This page only gives a glimpse of some to the merchants and businesses in the late 1890’s into the early 1900’s. For a complete history of the Merchants of Perth a must read and reference is:
- The Merchants, Professionals and Tradespeople of Perth, Gus Quattrocchi, Perth (1997)
The Merchants, Professionals and Tradespeople of Perth by Gus Quattrocchi. This book is a record of 180 years of history of the merchants of Perth. This book is available at the Museum and other merchants in downtown Perth. All proceeds from the sale of this book are directed to the continued good works of the Perth Museum.
To purchase this book: The Perth Museum
THE GRAHAM BLOCK c. 1910
This building is situated on the corner of Gore and Herriott Streets with James & Reid’s Hardware and G.B. Farmer’s Boot and Shoe Store beside. The Royal Bank is located in this building today. Ads below appeared in the Perth Courier in the late 1890’s early 1900’s.
JAMES & REID STAFF 1904
BLACK SANDY FERGUSON HOTEL 1835 – REVERE HOUSE 1869
A. MEIGHEN AND BROS., corner of Foster and Gore Streets, c. 1890. Established 1848
Foster Street looking West from Gore Street to Wilson Street showing the north side of the street. The horse drawn sleigh/tram is for the Hicks House later the Perth Hotel. In the distance where the Perkins Building is now situated was first J T Hendersons General Merchant then Charles and James Gent’s Furnishings and then J H Mendel’s Department Store. To the right is A. Meighen & Brothers Gent’s Furnishings (men’s clothing). Between 1898 and 1899 other business on Foster Street: Sutherland’s Restaurant would be here on the north side of Foster Street near Gore Street as well as Rudd and Neilson Watchmakers this picture. Dr. R V Fowler’s office would be located on Foster Street. The Perth Expositor Newspaper was on the south-east corner of Gore and Foster, C.F. Stone Prop. H T Noonan Grocers south side of Foster near Wilson. James Paterson Grocers south side Foster between Gore and Wilson Streets. Doyles Flour and Feed, Dickenson Brothers Dry Goods and Groceries south side Foster between Gore and Wilson Streets beside the Queen’s Hotel, F.L. Hall Chemists north side Foster Street and A Wilson Boots and Shoes on the north side of Foster. 1930 – Oct. 4 – R.A. Beamish Co. established the first in his chain of stores in the Meighen Block.
RUDD & NEILSON JEWELLERS 1889-1937
THE HICKS HOUSE/HOTEL PERTH
The Hotel has a very lengthy careeer and was first started in 1826 by Alexander Ferguson who received the deed from the Crown on June 20th. In the same year it was bought by William Matheson who in furn sold it the next year to Malcolm Cameron. The Hotel became known as the Hicks House in 1872 when it was bought by william Hicks from Alexander Workman an Mary Hall. In 1883 Mr. Hicks sold the property to John Wilson. It gained a reputation as a quality Inn when John Wilson owned it between 1883 and 1909. Known for providing comfortable accommodation, Mr. Wilson, pictured here below behind the bar with the moustache, also provided excellent meals, polite service and a free bus for travellers, winter and summer, to trains and boats. Under his management capacity doubled to 45 rooms. The Hicks House was one of 7 hotels in Perth around this time between 1898 and 1899. There was the Albion Hotel on the north west corner of Gore and Craig Streets, Jas Young Prop., The Allan House on Cockburn Island, A Robinson, Prop., Barries’ Hotel south east corner of Wilson and D’Arcy Streets, John Wilson, Prop., Jackman House, north of Lock’s Bridge, George Jackman, Prop., Queen’s Hotel, south side of Foster between Wilson and Gore Streets, Frank Lambert, Prop. and the Revere House, south east corner of Foster and Wilson Streets, W.J. Flett, Prop. Ad below for Pro. Dorenwend’s visit to the Hicks House, Perth Courier 1896.
North Side of Gore Street: HENRY TAYLOR HARDWARE & TINWARE AND M. R. DODDS GROCER c.1899
WARREN & McCARTHY HARDWARE 1888
JAMES & REID HARDWARE 1910-1921
JAMES BROTHERS HARDWARE 1921
For more in-depth history of James Brothers and a great read is Follow The Crowd by John McKenty. For this and other books by John McKenty go to:
JOHN HART’S BOOK STORE
JOHN HART, for many years proprietor of Hart’s Bookstore on Gore Street in Perth. Mr. hart was a native of Glasgow, Scotland and opened a bookstore in Perth in the 1850’s. In an article in the Toronto Mail on May 14, 1887, John Hart’s Bookstore was described as “the finest bookroom in the Dominion outside of Toronto and Montreal”. Plate glass windows, admitted the light by day and at night the place was illuminated by electricity. Counters and shelves were of natural wood and the store was strikingly attractive. Mr. Hart carried the largest stock of books, stationery, wallpapers and fancy goods in Eastern Ontario. He had the only depot in town for the leading foreign and Canadian Newspapers and periodicals. He also made a specialty of artistic papers for interior decoration and of fine engravings and paintings in oil and water colours.
THE KELLOCK BLOCK 1848: G.E. ARMSTRONG, WALKER’S BOOK STORE, THE PERTH COURIER
In 1848, John Ellis erected this stone building for Roderick Matheson. Around 1885, James F. Kellock had the building extended and the front raised to form a third floor, with the back half left the same.
The first tenant at 39 Gore St. was, from 1848 to 1854, James Leischman, a tailor; then, from 1854 to 1876 the Ferlands operated as General Merchants. Then, until 1898 it was a tailor’s shop. In 1898 the Perth Courier moved here from down the street and still occupies the building. An assortment of tenants have occupied 41 Gore St. E. on the second floor, including a broker, Canada Customs, a tax collector; a dental office and a Beauty Shop. Above the Courier office a barrister had his office until 1920 and then from 1939 to 1953, W.W. Walker, owner of the Courier, had his residence there.
In 43 Gore St. from 1848 to 1858, Mark Billings operated a hatters and furriers shop. In 1858 A. Allen opened a drug store and in 1861 moved to the Foster Street location of the present Perth Pharmasave. Dr. John F. Kellock purchased the business and operated it from 1861 to 1880 and in 1878 he bought the building. Besides selling medicine, he was an agent for a boat line and sold houseplants. “Dr. John Kellock disposes the business to a younger brother James Kellock, a graduate of the Ontario College of Pharmacy. The store has been recently reconstructed and extended in order to keep pace with modern ideas. Mr. Kellock does an extensive jobbing business mainly in the towns and villages along the lines of Canadian Pacific and Kingston & Pembroke Railway. He makes a specialty of coal oil and imports fully two thirds of the coal oil consumed in this section. Mr. Kellock is agent for the old Hartfore (Conn) Fire Insurance Co,. and holds some of the best risks in town.” (ex May 1887 Toronto Mail).
From 1901 to 1933, W.S. Robertson took ownership of the business and from 1933 to 1971 Arthur Thornbury assumed ownership and in 1947 remodelled the store. From 1971 to 1997 R.J. Wilkinson, BSC PHM, operated the Perth Apothecary and from 1997 to 2003 it was a variety gift shop called Passiflora. It is presently the home of O’Reilly’s Pub.
THE PERTH COURIER
C.P.R TELEGRAPH OFFICE on the Little Tay
VANITY FAIR TEA ROOM in the Matheson House
THE PERTH COURIER, 1938. “The Vanity Fair Tea House is the name under which the former Matheson home, now the property of Mr. J.C. Carr will open to the public about the middle of June. The name will call to mind Thackeray’s novel, “Vanity Fair”. It was seven years before the great Thackeray wrote his English novel that here in Canada in the town of Perth, Senator Matheson’s home on Gore Street was built. History, romance, tradition! They are an integral part of a home that has stood solid and unchanging through almost a century of self movement and rapid innovation. We would change it but little for it is something mellow and rare and lovely in this hurried age”.
SHEEP HERDING ON GORE STREET 1893
THE DRENNAN BLOCK, GORE AND FOSTER STREETS
Mrs. Laurie’s Bakery and Confectionery, Gore Street. The three storey white brick building in this picture was erected in 1886 as a store with residence above. Baking and candy making were done in the basement, where the bake ovens were situated. The store was elegantly furnished with mahogany shelving and counters, topped with solid walnut. Adjoining the store was neat restaurant in which oysters, ice cream and frut were served in season, together with bread, cakes and pastry. A favourite lunch consisted of buns and chunks of local cheese with a bottle of Mrs. Laurie’e Old English Ginger Beer.
NORTH SIDE OF FOSTER STREET AT WILSON STREET – HICKS BUILDING
Mr. J. T. Henderson came to perth in 1861, and established the mercantile house which has been eminently prosperous since its inception. The Toronto Mail, May 14, 1887. Mr. Henderson’s business premises at the corner of Wilson and Peter street subsequently were occupied in 1895-1905 by Charles & James. The ground floor was occupied by dry goods which included dress goods, silks, satins, velvet, ladies furnishing goods, prints, muslims, etc. In a separate room groceries, provision, crockery, etc. Upstairs departments devoted to carpets, lace, curtains, window blinds, boy’s clothing and millinery. In 1905 the store was taken over by J. H. Mendels. In 1928 Mackie Brothers of Kingston bought the block to use for an automobile agency. In 1938 J A Perkins purchases the business and opened a garage and GM dealership. IN 1946 the old buildings were demolished to make way for a new 2 storey Art Deco Style of building to house Perkins Motors and in 1947 a new bowling alley. In 1949 the Ontario Provincial Police had offices at this time until 1965 when they moved to Victoria Street.
J. T. HENDERSONS, QUEEN’S HOTEL, PALM GARDENS & POOL ROOM and A. T. McARTHUR HARDWARE.
The Palm Gardens opened in 1905.
“In 1913 with commendable enterprise, Kanelakos Brothers have refitted their store on Foster Street and changed it into an up-to-date ice cream parlor. Joe has an eye for the beautiful at all times and the beautiful is much in evidence in the transformation that has taken place. He has well named his store the Palm Gardens, where things are cool and clean, An up-to-date soda fountain has been installed. Ice cream sodas and fresh fruits will be featured at this store now, with of course, cigars and tobaccos.”The Palm Gardens had wrough iron chairs and tables, huge palm tees and lots of lace curtains. It also had tulip shaped chandelier lights hanging from the ceiling and also ceiling fans. There was no mechanical refrigeration Treats such as a David Harum Sundae could be purchasesd for 15 cents. NOTE: David Harum Sundae (vanilla ice cream, crushed strawberry, crushed pineapple, whipped cream, and cherry) which I learned came from a best selling novel David Harum; A Story of American Life 1899. In 1918 they opened a Tea Room on the location serving soups, pie, sandwiches and all kinds of soft drinks as well as home made ice cream and candies during this time. Ice cream was kept in round steel pots immersed in a brine solution made from chopped ice and rock salt kept either in a large wooden pail or containers designed for this purpose. In the late 1920’s mechanical refrigeration was introduced. Kanelakos Brothers also had a smoke shop and a billiards room on the second floor. Some of the goodies in 1930: pecan cream roll 50¢ lb., Brazil cream roll 60¢ lb. cream fudge 50¢ lb.In 1935 Chris Moskos purchased the business from Malloy & Williams and changes the name to the Perth Tea Room and operates an ice cream parlor and restaurant. He also manufactures a variety of home-made candy. In 1937 Moskos put in machinery to make his own ice cream which he sold in bulk and packages. In 1948 he moved to a new location on Gore Street to open the Perth Tea Room (The Perth Restaurant location) and Candyland.
The Palm Gardens had wrough iron chairs and tables, huge palm tees and lots of lace curtains. It also had tulip shaped chandelier lights hanging from the ceiling and also ceiling fans. There was no mechanical refrigeration Treats such as a David Harum Sundae could be purchasesd for 15 cents. NOTE: David Harum Sundae (vanilla ice cream, crushed strawberry, crushed pineapple, whipped cream, and cherry) which I learned came from a best selling novel David Harum; A Story of American Life 1899. In 1918 they opened a Tea Room on the location serving soups, pie, sandwiches and all kinds of soft drinks as well as home made ice cream and candies during this time. Ice cream was kept in round steel pots immersed in a brine solution made from chopped ice and rock salt kept either in a large wooden pail or containers designed for this purpose. In the late 1920’s mechanical refrigeration was introduced. Kanelakos Brothers also had a smoke shop and a billiards room on the second floor. Some of the goodies in 1930: pecan cream roll 50¢ lb., Brazil cream roll 60¢ lb. cream fudge 50¢ lb.In 1935 Chris Moskos purchased the business from Malloy & Williams and changes the name to the Perth Tea Room and operates an ice cream parlor and restaurant. He also manufactures a variety of home-made candy. In 1937 Moskos put in machinery to make his own ice cream which he sold in bulk and packages. In 1948 he moved to a new location on Gore Street to open the Perth Tea Room (The Perth Restaurant location) and Candyland.
COCKBURN ISLAND, LOOKING NORTH ON GORE STREET – MARKET SQUARE
HARRY’S CAFÉ : Harry Fong came to Canada in the 1890’s and settled in Perth in 1899. The Fongs were given the surname Johnston by the Knox Presbyterian Church. Harry opened the Hong Kong Cafe that later became Harry’s Café at 59 Gore Street c. 1913. Harry’s advertised in 1923: Try Harry’s Café across from the former Cecil Hotel – for a good hot meal – 25¢ and up. Meals at all hours. In 1932 after many improvements he already made both inside and out, Harry installed an electric sign on the front of the premises and when illuminated at night the sign showed the words Harry’s Café in bright red lights.
Harry died in 1940 and his wife Mabel ran the café with her daughter Doris helping out. Mabel died in 1966 and Doris took over the café with her husband Howard Soong. Harry’s Café closed in the late 1980’s
Largest hotel in Perth, was a fifty room spread called the Allan House, situated to the west of the town hall in a block. Andrew Robinson the proprietor, was famous for his “uniform courtesy and kindness” and the free bus rides to the train and stages. Mr. Robinson purchased the Allan House from I.C. Grant after ten years as an employee of the Hicks House.
BROOKES BLOCK 1846
THE BALDERSON THEATRE 1915
The Balderson Theatre beside Nicol’s Hardware Store was built by Col. Balderson in 1915. This theatre had a large balcony and 1,000 seats, which was the largest between Toronto and Montreal. Vaudeville and Repertory stage which often featured local legends the ‘Marx Brothers Company’ while taking summer breaks from their North American travels. Harry Houdini also played here. Movies were shown here until roughly 1958, when the theatre closed (Premiere Theatres was the last operator).
For more on the Balderson Theatre go to Entertainment: http://www.perthremembered.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=120&action=edit
THE PERTH TEA ROOM AND CANDYLAND
Chris Moskos operated the Perth Tea Room from the early 1950’s to 1960. This popular meeting place boasted a soda fountain, large cases of homemade candy and a full sized restaurant. In 1960 Chris sold the Tea Room and moved his candy business, Candayland, two doors down. Candyland sold all of the same candies as the Tea Room as well as cigarettes and magazines, fishing tackle, guns and ammunition. Chris died in 1964 and Mrs. Moskos kept Candyland going with the help of her children until she retired in 1970.
SHAWS OF PERTH
The Honourable Roderick Matheson built both his private home (now the Perth Museum) and the store in 1840. Originally a saddle and harness shop the store later also served as the print office for The Perth Expositor (forerunner of The Perth Courier). When Henry D. Shaw of Smiths Falls, married a daughter of Matheson, in 1859, he opened a clothing store on the site and is one of the oldest Canadian businesses still operating out of its original store front. In the early years its merchandise came up the St Lawrence from Britain to Montreal then to Perth by barge via the Rideau and Tay Canals. It was run by the family until the early 1980’s.
THE PERTH EXPOSITOR
DODDS & ERWIN 1918
A BLAIR UNDERTAKER AND FURNITURE
The original business was stared in 1839 by David Hogg a local cabinet-maker. George Thompson a fine cabinet-maker joined Mr. Hogg as a partner and in the early 1900s Alex Blair from Westport worked in partnership with Mr. Thompson until his death in 1920. In 1948 Blair and Son put a new ambulance into service being the first one in town and up until the early 1970’s Blair & Son operated the Ambulance Service for the Town of Perth.
FERRIER SADDLERY & RETAIL STORE at 42 Gore Street. Established 183
The Code Block 1915
MERCANTILE BANK OF CANADA 1912
BANK OF MONTREAL
THE MERCHANTS BANK
THE BARRIE HOTEL
WEST WARD GROCERY
D. HOFFMAN & SON
May 28, 1928, David Hoffman and his wife, Rebecca, arrived in Perth to set up a dry goods store at 155 Gore Street. The business started under the name M K & Son was the forerunner to D Hoffman & Son and the start of the Hoffman family’s business in Perth. The building shown above eventually became the home of Benny K’s. In 1942 the business moved a half block north to the present location of the Perth Flea Market still under the guidance of the Hoffmans. Yardgoods, footwear, work clothes, ladies wear and small wears were among the main stock in the store handled in the 1940’s. Later Glidden Paints and floor coverings became the main focus.
RUBINO and SONS
THE DOMINION STORE 1922
The store at that time was on Foster Street just up from the Revere Hotel. In this picture are the store manager, Mr. Homer Fleming and the first clerk, Miss Evelyn MacLean (Mrs. Victor Young). Prices on some of the items are as follows; Shopping bags only 3 cents, Picnic Hams 19 cents, Sliced Bacon 32 cents per pound, Pure Lard 20 cents, Soap Chips 2 pounds for 29 cents, Tapioca or Sago 14 cents per pound, White Beans 3 pounds for 25 cents. The store was moved to a larger premises across Foster Street to the Meighen Block and then later out to Wilson Street beside the Brewers Retail Store.
DOMINION STORE STAFF 1938. Photo in front of the Dominion Store at the larger Foster Street location. Front row, left to right; Harold Woermke, grocery manager, Arthur (Boat) Perry, Ray Bennett and John McParlan. Back row, left to right; Joe Ryan, Howard Noonan, meat manager, Jack Noonan. The little fella in front is Jimmy Noonan. Perth Courier Photo.
PERTH & DISTRICT CO-OPERATIVE SERVICES
GAS STATIONS & CAR DEALERSHIPS
PERTH MOTOR SALES