A century ago in Almonte

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by Brent Eades

I was looking through the wonderful collection of historic Almonte photos that Michael Dunn shared with me sixteen years ago for my Almonte.com site, and which he recently re-shared with me in much higher quality than was feasible for online use back then.

I was especially struck by the photo below of a steam train crossing the CPR bridge in town — as best I can tell, around 1911 or so.

The photo was either taken or commissioned by J. F. Patterson, who ran a drug store on Mill Street; this according to an online article I found from the Lanark County Genealogical Society.

Below the photo is an account of the businesses around Mill Street in the early 20th century. They include that of my great-uncle George Eades, who went on to run the Eades Hardware store in Carleton Place. My dad worked there for a few years.

CPR

Almonte in the Twenties

J. F. Patterson’s Drug Store was on the next corner along Mill Street. Meredith and Graham Ireton, Ed. Carey, Bill More, Geo. Bowland and others served their drug apprenticeships with Mr. Patterson. Knight Bros. Hardware was bought out by N. S. Lee in 1925 and is still in operation, although enlarged some by taking over the former drug store.

We will list some of the business places of that day further along the street, but not all in order. Taber’s Ladies Wear, Merchants Bank and later bought by W. H. Stafford. (It had once been owned and operated by John McKinnon), McLean’s Bakery, Woosley’s Barber Shop, M. R. Young Men’s Wear, Clement Bicycle Shop, Dr. McGregor, dentist, and Taylor Bros. Hardware (they opened a Garage on Bridge St. in 1928 with Cliff Robertson as manager.)

Eugene O’Reilly had a store on the corner of Mill and Brae Streets and they closed out their business in 1928. Later on J. H. Proctor opened a boot and shoe store, also a harness shop in the back part of the building.

On the other corner of Mill and Brae was the Bank of Montreal, then Smolkin’s store, Jas. Cochrane’s Men’s Wear, W. James Barber Shop, George Eades Boot and Shoe Store (Needham and Son, bought out Geo. Eades later on), A. B. Lotan’s Butcher Shop and on the second floor of some of these buildings were four places of business – A. Allan, tailor; R. A. Jamieson, lawyer; T. R. Patterson, dentist; Greig & Greig, lawyers. Mr. Pittard’s printing office was next. He once was editor of the Almonte Times paper. Then was W. D. Lea’s bakery and Laura and Nellie Hogan’s Millinery shop.

Though the Hogans now are retired from business they will long be remembered, not only for their millinery work, but also for the kindness they showed to all who called at their shop.