The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

April 18th, 2012

More Stores on Main St. in 1930

Here are some more stores on Main Street in Springhill in 1930.

Groceteria-Meat Market Expands

     In 1872 while Main Street was a narrow country road known as the Clairmont Road, Mr. Daniel McLeod built what is said to have been the first store, the year before the opening of the mines.  It was built on a corner of the Anderson property, projecting beyond the roadway on the north side.  Lumber obtained from clearing the railway was utilized and marked the site of Hopkins & Herrett’s Market (Mr. McLeod built a better store in the following year on the Wilson corner.)

     The modern store on the original site was built for the Canadian Bank of Commerce, and after their removal, was occupied for a considerable length of time by George Hopkins Sr.  Arthur Hopkins took over the Hopkins business from his father seven years ago and continued with one clerk.  The business has grown incredibly.  A partnership was formed with Leo Herrett in 1925.  The key-note of the business is Prompt Service, and a guarantee that orders will delivered without fail, “in time for dinner,” insuring that important point in the day’s work.  An extensive Frigidaire system has been installed and only Government Inspected meats are sold.  Steak and T-Bones are especially sought after.  A full line of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit and fancy groceries is constantly on sale.


     During the building years a number of unsuccessful attempts were made to establish a Y.M.C.A.  In 1905, a subscription list was opened by a number of prominent citizens with the assistance of Rev. David Wright.  A large sum of money was raised, due largely to the sincere and unfaltering work of the women of the town hoping that a permanent Y might be established.  An ideal site was secured and a splendid building was built and lavishly equipped.  Yet it failed to hold and fell gradually into disrepair.  By an agreement of the Trustees it was sold to Mr. Saffron, the purchase money being diverted to the Soldiers’ Memorial Fund.  Mr. Saffron finding it unsuitable in turn sold it to the Orangemen, who have thoroughly renovated it and fitted it up with offices with a dwelling apartment over a basement store facing Main Street, and a recreation room on the Junction Road side.

New Machinery Aids Bakery

     With “Quality” as their slogan, the new bake shop established by Cameron & Parke in the McDonald block on July 1st, 1929, continues to show remarkable growth.  Operated by F.G. Cameron and P.H. Parke, who came here from New Glasgow, this bakery has filled a long felt need in this growing town.  Right from the opening day it has been the popular rendezvous for those who wanted that extra delicacy fresh from the oven for the dinner or supper table.  Its breads, cakes and pastry find a ready market every day, which is evidence in itself that high quality is being maintained.  The growth of the bread business early this year made the installation of a Triumph bread and cake mixer a necessity.  Another machine which upholds and extends the reputation of this firm is a sanitary doughnut maker.  This machine turns out doughnuts, famed for their quality and sold in nearly every store in the town, at the rate of 55 dozen an hour.  More than pleased with their success the proprietors are already planning an extension of business in the near future which will be appreciated by their patrons.


     F.E. Davis, the energetic and very well liked manager of the now “Selrite Stores” is much better to be known to the residents of Springhill as the owner of “Davis Five and Ten”.  He bought the business from James Appleton in 1913 when it was located in the business now occupied by M. Saffron.  The business developed from a small stock of stationary and notions, to a full line of popular variety goods.  It was carried on as the Davis’ Variety Store until July 18th, 1930, when it was taken over by the Selrite Stores of Toronto.

     The headquarters of this chain store is located in Toronto and is operated by Canadian people and Canadian money.  While the Selrite Stores have a chain of forty stores, Springhill is the finest and only Selrite Store in the Maritimes.  Other Selrite Stores will be opened in the Maritimes in 1931.

     Mr. Davis owns the building in which he is doing business, with the Royal Bank of Canada as tenant.

Wm. Cliffe

     On the upper end of Main Street across from the new Orange Hall, will be found the business of Wm. Cliffe, who has operated a shoe repair business in the town of Springhill for 28 years.  A bluff, outspoken man, Mr. Cliffe has a host of friends in the town and district and is one of the best known men.  He came here in 1902, worked in the mines for a few months, then set up a shoe repair business in the basement of the building which is now owned by H.S. Terris.  The start of the business was humble, but in 1913 machines were installed and in the year 1915 he moved to his present location, where his business increased with rapidity.  During his entire life in Springhill Mr. Cliffe has been deeply interested in fraternal societies.  He is an honored member of the S.O.E.B.S. and the Orange Lodge; in both societies he has held important offices.  He is also the founder of the R.A.O.B. Order which was started in Springhill a short time ago.