A multi-part series dedicated to Crown Point.
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“Land has always been a defining element of Aboriginal culture. Land contains the languages, the stories, and the histories of a people. It provides water, air, shelter, and food. Land participates in the ceremonies and the songs. And land is home. Not in an abstract way.” ~ Thomas King, from his book “The Inconvenient Indian”
What are your stories of Crown Point? How have you played a part in its history? What are your languages, how do you celebrate, and what are your songs? What makes or has made these lands home for you?
For me, the languages of my ancestors are Danish, Scottish, with a British accent thrown in. Songs are mostly of Canadian origin, leaning heavily towards country rock, and our ceremonies contain music, laughter, and reminiscing. We are a large, close family who more or less haven’t strayed far from Hamilton’s borders. A few of us even still call Crown Point home. As for the land itself, that’s what this tale is about.
Crown Point is made up of four residential communities, Delta West, Delta East, Crown Point West, and Crown Point East, two mixed industrial and residential communities, Industrial Sector D and Industrial Sector E and McAnulty, and two exclusively industrial zones, Industrial Sector M and Industrial Sector L.
As I have settled in as Managing Editor of The Point over this past month, I’ve thought about what this community means to me. On one hand, I have lived in Crown Point almost 20 years over the span of my adult life – including the 14 years I have lived in my current home. My family’s own history in the area, though, spans at least a century.
I learned many facts about our family that I didn’t know on my trip down memory lane these past few weeks, including personal community connections I was not aware of. What began as a desire to search out your stories about Crown Point, turned into a wonderful journey that was far richer and deeper than I could have imagined when I first started to explore this idea.
To accompany this story I needed pictures, but getting in and out of a vehicle wasn’t an ideal or personal way to capture the places and people that have painted my unique, well-weathered Crown Point portrait. So instead I set sail on my used Peugeot 10-speed mountain bike over a three day period, in search of the still images that would bring together the textual tale they would tell. A story of Pattisons, Hansens, Crofts, Taylers, and the Deans of Harrison Avenue, who played a significant role in the early days of this flashback.
In pondering where to start, I first felt that there was nowhere better than where I have penned hundreds of thousands of words through the years: my home. Then again, there was likely some subconscious force related to my childhood that led to buying this home 14-years-ago, but more on that in a future installment.
For now, our travels must start a little further north in Industrial Sector E and McAnulty. So hop on your bikes, or a Sobi if you don’t have one of your own, grab your helmets, fill your water bottles, and pedal along with me as I weave in and around The Crown. We’ll be going from the stadium lights hanging high over the homes that line Gage Avenue, down to the cold industrial shores of Hamilton Harbour, up to the tree-lined shale edges of the Niagara Escarpment, and down the Kenilworth corridor past the East Hamilton Radio clock.
Next stop 1973, where my newborn self was first introduced to the loving north end homes and checkout counters where I was met with both an abundance of love and drive by diaper changes that would initiate a life-long love affair for our not so little community.
Have you a Crown Point story of your own to tell? Send us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Open to past and present residents, and those who have stopped in to say hi a time or two. Not a writer, we can help you tell your story.