Sunday, June 26

The Market Square Curse

When I was young, we used to go to town on Saturday's. The Farmer's Market was the place to go to find bargains and to congregate and socialize with friends and neighbors, as well as meet new friends.

The above picture is of the City Hall section of the Market Square as I remember it as a child.
This is a much earlier photo of the Farmer's Market which was located on the south side of the Square.
The above photo is a very early one of the Market Square. This was situated on Native Land and was a meeting place for whites and Natives to meet and trade or sell goods.

During the early 1960s, the City of Brantford decided that this place was no longer a good fit and closed the Farmer's Market. At that time the land should have reverted back to the Native Peoples of the area, as that had been the agreement. Instead, the City paved the land and made it into a parking lot and installed parking meters.

The Native Band Council went after the monies that were collected from the parking lot and eventually won that battle, but the City wasn't about to give back the land. Instead, a mall was built on the property and the T. Eaton Company leased space there, as did several other retailers.

Before Eatons and the other retailers even moved into the mall, Mrs. Green, from the Six Nations Reservation, put a curse on the land. Eatons survived only a few years and then moved out of the mall. Many other businesses failed as well. Business carried out in the mall has never been successful. There is only two stores that I have knowledge of having prospered. One is a dollar store and the other is a gift and clothing shop.
This is the mall as it appears today, except the movie marquee is no longer there. Twice movie theaters have tried to do business at the mall and have offered minimal fees to attend. Even at $3 a ticket the theaters couldn't survive.

Is this white elephant in the center of the city a disaster because of lack of business from the people who frequent the downtown, or is it Mrs. Green's curse that causes business after business to fail? I would love to hear your opinion.


  1. I love the old pictures! Interesting story and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's strange that nothing has prospered, but I really don't believe in curses.

  2. How interesting. I think I've read this somewhere before about the curse. And I truly believe that this could possibly be the very reason it's never made good.

  3. Such a fascinating story and I believe it's Mrs. Green's curse! I love believing in stuff like that done as a revenge! lol I think it's terrible that the land was never given back to the natives and it's no wonder they don't trust the whites. I can just picture you going there when it used to be a market square:-) Wonderful old postcards showing the market!! xoxo

  4. Mary,

    I believe businesses have not prospered due to Mrs. Green's curse. Kind of like in Talladega, Alabama...

    White's have cheated the Indians out of all of their land to the point where they now just have small reservations to live on. Indians who are medicine men, believe in the power of the mind and of words - white people may call it magic - but Indians just consider it a natural faith in the spirit[s]. They are in tune to nature and the spirit world in a way that most of us white people would find unbelievable.

    Bad luck will continue at the Talladega Speedway and bad luck will continue at the mall - until the lands are cleared and given back to the Indians.

    When someone cheats another person, it won't pay in the long run.

  5. Mary,

    This is fascinating and I love the photos. I think they let the curse due them in. I think that is how curses work, especially on people who know they have done the wrong thing!


  6. I see GREED at work in the city government and yes Native American's can create a curse for injustice. The Indians are still not treated with the respect they deserve. The city should have given the land back as stated. Peace

  7. It is not the "curse" so much as the power of suggestion of the curse.