Tay Township - A Community of Communities

The Victoria Harbour Mercantile Co Store





The Victoria Mercantile Co. Store

In 1902, the Victoria Harbour Lumber Co. built several new buildings in Victoria Harbour, including the company offices, a hotel and the company store.  It was a common practice for lumber companies at the time to own and operate a general store in the village. 


The company store sold everything from flour to shoes to lanterns, and was the main place to purchase goods in the village.  Credit was given to mill workers during the off season until they were employed again, and, as in most mill towns, the workers bought most of their food and supplies from the company store.  In 1903, the store was sold to the Victoria Mercantile Company, which operated it until the closure of the mills in 1927.  The store was managed by R.J. Neilly, and employed both male and female clerks.  Jennie Neilly is seated to the left of the staff photo above.      When the store was sold in 1927, John Petroff bought it and turned it into an automobile repair shop, which he ran for seven years.  The above photo (bottom right) shows Petroff’s shop with gasoline pumps out front.  After Petroff, Mr. R. Evans ran the store.  He sold it to Bruce Eplett in 1940, who used it as a hardware store as well as a garage.  He kept the gas pumps until the late 1940s, at which point the building was modernized.  In 1979, Sharon and Clint Todd purchased the store.  After extensive restoration, the original building still stands, returned to its initial yellow and white colour, at the corner of Richard and Ellen Streets.

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