Shortly after we started publishing “The Walkerville Times”, predecessor to “The Times Magazine”, I started receiving letters from Margaret Myers Stokes. Margaret was born in Walkerville in 1915 and moved away about 25 years later.
Those years had been preserved in her brain like it was some kind of living time capsule and our little publication had triggered an outpouring of memories of life in Walkerville and the Border Cities of Windsor, Sandwich, East Windsor and Ford City. Her letters arrived regularly – sometimes two in one day.
I decided to give her her own column called what else? “Letters From Margaret”. Here is a sample:
“Flying Red Horse” Stokes Service Station
While in Windsor in late 1998, a drive past the corner of Walker and Tecumseh reminded me of the service station owned by my husband Ivan and his father Clarence (C.D.) on the southwest corner. When they leased it in 1930 it was called “Flying Red Horse” (Esso, I think) and I believe Ivan kept it until 1941. With amalgamation in 1935, the station became part of Windsor.
A city policeman who dealt with “Stokes Service Station” showed Ivan and his father how to plant rose bushes. This officer was responsible for planting the lovely rose garden from the Detroit -Windsor Tunnel Exit on Ouellette Avenue to Park Street for the City of Windsor.
Ivan and his dad won prizes from the City of Windsor for their rose bed, which ran from one side of the station to Tecumseh Road as well as awards for “Best Kept Station”.
I see that the station is gone now and that a restaurant [The Penalty Box] has taken its place. Unfortunately, the lovely roses are gone too.
One day the letters stopped. Margaret passed away on February 26, 2002. To read more of her memories go to our archive site, walkervilletimes.com.