The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

March 21st, 2012

Businesses in 1930

Here are some more business men in Springhill;

S.G. Russell

S.G. Russell has been identified with Springhill business for many years.  After 27 years with John Wilson, he established a business of his own in the Mason’s Block opening up a line of books, stationary and fancy goods, very attractive and unusual.  Six years ago, he moved across the street to the Simon Fraser shop.  Mr. Fraser carried on a book and stationary business in this shop for many years, dating back to the early ‘eighties.  It is rather a strange thing, that passing through so many changes; this one building should be continuously associated with the sale of books.  Mr. Russell has, in addition to the books on sale, a lending library.  While not making any particular changes, he has largely increased his stock of books, stationary, choice fancy goods, and confectionary.  He carries also the agency for Fraser’s flowers, with potted plants in season.

A. Swetsky

Mr. Swetsky is far from his native home in Hancrwicze, Poland.  He has been in Canada 18 years, 10 of which have been in Springhill.  His sister, Miss Freda, is his assistant.  Both are anxious to please and the business is in good condition.  A recent change has been made with the removal of a partition in the building and the opening of a new street door.  This gives an unbroken floor space and better opportunity for the display of goods, men’s clothing and furnishings, boots and shoes.

Edison Electric Grows With Town

Perhaps no business in our town has shown the marked improvement of The Edison Electric Light and Power Company Ltd.  While this utility has now passed into control of outside interest, nevertheless the story of its growth from an almost hopeless position in 1905 to its commanding position in 1930 will be of interest to Record Readers.

     It was in 1905 that the shareholders W.E. Fraser, John Murray, J.E. Simpson, Wm. Hall, Canon Wilson, A.H. McLeod, R.H. Cooper, Norman Henderson and W. J. Pippy gave up all hope that there was any future for the Company – at least the majority of them did, and the Company was reorganized.  The new shareholders were W.J. Pippy, president, W. Murray, Secretary, Mrs. J.E. McDonald, J.E. Simpson and Robert Murray.  Messrs. Pippy and Simpson were the only two of the old company whose confidence had not diminished in the project.

     At that time the history of the Company shows that there were 77 connections in the whole town.  Many of the stores then had electric light in the front windows and used lamps in the rear of the store.  The total power capacity then was 40 kilowatts.  Today the Company boasts of 1400 connections and the power capacity is 400 kilowatts, plenty to take care of the future growth of the town for some time.

     When the new company was formed the system was changed from direct current to alternating current, but although there was a gradual improvement in business it was ten years before the Company began to show anything like a profit.  Nevertheless conditions improved so that in 1930 when the Avon River Power Company stepped into the picture the position of the Company was secure.  While another outside concern was looking over the situation the Avon River concern stepped into the picture and within a few days had placed their cheque with the local shareholders and closed the deal.  Shortly after the same concern purchased the plant at Oxford - and today both towns get their power from the Maccan plant.  New lines were run to Oxford and Collingwood, from Springhill, and today the power lines run two miles past Collingwood, bringing much happiness to a district that would otherwise have never been able to enjoy this great utility.  Another line is now being run out the Athol Road from Miller Corner.

     On August 1st, 1930, the local business was taken over by the Nova Scotia Light & Power Co., of Halifax, from the Avon River Power Co. and under the new owners further improvements in the service are expected.  Under the new management Messrs. Pippy and Murray have been retained to look after the interest of the Edison Electric and keep the company in its usual state of efficiency.

Simpson’s Drug Store Popular

     Dr. Simpson’s Drugstore under the management of W.K. O’Rourke, continues as usual with its displays of dainty toiletries and nice goods.  After going up and down Main Street, might the writer be pardoned a personal reference, for I am reminded of a great truth learned in connection with this very store.  As a little school girl my sight was arrested on afternoon by something new – two lines of lettering on the windows:  “Colin McLeod, Merchant.”  Now Mr. McLeod was my best friend.  He used to weigh me when I did not weigh very much; I ran all the way home to tell my mother the good news, for I thought a merchant was a millionaire.  I have long since learned that these terms are in no way synonymous, and I believe any merchant on the street will agree with me.