Pitt street is marching right to the front as part of Windsor’s business section. This view shows the old blacksmith shop between Ouellette and Goyeau, which has been purchased by Joseph Appelbe as the site of the new vaudeville theatre. There is a dispute over part of the property in this section between Mr. Appelbe on one hand and P. A. Belleperche and Osterhout & Little on the other.
The story goes that last fall Mr. Appelbe set out to acquire some Pitt street frontage. He owned the Erie Tobacco Co. at that time, but he wanted some more property in this section. There were negotiations with the Cameron estate in Toronto. It is said Mr. Appelbe first offered $77 a foot. Then, it is claimed, he closed up the deal at $100 a foot.
Just about the time the transaction was being wound up Osterhout Little shied their castor into the ring, making a deposit with John Curry & Co. here, as agents for the Cameron estate, for some thirty feet of the same property Mr. Appelbe had been after.
Osterhout & Little agreed to purchase their strip at $125 a foot, and told Mr. Appelbe, if he wanted the property, he would have to pay them $200 a foot. Osterhout & Little still claim they own the land, but Mr. Appelbe says they are suffering from a rarebit dream. After Osterhout & Little had announced that they purchased the Rains building, a few feet past the blacksmith shop, Appelbe returned the compliment by closing a deal with John Rains, the owner, whereby Appelbe actually got the deed, which settles all argument. Walter Cruise claims he had an option from Rains and sold to Osterhout & Little.
It looks like a merry little battle in the courts for somebody.
Evening Record – April 12, 1912
An interesting little blurb about some property disputes between local developers. In the end Mr Appelbe must have won out, as the theatre got built and he developed most of this block of Pitt Street. Interesting to get a glimpse of the early structures of Windsor, like this old frame blacksmith’s shop which claimed to do “Scientific Work”.