With the tearing down of the former Fred Gough house this week I thought I would take a look back at the business which he started at the corner of Herrett Road and McGee St.

     Fred Gough was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, the son of Frederick and Mary Gough.  He later moved to Halifax and at the age of 23 (in 1919) he married Dora Alice Sears, who was born in Cooksville, N.B., the daughter of William and Sarah Sears.

     Mr. Gough worked for a prominent oil company in Halifax but in 1922 he and Dora moved to Springhill and started a small business in the grocery trade which was located in his house which was just alongside, the building that is presently there.  In 1928 he installed his first gas tank.  Business was good and two years later, in 1930, with business steadily improving, he saw the value of the McGee-Herrett Road corner as an ideal location for an up to date Service Station as well as grocery store.  He immediately went to work and erected one of the most attractive Service Station that was in town at the time. It was an attractive style, painted red, white and blue; its large windows in the grocery section; its fluorescent lights; its modern gasoline tanks – and the excellent service that went with it, combined to give the public the service they so much needed at the western outlet or inlet of the town.

     After they built there new store they built a one and a half story home and painted it the same color as the store.  There was an attractive archway between the store and their home and both Mr. and Mrs. Gough spent their spare time working in the flower garden which they had at the back of the house.

     Business continued to expand and in 1940 a Soda Fountain was also added to the services.  Because of the hundreds of cars passing his location daily in 1941 he decided to add modern lunch room and ice cream parlor which attracted both local and transient trade.  With the addition of the lunch counter made this station one of foremost “One-Stop” stations in the Maritime Provinces and almost daily Mr. Gough was the recipient of compliments from tourist who had entered the province for the first time.

     Here are a few examples of what was on sale July 17, 1941 as Mr. and Mrs. Gough celebrated their 19th year in business. 

  1. Shredded Wheat – 2 pkgs - .25c,

  2. Puffed Wheat – pkg. - .10c;

  3. Easifirst Shortening – 2 pkgs .29c;

  4. Oxford Bakery Washington Pie – each .25c;

  5. Fox’s Bread – loaf .10c;

  6. Fox’s Rolls – doz .12c;

  7. Breakfast Bacon – lb. .38c;

  8. Davis and Fraser Sausages – lb 28c; and

  9. Bananas – 3 lbs 23c.

     When asked how to succeed in business Mr. Fred Gough replied:”The surest way to success is hard work and always being on the job”

     Mr. and Mrs. Gough (as they were known to call one another) continued to operate their business for 40 years finally retiring in 1962.

     Since that time the store and gas station have gone through different owner such as: Bud Emberly, Guy and June Brown, Nelson Rushton, Carl Hatton and is now owned by Mike Doucette.

     The store has had a lot of changes there is no more lunch counter or ice cream parlor but the friendly service has remained. 

     Dora Gough passed away on October 28, 1968.  Fred continued to live in the house until his death October 25, 1980.  The house was then left to Ralph Merritt who was the last resident of the Fred Gough house.  This week as stated before the house is being torn down by Mike Doucette who now owns the house and store.

     A picture taken of the store and staff in 1941, list the workers as, Avis Cox, Kathleen Sears, Dorothy Dean, Inez Bigelow, Maple Allen, Bonnie Brennan and Ralph Merritt.

Three of the service station attendants at that time were: Gordon Jewkes, Frank Gough and William Faulkner.

Springhill Record – Dec. 22, 1946 – Family in Narrow Escape

Mr. and Mrs. Carl Demings and little daughter had a miraculous escape from serious injury last night when their car collided head on with a truck.

     Mr. Demings is said to have been driving behind the Springhill bus and pulled out to pass it and failed to notice the truck approaching in the opposite direction.

     The front of his car was badly shoved in and little daughter thrown out of the car, landing on the slushy road.

     Mrs. Demings is suffering from shock and a few bruises.  Mr. Demings also suffered from shock.


The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

November 24, 2010

Nov. 24, 2010 – Fred Gough’s Store

(L-R): Fred Gough; Mary Gough; Avis Cox; Kay Sears; Dorothy Dean; Inez Bigelow; Maple Allen; Bonnie Brennan; Ralph Merritt.