The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

April 25th, 2012

More Stores of 1930

This is the last of the businesses that were on Main Street in 1930.

Murray Boys Succeed Father

     In 1871, there were but five houses in Springhill, four of them being on Main Street.  The Townsend farmhouse standing at the upper corner of Victoria and Main Streets with about four acres of land was purchased and occupied by John Murray, Sr. on coming to Springhill, until the Murray home was built on the opposite side of the street.  This home was later removed to its present location on Fir Street, and the Canadian Bank of Commerce erected on its site.  The farmhouse, when vacated, was moved back and a store built in its place, the original stand of the D. Murray & Co. business.

     In the Main Street fire of 1896, in which 36 buildings were destroyed, both store and farmhouse were effaced.  They rebuilt with a larger and better store and the business continues as a first class general store with a reputation for superior goods and excellent service.

     In February, 1929, Col. Murray retired from active participation in the business which is now being carried on by his sons Charles and John Murray.

Reid’s Good Things to Eat

     The old builders did their work truly and well.  The building owned and occupied by Mrs. Reid has been standing since the beginning of the town, having been built originally for William McLean, merchant, who carried on an early business here.  Fire, changes in ownership, neglect and age have all failed to demolish its stout timbers.  Mrs. Reid has recently carried out extensive repairs so now it is in excellent condition.   The business, home cooking and fancy groceries, although not large, is nicely carried on. 

Soley Introduces Groceteria

     Soley’s Grocery, claimed today as Springhill’s leading pure food store, is on the location of one of the pioneer stores of the town, and from this stand the people of Springhill have been continuously buying groceries for over half a century.  Way back about 1879 Henry Boss, who is still doing business in town, started this business as a general store and for years conducted it as such, selling out in 1914 to the present owner J.D. Soley.  Mr. Soley, who is also one of the pioneer residents and business men of the town, came to Springhill in the fall of 1886 and entered in the employ of Daniel Rogers, who at the time was conducting a general store in a small way.  About a year later Mr. Soley entered into a partnership with Mr. Rogers known as Rogers & Soley and for many years ran a general store in the building now occupied by P.B. Evans & Son, the building being on the opposite corner of the street where the late Rogers store stood.  The business continually grew until the fine large store of Rogers, recently destroyed by fire, was built. 

    A few years after completing the new store, in about 1908, Mr. Soley on account of poor health retired from business for several years, later in 1914 taking over the store at present occupied.  On 1917 Harold Soley joined with his father in the business and together they conducted a general store until the year 1926 when foreseeing the changing trend of modern business they decided to change from a general business to a store specializing in pure food products only.  After holding a clearance sale of all merchandise, the store was completely re-modeled and a complete new line of fixtures and stock added and a new era of grocery merchandising was introduced in Springhill.  The variety and quality of the stock and the modern equipment placed this store on a par with the best city food stores.  From this point on the store showed a steady growth and improvement until today it is recognized as one of the leading stores not only in Springhill but in the Maritime Provinces.  This store enjoys the unique distinction of having supplied the people of Springhill with groceries for over 50 years and in all that time only changing ownership once.  Many of the customers trading here today are persons whose parents or grandparents bought their food supplies on this old stand, back in the gay nineties and earlier.  Although one of the oldest stores in town continuous improvements have kept it abreast of the times and today it is recognized as well up to the front with the stores of the town.

Sept. 15, 1932 – Springhill Record –Carr Pays Fine

     Tom Carr, pilot of the plane in which Marjory Horton lost her life recently at Wallace, was arrested at St. Thomas, Ontario and brought back to Amherst by Officer McLeod of the R.C.M.P., where he stood trial on Monday last for operating a plane without a commercial plane license.  Carr was fined $25 and cost amounting to some $180.00.  Following the accident Carr was taken to All Saints Hospital and when he recovered from the accident he disappeared.  His arrest at St. Thomas followed.