Photo Clarendon Miller Archives
6 pairs cotton towels-1.40
Print fabric- 9.5 cents a yard
Elastic- 5 cents a yard
Handkerchiefs- 7 cents each
Spool of thread -30 cents each
3 dozen soap- 75 cents
1 dozen hairpins-40 cents
Fine comb- 2 cents
1 chest tea-$2.65
1 pound nutmeg-80 cents
50 pounds brown sugar– 75 cents
1/2 dozen corsets $2.00
1/2 dozen shirts and drawers-$2.13
Photo Clarendon Miller Archives
George W. Dawson (originally from Sligo Ireland) arrived in Plevna in 1877 and took over a store on the south side of Frontenac Street (now 509), west of the bridge (likely the first in Buckshot/Plevna) from George and Abigail Caprin. By 1882 Dawson built and opened his new store on the NW corner of Frontenac and Church Streets (now 506 and Buckshot Lake Road) that became the largest in the area. He gave up running the store when he was elected MP in 1891 and moved to Ottawa.
Gilbert Ostler (originally from Yorkshire) started clerking for Dawson in 1888. He took over the running of the store in 1891, purchased it in 1897 and operated it until his death in 1944. Both Dawson and Ostler families lived in the attached residence. The families were related through several links including Gilbert’s nephew Harry’s marriage to George Dawson’s daughter Grace. Ostler’s wife Claribel and daughter Ione continued to run the store until it closed in 1956 or 7.
Thomas Armstrong clerked for George Dawson in 1880/81, later, his daughters Laura and Martha clerked for Gilbert Ostler. Other clerks included A.W. Wood and Ross Thompson.
The Dawson/Ostler store was spacious with room for all kinds of groceries, dry goods and hardware. Ostler had space for clothing and cloth though many families ordered from the Eaton’s catalogue.
The store did not sell fresh goods, fruits and vegetables or meat as these were produced locally. Dawson and Ostler also provided a market for customer’s goods including butter, eggs and fur (muskrat pelts earned $1.00 in the 20’s and mink $15.00). At Ostler’s you could buy licences, hunting for $1.00 and trapping for $5.00. Ostler’s later sold gas across the street, initially in gallon bottles then in tanks with glass tops.
The store was designed with ample room for customers to sit around. In effect it was a community centre where people could gather on Saturday nights to discuss current news and exchange gossip, or even to doze. The store would always have been popular as it housed the Post Office and the Post Office Savings Bank. George W. Dawson had been Postmaster as of 1877 until 1891 and Gilbert Ostler served from 1896 until 1944. Gilbert also served as Church Warden at Holy Trinity Anglican (established and built through the efforts of George W. Dawson) for some 50 years.
The Ostler store had an early “generator” a Delco that was gas based and powered lights in the store. It was kept in the drive shed across the road. Ostlers were known widely for their beautiful gardens.
In the late 50’s or 60’s the McInnes family lived in the store, took in boarders and operated a garage. The property was owned at one point by Clarence Tooley.
Bev Whan later had an icecream parlour in the building.
In 2001 Janet Kellar and Dave ran a pizza take out from the store, “Poppa Dave’s Pizza” and a craft/gift shop within. They closed it in 2002. –Information from interviews with; Andy Armstrong, Ostler and Dawson families
Clarendon Miller Archives
Here is a general store book from Franktown 1904