Archibald McLean was one of the last surviving veterans in the district from the Fenian Raid. McLean’s bake shop was operated in 1862 by Archie McLean and for several years he was the oldest resident of the town who had been born in Almonte.
Archie was succeeded by his brother “A.J.” commonly known as “Sid” who died only a few years ago. He was the old stand-by in the early Almonte “Brass Bands” and later with his sons Alec and James. Sid played the kettle drum and all the boys competed for the honour of carrying the musicians’ music into the N.L.A.S. grounds during the fair.
Next to McLean’s Bake Shop was Stafford’s grocery and liquor store and further down John McKinnon’s grocery and liquor store. In April of 1954 McLean’s bakery and confectionery business which had operated in the town of Almonte for over 65 years on Mill Street had come to an end.
The store and residence long owned by Albert J. McLean has been sold to William J. Green. Mr. McLean, Sid as he was familiarly known, established his baking business in a frame building on the corner of Mill and Brae Streets years ago. He later moved and erected the brick’ residence and store occupied by the family ever since he opened for business in 1907.
Two sons, Alex and Jim, became associated in the business after they left school. Jim recalls the days when he delivered bread with a horse and sleigh. The streets were not plowed then and he had to trudge many blocks through snow drifts with a basket on his arm to distribute the loaves and other products of the bakery to his customers.
Bread sold then at six cents a loaf or 17 tickets for a dollar. The new tenants of the Mill Street house and store were the William Green family. Mr. Green was a retired insurance salesman. Mrs. Green and two sons, Don and Morris were engaged in the upholstery business which would be carried on in the lower section of the newly-acquired property.
5368-79 Archibald McLEAN, 28, baker, Almonte, same, s/o Alexander McLEAN & Catherine LAWSON, married Ellen RALPH, 28, Joliette Que., Almonte, d/o Richard TAYLOR (sic) & Eliza, witn: Richard SHILSON & Margaret BOWES, both of Almonte, 13 March 1879 at Almonte