Mississippi River before the dam at Appleton
Tom Arthur ran the General Store in Appleton for quite a long time. One year Tom and his wife took a trip to Ireland to trace their ancestors one year. Before returning home; they purchased a parrot which became a great attraction and pet with the numerous customers at the General Store. The language the bird used at times was “questionable”, and it was said by many that the bird had been taught by some wayward sailor.
Appleton store 2014
The picture taken below is by famed photographer Malak Karsh. It portrays Mr. R. Lyons putting farm fresh eggs into a bag. In the picture are Mr. Lyon’s daughter Helen and Irene and Barbara Dunn being served by Mr. Lyons. Mr. Karsh came to Appleton after the war and spent a week filming the village. Lyons General Store in Appleton. —Elesnor Wright
You might be interested in the question of why the “country store” is pretty much extinct. Yes, Walmart’s ascent is a significant contributor, but also the Law of Unintended Consequences and EPA regulations played a major role.
EPA regulations from about 20 to 25 years ago mandated that store owners or gas distributors who owned underground gasoline storage tanks, replace said tanks and also have them tested for leaks and other costly mandates. Well, these country stores (that used to dot the landscape), didn’t sell enough gas to justify what would have been a major expense (at least $10,000 at the time if memory serves). The result: The tanks were simply pulled out of the ground and the stores quit selling gasoline. This significant change in business almost certainly contributed to their demise. (Did you notice they sold gas at the Appleton General Store? Check the 1940s photo carefully. Again this is why photos matter!)
Appleton, Town of Mississippi Mills, Ontario, Canada
North Lanark Regional Museum (2012.79.12.2)
Photographer: Malak Karsh
Donated by Eleanor Wright & Irene Dunn Thompson
Late 1800s – Early 1900s
Donated by Jim Lowry
Black and white photograph showing the Mississippi River at Appleton, Ontario. The woolen mill is featured on the left side of the photograph. The photo is from the late 19th century, early 20th century. The photo was definitely taken after 1880 when the three-storey addition was added to the woolen mill but before the construction of the dam in 1937.
The woolen mill was built in 1862 by Robert Teskey and was known as the Mississippi Woolen Mills until 1900 when it was taken over by Thomas Boyd Caldwell. In 1937, William Collie purchased the mill and petitioned to the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Corporation to have hydro brought to Appleton, Ontario. In 1937 a dam was built at Appleton to generate hydro-electricity.
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 29 Oct 1949, Sat, Page 35
Both top and bottom photo from the North Lanark Regional Museum
Middle Photo- Linda Seccaspina