Old Appleton Post Office & General Store,
473 River Road, Appleton, Ontario
(West Half Lot 3, Concession 10, Township of Ramsay, County of Lanark)
By Sarah More for the Municipality of Mississippi Mill’s Heritage Committee
Present Owner: Unknown
Present Use: Private Home
I love Sarah More… so I am only going to put a few things here and you can jet off online and read the rest here..
This two-and-a-half-storey brick building built in 1850 is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Appleton. It is one of the few remaining examples of commercial brick architecture in the town. The building has been used until recently as a retail establishment since the mid-1850s. It was established in con-junction with the development of the Post Office by Albert Teskey, a long-time Justice of the Peace and sometime Reeve of Ramsay Township. It has served the town of Appleton throughout its’ growth and has, therefore, been involved significantly in the daily life of the town.
Original and Subsequent Owners: An 1829 Crown Patent, for all 200 acres, was granted to the Canada Company. In 1842, they sold the same to James Wilson for $550.00. 14 February 1851, James Wilson sold 65 acres of the West half of lot 3 to William Wilson for $1.00. Four months later, William & Flora Wilson sold to Albert Teskey for $64.00. 26 Jan 1883, Teskey sold to Duncan Miller for $95.00. It has been owned by various owners since that time.
Owners of general stores in Appleton:(6) Albert Teskey (1857-c.1883) Arthur (1860-1883) Thomas C. Arthur (1883-1892) Wesley West (1892-1899) John A. McGregor (1899-1931) David McNeely(1931-1937) Robert M. Baird (1931-1939) William Russell Lyons (1939-c.1949) W.A. Gambell (c.1950-c.1960) Kathleen Neil (1961-1970?) Postmasters in Appleton:(6) Albert Teskey (1857-1883) Thomas C. Arthur (1883-1888) John M. Munro (1888-1889) William Garvin (1889-1912) Mrs. Susan Garvin (1912-1913) John A. McGregor (1913-1931) David McNeely (1931-1937) Robert M. Baird (1937-1939) William Russell Lyons (1939-1946But I did find this below and thanks Sarah for using my history blogs for reference– made me smile..
The 1916 brass cash register went for $575,’ the old wood stove for $400 and the heavy wooden showcase for $150. With them went 24-year-old Jill Teschke’s dream of operating a thriving, fully-restored, old-fashioned general store. By the end of the day Saturday, everything from groceries off the shelves to the antique scale proclaiming “Honest Weight” went on the block in an auction at Appleton General Store.
Competition from the more modern establishments of Carleton Place ended two years of effort by Teschke to refurbish the 100-year-old store in the village of Appleton, five miles to the north on the Mississippi River. “These things belong here, I feel they shouldn’t have to leave,” said Teschke as auctioneers attempted to coax up prices from the back of a pick-up truck parked on the store’s doorstep.
I will miss it,” she said. Tescke moved to the Appleton area from Ottawa about five years ago and restored a house in the village of about 200. She sold the house and decided to take on the brick store with stained glass over the entrance that once sold everything from clothing to farm machinery. But a lack of business combined with a burdensome workload led to the project’s demise. County horseshoe-throwing teams competed boistrously across the street from the auction as the 200 bidders slowly claimed the contents of the store, previously operated for 30 years by W. A. “Sliver” Gambell and his wife Millie.
Teschke said she went heavily in debt to finance the store and she didn’t think the auction would cover the expense of its purchase and renovation, which included new wiring, a new chimney and antiques. John McGregor operated the store during its heyday in the I920s but was forced to close when the depres- do is block collected from the area. “
She is well-liked around here,” said auctioneer Howard McNeely of his client. “I know people who would wait to build up a big shopping order and drive here just to help her out.” “It’s a damn shame to see the store close,” said Appleton resident Stewart Neil. Neil’s father in-law John McGregor operated the store during its heyday I the 1920s but was forced to close when the depression hit.” “We’ll miss its handiness but she can’t compete with the chain stores.” Teschke still lives above the store and said she will probably try and sell the building privately before heading back to university. “I know how much she hated to close it down,” said Neil. “She said if she wins a sweep stake, the first thing she’ll open it up again.”
“In A History of the Appleton School, S.S. No. 11 Ramsay, Laura O’Brien Russell remembers that when
John A. McGregor operated the store (1899-1931) he sold: yard goods (cloth), bananas, lanterns,
harness parts, wash tubs, copper boilers, smoked hams, round of cheese sold in chunks, candies, bull’s
eyes, licorice pipes, sour balls & suckers.”
“My husband’s grandfather, John Anthony McGregor (married to Margaret Christine Newman), owned
and operated the general store in Appleton from 1899-1931. He also ran the Post Office from 1913-1931.He lost everything except his house during the depression because he gave too much credit. He
said he couldn’t see people go hungry.” “A few years ago he [David McNeely] returned to Appleton and in partnership with Mr. Robert Baird and conducted a general store until his death” on March 1, 1937.
Bev Fergusson– I recall visiting Millie’s store occasionally. A huge treat for us as kids. Milllie was always so friendly and cheerful!
Judy SalleyMy great grandfather Thomas Campbell Arthur ran the store at one time.
You can also read
Kevin DeeveyLater owned by architect Julian Smith.He had his office on the second floor.I worked there for about a year.Was nice to go for a swim in the river at lunch
Tom WrightMarc Old General store in Appleton. W.A. Gambell was my best friend’s, Dad. Her mom ran the store as we grew up as kids. This is where all the kids gathered in the mornings to catch the school bus. It is falling into disrepair these days.