Mary Anne HarrisonAbsolutely. Wayne was the best. Paul let me charge my gas and come in and settle up when I got paid. Mr Brown was great too. There was another older gentleman named Bob who was super friendly as well. Can’t remember his last name.
Stephen McDougallWould go there with my Dad, Gerry would always open up the coke machine and give me a coke(coldest ones in town) .and would grab 2 molson golden for Dad and Gerry. Loved the old days in Almonte. lol
On Saturday of this week the firm of Johnson and McCreary opens, its new men’s furnishings store on Mill Street. This is the most modernly appointed establishment of its kind in the town and people are invited to visit it on opening day or whenever convenient thereafter. Mr. A. C. Johnson started business here four years ago as a haberdasher in a store located in the Illingworth Block on Bridge Street.
He was successful, but his quarters were cramped and he decided to expand. After forming a partnership with his brother-inlaw, Mr. H. H. McCreary, the two partners purchased a larger frame building on Mill Street owned by the late P. J. Rooney. Previous to renovating this property it had housed two stores on the ground floor and an apartment on the second flat.
Messrs. Johnson and McCreary converted the ground floor space into one large store with modern furnishings and large plate glass^windows running along the entire front, bordered with vitrolite. The outside was covered with white asbestos siding. In a short time they changed what had been a rather ordinary looking structure on the town’s main street into a most cerditable place of business.
The firm of Johnson & . McCreary have a modern and extensive stock of men’s furnishings which the public is invited to look over, as well as the new store, in advertisements which appear on pages two and seven today. The apartment upstairs was also thoroughly renovated and will be occupied by the partners.
JOHNSON, Andrew Carson (Former owner Johnson Clothing Founding Member Almonte Fish & Game Club Past President Almonte Lions Club Member Mississippi Lodge AF/AM #147) In hospital at Ottawa with his beloved and devoted daughter Bonnie at his side on Monday, March 14, 2005. A. Carson Johnson of Almonte, age 81 years Beloved husband of the late Ottie M. McCreary and dearly loved father of Heather Morphy (Ken) of Brockville and Bonnie Johnson-Rourke (Peter) of Ottawa. Predeceased by his brothers Eldon, Willis and Howard. Very special and loved grandpa of Kimberly Ann Friends may call at the C. R. GAMBLE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL 127 Church Street, Almonte for visiting on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 1 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and where a complete Service including committal will be held in the Chapel on Saturday at 11 a.m., Rev. Jim Ferrier officiating. Spring interment Auld Kirk Cemetery, Almonte. Donations in memory of Carson may be made to the Kidney Foundation of Canada and would be appreciated by his family. Masonic members will assemble in the Chapel of the funeral home for Service Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m. Published on March 16, 2005
News being very scarce this week—as it always is in late August—an editor has to resort to strange ways of filling up a newspaper. Apropos of that: on Wednesday night in front of the Gazette office, which is located on Mill Street, we met a little girl standing beside a tricycle who pointed to the gutter along the sidewalk and said: “frog, frog.” She started to reach, and looking in the direction of her small hand we saw a snake crawling along. We told her not to touch it and it crawled into a tile drain under a ramp leading to an alley entrance.
A couple of middle aged ladies came along right then and we made the fatal mistake of telling them what we had seen. They looked in the gutter, saw no snake, and looked at us as if we were a snake—or as if we had been seeing snakes. After these ladies had gone on their way, looking disgusted, we stood there ruminating. We knew we could not call on the three year-old child for evidence and we felt we had blundered with the ladies just as the Light Brigade did at Baiaklava.
Things generally end that way. But this time we were lucky. Along came Mr. Tom Proctor, Sr. and we told him of our strange experience. He looked at us dubiously but was too polite to express what was passing in his mind. Then came one of our own employees. He was a little bit helpful because he told Tom he had seen a snake in the same spot a couple of weeks ago. With that, Tom looked strangely at both of us. But like the sun bursting through a dark cloud, our friend the snake dissolved all our troubles by sticking its head out of the drain pipe at that very moment.
We were so pleased we yelled: “There it is,” and straightway it withdrew its head. Tom Proctor said with growing doubt; “Where is it: I don’t see anything; of course I’m not as young as I used to be.” Well, to make a silly story short, we all stood still and out came the snake. This time we kept quiet and he came all out—three feet of him. Tom looked at us with an apologetic expression then back at the snake. The reptile was one of those harmless spotted adders (milksnake) we used to see sunning himself on the sandy roads in (the old days— often killed by toy buggy wheels—later by cars.
Finally it crawled up on the sidewalk and made for the alleyway, pausing now and then. Along came two young “bobby-soxers” gabbling pleasantly. Just as they were about to step on the snake we pointed to him. They seized their skirts—they were wearing skirts at the time—and with shrieks that could be heard for miles they dashed down the street going five feet every leap.
Meanwhile the snake escaped into the dark alley and that was the last we saw of him. But we have the proof of Mr. Proctor, our employee, the two girls and a few others realized that there really was a snake. And if anyone in Carleton Place or any other neighboring town wants to make an issue of this situation by saying that the main street in Almonte is so dead that snakes crawl on it we will recall this one.
In the year1929 there was an awful uproar in “The Loop,” Chicago, when a big bull snake invaded that populous section of the city. Women fainted, strong men went into pubs for strong drinks, police grabbed their guns and pandemonium reigned. Finally the reptile was shot. It was said he wandered up from Lake Michigan and didn’t know how to get back. So where did this come from?
Back at the mill, one entered by climbing the stairs to the loading dock (or jumping from your truck) and entering the store. The office was a glassed in square opposite the entrance but along the right side were bins filled with some intriguing items-mostly dog biscuits, which came in a variety of shapes and colours-I preferred the pink!
The first “boss” I remember was a ? Churchill whose wife was the grade 7 teacher in Central School and in the mid 50’s It was Ian Brodie (more later).
Remember, I’m a kid wandering around here with little or no supervision.
There was an entry from the office area to the mill proper through a storage area to the mill proper. The first person I would see would be Alec?Bowes (running these names through my mind I just forgot his first name) who was usually covered head to toe in flour dust. He would be attaching bags to the chute that he operated, filling them and weighing the bags on the large scale which was off to one side. Also a Burns (townline & 7?) worked in this area also. Adjacent to this location, by the loading dock (big doors) was the hopper which was accessed from outside. This area was also very noisy with a variety of belts driving the machinery. This was all very interesting to see and hear and a little intimidating but one had to run the gauntlet (so to speak) if you wanted to get to the huge elevator and a chance to explore the upper floors.
I ate many lunches perched on the old millstone, enjoying the sunshine and noise of the falling water. I don’t know what dad was originally hired to do but by the time my memory kicks in, he, for the most part, drove the delivery truck -to all parts of Lanark County.
They were a great group of men to be in contact with-always taunting/joking with one another and playing tricks. On one occasion, they were discussing someone’s jacket which was hanging on the hooks provided in the hall. The owner of the jacket being described went to check it out, put his hand in the pockets, only to discover that there was dead mouse in his hand-it had been dead for some time-hence the discussion as to what to do about the situation.
Another time there was a contest to see who could carry the most bags of feed (100lb). In the end it was my dad that was the winner (of course). One bag under each arm and he had the others place a bag on each shoulder and then proceeded to walk the length of the room (20’)There were other contests but I wouldn’t want you to think that they didn’t work but they did, in an unhealthy and in some ways a dangerous environment (especially where cookies and dog biscuits are involved).
There was a fire in 1911 and that whole corner burned down as it began in the back of People’s store
Almonte and district suffered no great damage as a result of Saturday’s wind of hurricane proportions. The O’Brien Theatre was the only casualty and about one quarter of its roof was torn off.There was also some damage to the ventilators in the building. The matinee was cancelled but Mr. H. R. Davey was able to make temporary repairs and the night show was held as usual — May 1950 Almonte Gazette
Almonte and district suffered no great damage as a result of Saturday’s wind of hurricane proportions. The O’Brien Theatre was the only casualty and about one quarter of its roof was torn off. There was also some damage to the ventilators in the building. The matinee was cancelled but Mr. H. R. Davey was able to make temporary repairs and the night show was held as usual.
Motoring was most unpleasant and in some sections telephone poles were torn down. The fire brigade responded to four fires on Saturday, three of which were in less than an hour. One was a chimney fire at the home of Mr. James Waddell in New England. Another was a grass fire at the end of Ann St.; the next was at the residence of Mr. Archie Levitan where leaves caught fire in some unexplained way and the fourth was at the home of Mr. Edgar Lowry, corner of Country and Church Streets. This one started from a fire that had been set out several days before and the embers were fanned into life by the high wind.
May 1930 Almonte Gazette
Everything is just about ready for the reopening of the Orpheum Theatre here and the first official showing will be on Monday afternoon and evening next, June 30th. The first picture to be shown will be the First National beautiful, all technicolor, musical comedy story “Sally,” which both on the stage and through the sound screen has proven very popular and entertaining. The management have made a special effort to secure a positive atmosphere with courtesy and pleasure and a sucessful production for presentation.
Mr. Bruck is general manager and an excellent picture has been procured for the opening day. The new theatre is one of the best in the Ottawa Valley and no doubt will be a great drawing card for Almonte.
The picture “Sally” will be shown on both Monday and Tuesday of next week, and will be followed by dramatic and musical attractions that will amuse and entertain the large audiences which it is expected to patronize the new theatre. The program also of the management is to show only features of a high standard which will be superior in quality and of a calibre that will insure a successful entertainment. The advertising pages of the Gazette will from time to time announce the various sound pictures that have been booked for showing here. The new O’Brien Theatre is a commercial enterprise, but it is more.
This new theatre in Almonte is a testimony to the man whose name ‘it bears; expense has not entered into the construction and equipping of the O’Brien Theatre; only the best in each of the various lines necessary to the building and equipping of the O’ Brien Theatre was allowed into the architects’ specifications. The result is that Almonte now has a beautiful Movitone and Vitaplione motion picture building, very modern in design, acoustically perfect, and absolutely fireproof.
The new O’Brien. Theatre is a distinct asset to the town. In addition, the furnishings and the equipment are of the most advanced and approved designs that the world’s markets had to offer, and everything has been laid out to ensure public approval. The old Orpheum Theatre has been entirely remodelled and built; the canopy over the main entrance and the immense electrical sign present an imposing and attractive appearance; there are three entrance doors from Main street into the lobby. In addition there are two exit doors which open on to Bridge street, and these two exits will enable the theatre to be emptied at any time very rapidly. The main theatre building is of brick and concrete and the floors are covered with fresh cement which is a sound deadener. A very modern ventilation system has been installed so as to provide for the free circulation of fresh air continuously. Entering the theatre one goes from the lobby to the main part of the house. The lighting effects in the lobby are modernistic. Particularly artistic photo frame and mirrors decorate both the lobby and foyer.
These lend a very attractive appearance to this section of the entrance. Going from the lobby one enters the main part of the theatre, with its wide aisles and beautiful, comfortable, upholstered opera chairs, with leather air cushions and upholstered backs finished in wine color.
Indirect lighting of the aisles is a very up-to-date touch which will no doubt be appreciated by the patrons coming in during the performance. On the stage is a large Vocalite sound screen equipped with an automatic screen modifier, also electrically operated and controlled. This screen and modifier is one of the new real WS features of the Q’Brien Theatre. The stage back of the Vocalite sound screen has been draped with heavy and artistically finished velour hangings, and the scenic effect will compare with any of the theatres in the larger cities of Canada and the United States.
The owners of the O’Brien Theatre gave a great deal of time and attention to the question of sound equipment, and after investigating many different styles and makes of machines decided to install the high class Northern Electric sound equipment for both Movitone and Vitaphone in addition to new Simplex projection machines. This newest sound equipment will enable the proper presentation of the bigger and best of the talkies and where feasible the screen will give life size reproduction.
The main contract for the construction of the new O’Brien Theatre was awarded on a tender basis to M. Sullivan & Son, Arnprior. The architects were Messrs. Richards and Abra of Ottawa, and local firms whose work has assisted in the completion of this fine new building were: Taylor Bros., The proscenium curtains, valances, draperies, carpels and furniture for the O ’Brien Theatre here, and also those in Renfrew, Arnprior and Pembroke, were made and installed by A. J. Frieman, Ottawa.
Broadloom Axminster carpets, reversible gold French velours, black silk velours and figure silk damasks, all richly trimmed, together with highest grade available. The main contract for the construction of the new O’Brien Theatre was awarded on a tender basis to M. Sullivan & Son, Arnprior. The architects , were Messrs. Richards and Abra of Ottawa, and local firms whose work has assisted in the completion of this fine new building were: Taylor Bros., The proscenium curtains, valances, draperies, carpels and furniture for the O ’Brien Theatre here, and also those in Renfrew, Arnprior and Pembroke, were made and installed by A. J. Frieman, Ottawa.
The theatre was owned and operated by Ottawa Valley Amusements, owned by Renfrew entrepreneur M. J. O’Brien. The Renfrew Theatre was part of a chain that included theatres in Arnprior (now once again associated with Renfrew), and Pembroke, Almonte and Carleton Place.
Marilyn Miller 1929 in Sally which was playing at the O’ Brien
Our pushing young merchants, Messrs. Riddell & McAdam, have purchased the •People’s Store• property from Mrs. J.T~ Brown, and will shortly remove to their new stand. The price paid was $5,550. At the sale on Saturday afternoon .Mr. Wm. Curry, blacksmith, bought the Cowie pump factory and the residence adjoining, paying therefor.$950. Sept 1890 Almonte Gazette–https://lindaseccaspina.wordpress.com/…/mary-delaney…/
One of the most disastrous fire In the history of the town broke out in the early hours of this morning in the business block and before it was gotten under control had entailed a loss estimated at nearly $76,000, only partly covered by insurance. The conflagration is a most serious, one for the town s the portion destroyed is right in the centre of the business section. In about an hour after the fire broke out the large block of half a dozen buildings which fell a prey to the flames had been consumed with practically all of their contents. Carleton Place sent its engine on a special train but the fire was under control when it arrived. The principal buildings destroyed are those of A. J. McAdam, Sirs. J. S. Patterson, Mrs. D. H. Davis, these three being of brick; W. McMunn, H. Conn and J. Francis, the latter being frame; T. R. White’s coat shed with a large stock of coal; W. N. Acton’s lumber storehouse, well filled with dressed lumber, and L. James’ ash house.
The fire when first discovered was well advanced and had apparently broken out in the rear of the People’s Store attire. By the time the fire company was on the scene and the engine In action the flames had spread to ths frame structure at the rear of the Mock. All the upper part of Mr. W. J’cMunn’s building, formerly the old Music hall and now used as a storehouse for buggies and machinery, was a mass of flames.
To show what a narrow escape Mr. Robertson’s store had from destruction during the big blaze, one only has to look at the eave of the roof, which is burned and charred- in several places. The terrific heat from across the street was the cause and only a thorough drenching kept the building from falling prey to the flames. The attention of the firemen was devoted principally to preventing the fire from spreading to the adjoining blocks. The substantial store building of Mr. F. W. Robertson was instrumental in shutting off the advance of the lire down Mill street, although the edge of the roof was on fire repeatedly. The chief danger was that the fire might cross High street to the lavls house, a large three-storey frame building, as the wind was blowing in that direction, but there was little wind and this enabled the firemen to get a chance to fight it. The pressure on some of the lines of hose was poor and the water could not be ithrown to the top of the Davis house. It was. however, saved by a party of volunteers under Mr. L. W. Shipman and Mr. Avery, a teacher. The roof had become ignited from embers and Mr. Shipman succeeded after some delay in getting a hand pump to work on the roof. Mr. Avery also made his way along the roof in a daring manner and applied water to the fast in creasing blaze. The daring work ot the two men undoubtedly saved the hotel.
The saving of the Davis house also prevented the destruction of a large part of the town which would certainly have been destroyed if it had gone. There was a hard struggle to prevent the fire from crossing to the Davis house sheds, when Acton’s lumber shed was on fire, the heat being so intense that It almost drove the firemen out of range. Carleton Place generously sent their fire engine down on a special train but the fire was under control before it arrived and was detrained. The loss will be well up near the $100.000 mark, as there were three large brick buildings. A. J. McAdams building shows the most loss ( People’s Store)
The brick wall of the McAdam building on Bridge street is still standing, but owing to its dangerous condition the street has been fenced off. Monday evening about six o’clock, during the high wind, a portion of the upper part was blown off. The wall will probably be taken down to the second story, and the lower portion rebuilt. The walls at the back of the McAdam and Patterson buildings are also standing, but the rest of the burned area is nearly all levelled to the ground.
McAdams occupied the first flat of his building as a general store and lost his complete stock. The second flat was occupied by the Misses Beaton as a dressmaking shop and partly by McAdams’ stock of carpets. etc. The third story was occupied by the Citizens’ band. Mrs. J. Patterson’s shop was occupied by J. H. Proctor, harness maker, and Messrs. Rooney and Hogan barbers, on the first flat, the Bell Telephone central and Mrs. Patterson’s residence in the second flat, and the upper flat was the hall of the Sons of Temperance.
The lower flat of Mrs. Davis’ building was occupied by T. Hogan’s pool room and tobacco shop and the Union Express office and the second flat by Mrs. Davis as her residence. George Robertson, occupied the barber shop at the rear of the Peoples’ store, near which the fire originated There is a fair amount of Insurance on some of the goods but the loss will still be heavy.
Some of the losses in detail, with amount of Insurance, are: Mrs. J. S. Patterson, loss on buildings $4,000; occupants, J. H. Proctor, harness, loss $2,000: Rooney and Hogan, barbers, $500; telephone central office, loss $4,000. Mrs. D. H. Davis, loss on buildings, $250, on furniture $1,000; occupants of stores under her dwelling, Thos. Hopkins. tobacco and pool, $2,000;
Dominion Express company office, $500. A. J. McAdams, drygoods and general store, loss on building, $7,000; on stock $30,000; other occupants of McAdam block, the Misses Beaton, milliners and dressmakers, $500; Citizens’ band loss on instruments, $500; Geo. Robinson, barber shop, $500. Wm. McMunn block, lose on buildings. $2,000; on stock of flour, feed and implements, $3,000. M. Unger, vacant dwelling and shop, loss $1,500. John France, frame dwelling, loss on building and contents, $1,000. T. R. White, coal sheds, loss on building $1,000; on contents $1,000. W. N. Acton, dressed lumber and office, loss on building and contents, $3,000. Mrs. E. Greig. loss on furniture in McMunn block. $1,000. The burned section is bounded by Mill, Bridge and High streets and the C. P. R. tracks. Chester Avery, the young school teacher who was in instrumental in saving the Davis house and thus checking the fire was slightly injured.
Judy Reid HamreMy grade 12 grad dress came from there – not that our grad was anything other than a gathering in the gym to walk across the stage, receive your diploma and sit down.
Gwen HazelwoodMcCormicks Ladies Wear. (Where I bought my wedding dress.)
Peggy ByrneYep, bought half slips at McCormick’s Ladies Wear in downtown Almonte.
Karen HirstHarry Gunn’s grocery was called Red & White. Mr. Gunn later bought McCormicks Ladies Wear lower Mill ST., it was later purchased by Geoff and Peggy Hirst—building is now where Lee Valley is located.
oan ArmstrongA lot of memories, I wish I could remember it all ….Irval motors where Don Coady is, oh – before that Snedden’s drugstore, NS Lee Hardware – across the street Peterson’s Icecream, Hydro office – McCormick’s ladies wear, Proctor’s shoe store on corner of Brae and Mill.BMO, I forgot Carnegie’s drug store before nowThe Misses Hogans had a military shop somewhere in the area of Baker Bob’s today.Going past BMO all I can remember is Needham’s shoe store, Graham’s drugstore, The Superior.Of course the Pool room corner where Subway was (across from Keepsakes:Cashmere Rose)A garageLots of ???StedmansI hope someone can fill in the blanks.Oh, forgot the Almonte Gazette!
Mary Sterling JarickWhen I came to Canada, we lived above McCormick’s store for about 3 years before moving to Water Street
The property itself was owned by a number of people before George Wilson bought it in 1861 for $700.00. He had a store and residence built about 1868 by William Scrimgeour. Wilson sold this to Robert Brown and Peter McArthur in 1870 for $8000.00. They operated a general goods store; Brown residing in Montreal. In 1881, James Robertson bought the building for $10,000.
Upon his death in 1908, the store was willed to his son, Fred, who continued as a merchant until 1928. At this point, William Pimlett bought the store and operated until 1960. In 1960, he sold the store to R.J. France for $33,000. He sold to Arthur Baker in 1972 for $55,000. In 1984, Arthur P. Baker sold to 592178 Ontario Inc.. In 1987, 592178 Ontario Inc. sold to Brian Gallagher. In 1998, BrianGallagher mortgaged Irene Kennedy. In 2012, MJ Assets purchased it. In 2017, 2570155 Ontario Inc. purchased it following an asking price of $975,000.
Alice PaigeI have always been told my great grandfather Smith was a jeweller who had a jewelry store in this building. He and his wife and family of 11 children lived on Union St. Early 1900’s? They left Almonte and moved to North Bay.
Chris Baker EnglishThis was my mom and dad’s building where they operated a jewelry store and flower shop (Baker’s Jewelry, Gifts and Flowers).
Thomas J. Reid Clothing store sign on pole on Mill Street in Almonte sign on corner. Photo-Almonte.com
I was looking at a photo and in the corner of my eye I saw the T. J. Reid sign on the pole and decided to find out who he was. This is what I found out:
Progress Since Dry Wave Hit Town 1918
In December of 1918 Thomas J. Reid, who had a men’s clothing and furnishings store on mill Street in Almonte said:
“Understand,” said Mr. Reid, “there is not so very-much credit asked for nowadays, but when it is asked for by men who used to spend their money on liquor, we feel safe, in giving it to them.”
Mr. Reid is very much of the opinion that the local option has benefited in Almonte. In fact, he appeared to be one of the most enthusiastic local optionist in the town. He was told of what some of the others had said about local option.
“And I am quite willing to throw in my chip, too.”; he said. “I have been in this town for many years, and I know for certain that the town is a lot better! A lot better off without the licenses”. Mr. Reid observed that since local option was carried, quite a number of the citizens of the town appeared to be better dressed and he ventured to say–better fed.
He remarked that has since local option was carried he does a greater business than he did in the license days. Mr. Reid observed also that temptation in the liquor line is placed out of reach of the boys and young men. “What liquor is being brought here from Carleton Place,” he said, “is being consumed by the men who have such a thirst that they would go three limes the distance.”
14281-23 (Lanark Co) William Kenneth BOLAND, 31, fireman, Bromley twp Renfrew Co, Pembroke Ontario, s/o Tobias P. BOLAND (b. Belfast Ireland) & Catharine Anne WICK, married Margaret Ann BRYDGES, 27, household duties, Ramsay twp, Almonte Ontario, d/o Charles Edward BRYDGES (b. Kinross Scotland) & Margaret Seth REID, witn: Agnes J. REID & Thomas J. REID both of Almonte, 5 June 1923 at Almonte..