127-131 Bridge Street Carleton Place Circa 1870
The first storey storefronts of this building have been modified from the original glass windows for easier viewing of merchandise–hence the different colours of brick. 127-131 Bridge Street has housed a number of different businesses including pharmacies, clothing stores, grocery stores, and poolrooms.
The Hughes family bought the pharmacy from Dr. Preston in 1905.
W. J. Hughes Rexall Drug store was located on the corner and Thomas Lloyd Hughes born in 1897 along with his brother Harold until they each decided to run a smaller store at the opposite ends of town. Lloy’s store was on Moffatt Street and Harold on Lake Ave West. For 50 years they were in groceries together and then the store was sold to Thomas’s nephew and for 12 years Thomas drove a butcher wagon. There was a dark room at the rear of the store where Mr. Hughes tested your eyes for glasses. You could buy a roll of film #116 for a Brownie Box camera for 25 cents and for $1.25 he would send it away to be developed.
The folks in Carleton Place will always remember the Rexall Drug annual 1 cent sale and every local household stocked up on cough medicine, cough drops, peroxide and all sorts of liniment. Some of the clerks that worked there were: Olive Dick, Ruby Voyce, and John Briscoe and Wilbert Robertson.
Harvey Asselstine attended the Ontario College of Pharmacy in 1929. In 1944, he
returned to Carleton Place and bought the drugstore at the corner of Bridge and
Franklin, from W.J. Hughes who operated it for 38 years. Betty Findlay and Mary Cook both worked at Assestine’s Pharmacy. In the rear of Asselstine’s drug store the CPR Telegraph operated during the 1950s. Asselstine expanded his drug store and bought out Hughes Grocery. In 2006 the Athen’s Corners Restaurant was located there.
Taber and McCrae operated a Men’s and Boy’s clothing store within Struther’s Block, which later became a pool hall (next door) operated by Mel Barclay. Charlie Giroux, who only had one arm took over the pool hall then Ab Dowseth from Smiths Falls operated it for a short time but when McCann and Porter gained ownership they moved the pool hall to the old Bank of Commerce.
Jeremy Stinson— That corner was, for much of my childhood, the home of the Blossom Shop. Back before the one way street.
August 28, Almonte Gazette 1904
Mr. Maguire’s new store is going to be a very fine one. The show windows are large and deep, the upper lights being of prism glass. The wood work is to be marbled gree. Messrs. Taber & Co will have a handsome premises