Ailsa Craig Murals
172 MAIN STREET
The mural located at 172 Main St. (east side of the Variety Store), depicts five important buildings within the village: The Town Hall, Odd Fellows Building, Public School, General Store, and temperance house.
The two figures in the centre, William Shipley and David Craig, are the founders of Ailsa Craig.
163 MAIN STREET
The mural located at 163 Main St. (east side of CDS Pharmacy) depicts two careers once popular in Ailsa Craig: Logging and ice harvesting.
Ailsa Craig was known for many years in the mid to late 19th century, for its log shipping. Elm and Oak were the mainstays of the logs shipped. These logs were squared into timbers and taken to England for ship building. It has been said that when these logs were brought into town they were large enough to fill one train car. At one point in time, there were natives, who lived in the area, and were hired to assist in loading the logs. It has been said that they would begin to work on the logs as they were unloaded from the wagons, and using saws cross cut saws and broad axes, would have the logs squared by the time they were on the train car. These forests, along with the railway have now disappeared.
In days gone by, before refrigeration, it was necessary to use ice, in ice boxes! That was good in the winter when ice was readily, but what to do in the summer! That is why there was ice harvesting! In the middle of January, when the ice on the river would be the thickest, the horses would be sharp shawed, hitched to the wagon and off to the river. Using a saw, that was much like a cross-cut saw, with only one handle, the ice was cut in 1 foot squares, and loaded on the wagons. In town on the north side near the railroad tracks, was a building, which was built on stilts, to house the ice. The ice was packed with saw dust around all sides, about an inch of sawdust, and then the ice would keep all summer. The ice was sold around town as needed to be used to preserve food, as well as make cool summer treats like ice cream! The ice house was near the railroad, as ice was used in the ice boxes of the caboose.
With the advent of the refrigerator and freezer, ice harvesting became a memory of the past.
149 MAIN STREET
The mural located at 149 Main St. (east side of Home Hardware) depicts Ailsa Craig Main St., both in 1915 and 2015. From left to right, the buildings in the mural are: Chapman's Shoe Store, White & May, J.H. McKay, McKay Dry Goods, E. Nablo Merchant Tailor, F.J. McLeod's Hardware, A.K. Stewart Grocery Store, Ailsa Craig & District Food Bank and Thrift Store, Foodland (now Clover Farm), Henk's Bicycle Repair Shop, Dr. Navy Mangat Dentistry, and Home Hardware.
115 CRAIG STREET
The mural located at 115 Craig St. (south side of Storage Unlimited) depicts the train station and train bridge. The train station has since been torn down, and the train bridge (located at the west end of town, above the Ausable River) is no longer in use.