||May. 16, 2003
General stores were heart of
I get a variety of comments on
my Heritage Perspectives columns– phone calls, emails, letters and personal
contact. Today I want to share some of the interesting items that add to the
information already provided in the original article on
General Stores recorded here in January.
ERVA GRASSER – Trout Creek
Erva, who works at Oshell’s
ValuMart in Powassan, showed me a post card showing the early general store at
Loring (see photo). The card dated August 30, 1902 was found in her mother’s
files and had been sent to her grandmother’s brother George Linklater. George
worked on the Trout Creek Logging Railway and was away in Quebec when a
co-worker wrote him. The card reported progress on the rail line heading from
Trout Creek toward Algonquin Park. It stated that “we have about 3 miles to
go. The engine went off the track twice yesterday – got home at half past
|Ed Kelcey’s General Store at Loring
The general store shown on the
post card was owned by Ed Kelcey. He had the store at McConkey Corners
(approximately where McConkey, Hardy, Wilson and Mills Townships meet) when
lumbering was active there. A history book called McConkey Corners produced by
the Argyle Community Library 20 years ago provides some excellent information on
the store and Mr. Kelcey.
In the early days settlers in
Loring and nearby had to travel to Dunchurch for supplies. Seeing an opportunity
Bob and Betty Robertson came from Dunchurch to Loring in 1884 and established a
general store and boarding house on the NW corner of the four roads that joined
at McConkey Corners. They stayed until 1900.
Mrs. Geo. Kelcey Sr. who ran a
general store at Dunchurch sent her son Edward to Loring about the same time to
open a general store. George Kelcey had been killed in an accident in his
sawmill. The store opened in a log building in December 1885 and a New Year’s
party was held upstairs on January 1, 1886. Edward built a large frame store in
1905. That’s Ed in his new store in the photo. He married, built a fine home,
became a leader in the community, retired in 1929 and died in 1941 at age 63. A
photo of his house and store are shown in the McConkey Corners History book.
CLEVE WAY – Callander
The family of Cleve Way, who
grew up on the 12th Concession in South Himsworth, shopped in
Powassan and at the Alderdale General Store in Chisholm. Cleve and I have talked
on a number of occasions and he sent me an email in response to the article on
general stores. He remembered the Porter general store in Powassan where Mr.
Porter provided some mortgages and ended up with considerable property in the
area when some of the mortgages were defaulted.
General Store – Chisholm Township.
Alderdale on the CNR line in
Chisholm Township was a key stop with a station and two general stores. (The
inside of one of the stores was shown in the previous
article). Sawmills at Kiosk and Brent and Baechler’s mill at Kilrush and
others bought extensively at Alderdale. Cleve recalled a childhood experience of
going to the Alderdale store with his brother to get a large bag of oatmeal for
the family. They were returning to their farm on the 12th Concession
(now Memorial Park Drive) when they had an accident with their sleigh on the
gravel road in front Abraham Gauthier’s house (now Bob Gray’s). Cleve said
“I can still hear dad’s teeth grinding while eating the oatmeal the next
Lewis Seale, son of Dorothy
Anderson of the Anderson Clan in Chisholm and a cousin to the late Richard
Anderson who provided the photo of what I called the Mick Store shown in the
last article. His mother is the young girl in the rocking chair with her hands
on her face playing shy. Lewis, through his mother and previous conversations
with Richard Anderson, informs me that the Mick Store changed hands and was
taken over by Tommy Anderson, his grandfather, and Edward Thomas Kelly. The
people in the photo are primarily Andersons and Kellys. Tommy Anderson, Lewis’
grandfather, is shown third from the left in the photo.
|| Kelly and Anderson General Store –
The Kelly family lived near the
store and it is believed that Mr. Kelly is the Kelly mentioned as co-owner of
the Kelly and Baird sawmill in Chisholm in the early days.
Kelly had served in the
military for 20 years and fought in the Boer War. When WWI started he enlisted
and served as a Major. He was killed in 1915 at the second battle of Ypres. This
is the battle where John McCrae wrote his classic Canadian war poem “In
Flanders Fields.” The Kelly and Anderson store did well in the boom connected
with the building of the railway and even had a small satellite store closer to
the railway as it was being built. All that remains of the original today is a
rise covered with pines on the SE corner of Pioneer and Boundary Road in
Thanks to Erva, Cleve, and
Lewis for sharing their information with me and the readers of Community Voices.
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