. It will be cheaper than paying a fine.