Well, Santa has already come and gone (and he did find the cookies by the way… ), the new year is here and deep snows cover our lawns, weigh down the evergreens and fill our driveways! So, since shoveling is not in the cards today, it’s time to put a few more coals on the fire and keep reading the Sackville Tribune of 100 years passed which we had already started on our last stop at the White Fence.
As you probably remember since your last stop here, the Sackville Tribune of 18 December, 1902, (passed on to us by Ray Dixon who likes to keep up with the news of the day… ) featured the “Business Interests and Business Men” of Sackville in those busy times (women obviously played little role in the businesses of those days… so the men of that era must have rolled in their graves a few times since!). We managed to read the first page about prominent business men of the area and now it’s time to look at page 2: specific “businesses” of Sackville in 1902 as the town was well into completing the second year of the new century by that time. So grab a hot cup of tea or coffee and travel back in time with me; it’s a lovely journey!
Sackville Illustrated — Part II
Its Business Interests — Business Men Thursday, December 18, 1902
Mt. Allison Institutions
The Academy — Mount Allison Wesleyan Academy was organized in January, 1843 and is one of the oldest and best schools for boys in the Dominion. The courses of study comprise: 1st, general elementary education; 2nd, preparation for matriculation; 3rd, a full business course. James M. Palmer, M.A., has been principal since 1894 and associated with him are W.H. Davidson, commercial department; Elmer Colpitts, B.A., mathematics and English; C. Homer Lane, science and commercial department; S. A. Worrell, English and commercial department; Miss Lillian Sprague, stenography and type-writing; and Laurie M. Colpitts, instructor in gymnastics. The term just closing has been a very successful one. The second term opens on Thursday, the 8th of January.
The Ladies’ College — The Mount Allison Ladies’ College was open for the reception of students on Thursday, the 17th of August 1854 and since that time good progress has been made. Dr. B.C. Borden has been the efficient principal for seventeen years. Instruction is imparted on subjects ranging from the primary English branches through the whole University curriculum. The Conservatory of Music employs seven teachers all of whom have had the advantage of foreign study. Courses in piano, vocal culture, pipe organ, violin, musical history, harmony, etc., are provided. Geo. Wilson, graduate of Leipzig Conservatory, is professor of piano, organ and theory, while Raymond Clare Archibald, M.A., Ph.D., is professor of violin and harmony. The Owen’s Art Institution, lately transferred from St. John, furnishes the opportunity for an art education unexcelled in Canada. Prof. John Hammond, one of the leading artists of America, is director of this department. An excellent elocution course has lately been added. It includes, besides oratory proper, three years of English and a year each of physiology and psychology. Miss Hortense Phillips, who receives her diploma next June will be the first graduate. This term has been singularly free from sickness and ranks among the most successful in th history of the institution. The second term opens on January 8th, 1903.
The University — This institution received its charter in 1858 and the first college class was graduated in 1863. The office of president has been filled as follows: 1862–1869, Rev. Humphrey Pickard, A.M., D. D.; 1869–78, David Allison, A.M., LL.D.; 1878–91, James R. Inch, A.M., LL.D.; 1891, David Allison, A.M., LL.D. The regular courses of study are: The Arts course, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts; and the Divinity course, leading to the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. Honor courses are provided in classics, mathematics, science, philosophy and in English Language and Literature. The faculty is a strong one and the opportunities for obtaining a liberal education are not excelled in the Maritime Provinces. The second term opens on the same date as the Academy and Ladies’ College.
E.H. Fowler — Merchant Taylor
With a successful experience of twenty-one years, with a competent staff of employees, it is no wonder that Mr. Fowler is meeting a large measure of prosperity. Beginning here in October 1899, his business has steadily increased until it has assumed large proportions. He carries a complete line of goods usually found in a first class tailoring establishment and guaranties both fit and workmanship.
H.R. Fawcett — General Merchant
Mr. Fawcett established his business in 1879, handling groceries, crockery, china, hardware, staple dry goods, drugs, patent medicines, flour, etc. He has always taken a great interest in the prosperity of the place, was several years warden in St. Paul’s church, is trustee and secretary for No. 9 school district, discharging his duties most efficiently.
C.A. Cole — Auctioneer
One of the best known men about town is Chas. A. Cole, for twenty-four years an auctioneer of exceptional talent and success. He is a son of the late Wm. Cole, a much respected farmer of Sackville. C.W. Cole in California and M.G. Cole, Sydney, are brothers and Mrs. C.C. Cook, Parrsboro, is a sister. Mr. Cole has been a speculator all his life in horses, cattle, etc. and is always ready to do business. His auctioneering area covers Sackville, Botsford, Westmorland and Dorchester where by his good nature, wit and fluency he is a most popular wielder of the hammer.
A.W. Dixon, Proprietor — This house was built about 15 years ago by the late T.A. Kinnear. It was run for about two years by Clifford Chappell then purchased by Mr. Dixon who has since been manager. In consequence of increasing patronage, Mr. Dixon has been obliged to make extensive improvements on several occasions. Five years ago, the building was raised to three stories thus giving space to 14 additional rooms. Last fall, a balcony was built across the front and side, and seven more rooms were made ready for guests.The hotel, which is very conveniently situated at the junction of the intercolonial and N.B. & P.E.I. railways, is fitted up with all the modern improvements. Mr. Dixon expects to again enlarge his house next spring as the present building is still inadequate to meet the demands of his growing business.
A.E. Wry & Co. — Harness Makers
The firm began business February 1898. Mr. Wry learned his trade with J.R. Ayer being in his employ 20 years, fifteen of which was manager of the harness dept. Mr. Walter Bowser is the silent partner of the business. The grocery dept. was added two years ago and last year a 110 x 30 ft warehouse was built for carriages, machinery and feed. Beginning with nine employees, they now have 14 and have added a new no. (illegible) automatic Pearson harness maker that will do the work of fully 8 more men. The business is extending over the Maritime Provinces and has customers who have been patrons from the start. This Company are jobbers for Saskatchewan robes and horse blankets. During the past year, they have handled 600 horse blankets and 100 robes besides mitts and other Saskatchewan goods.
S & E. Duncan — Milliners
The Misses Duncan who formally did business in Saint John have been in Sackville four years occupying their present stand two years. Besides being satisfactory milliners they keep a varied assortment of fancy articles and have also gone into dry goods, making a specialty of children’s and ladies’ wear, skirts, shirtwaists etc. Their business, though small at first, has assumed goodly proportions, these ladies having always proved themselves, enterprising, obliging and agreeable business women.
R.S. Pridham — Photographer
Mr. Pridham has had a long and successful experience both at home and abroad. For years he was the leading photographer in Amherst with a branch here. In 1895 he built a new studio and settled in Sackville where his large and growing business made it necessary for him to enlarge his studio last year making it the most complete and best equipped in the Maritime provinces. Mr. Pridham is essentially an artist and produces very fine results. The “Professional Photograpers’ Journal” which is ever chary of praise says: “No photographer is deserving of a higher reputation than Mr. R.S. Pridham, whose skill, taste and judgment place him in the front rank of artists.”
Geo. E. Ford — General Merchant
Imagine a small dark room containing a rough counter and a few rude shelves, upon which are placed a quantity of soap, a box of T. D. pipes, several pounds each of tobacco, saleratus, ginger, pepper, etc. and a few pieces of factory cotton and calico. Add to these a barrel of molasses and a box of candles and you will have some conception of the bulk of the stock-in-trade of the late Andrew Ford, Esq., father of Geo. E. Ford, when in 1861 he opened up business on Bridge Street. Having in mind this picture of a place of business forty-one years ago, it is interesting to visit Mr. Geo. Ford’s present large and convenient store. Here we find a three story building 75×90 feet, equipped with all modern appliances and divided into three big departments. Electric lamps have replaced the tallow dips, while the shelves replete with an almost endless variety of the newest and most up-to-date goods, bear unmistakable testimony to the fact that a great advance has taken place. From the time when Mr. Ford made syrup, hair oil and pomade in the olds store until to-day when he controls and directs the largest retail business in Sackville, there has been great progress indeed.
A few years after his father’s death occurred in 1871, Mr. Ford moved from an old stand to the building, previously occupied by Lindsay & Vickery and now used as the Sackville post office and custom house. He continued at that place until the completion of his new store in the fall of 1894. Since then two large wings have been built, thus giving space for boots and shoes, gents’ furnishings and custom tailoring. He has also added two warehouses in one of which has been constructed the largest refrigerator in the county. This affords ample facilities for handling fresh fish in which Mr. Ford deals largely.
In 1894 there were twelve employees while the present staff numbers twenty-five. Mr. Ford carries by far the largest stock of any business house in town, his principal lines being fancy and staple dry goods, millinery, cloaks, furs, ready-to-wear clothing, hats, caps, gents’ furnishings, boots, shoes and rubbers, carpets, room paper, oil-cloths, furniture, beddings, groceries, glass and crockeryware, flour, feed, fish, fruit and vegetables.
The Standard Manufacturing Company, Ltd. — tanners and manufacturers
The Standard Manufacturing Company Limited, successor to the Jas. R. Ayer Company Limited, are the largest employers of labor in Sackville having over one hundred men on the payroll. They operate a tannery, harness factory, larrigan factory, shoe factory, also general store.
The harness factory is the largest in the Maritime Provinces, and the larrigan factory is one of the largest in the Dominion. The “Standard” lines are well-known throughout the Provinces as thoroughly reliable goods at fine prices. The tannery turns out all the larrigan and shoe leather used by the firm and part of the harness leather, also an excellent line of belt lacing leather. The boots and shoes made are all heavy, hand-made goods, including men’s long boots of all kinds; men’s, boys and youths’ heavy bellows tongue boots, (as well as some lighter lines); and women’s and misses grain and pebble boots. The larrigan factory turns out a full line of oiled tanned footwear, and is the oldest concern of its kind in Canada. The harness business gives employment to about forty hands and is increasing so rapidly that the firm have difficulty in keeping pace in the matters of space and help. The factory is well-equipped with all the latest labor-saving machinery, including two Bosworth stitching machines. The Company’s store is a large building 45×100 feet, three stories. A full line of general merchandise is carried. The general offices of concern are situated in this building. The officers of the Company are: H.A. Powell, K.C., President; F. McDougall, Treasurer; Lt-Col. John M. Baird, Secretary. The Company have five travellers, three taking the Maritime Provinces and Quebec; and two, Ontario and the west. The firm has a most complete and efficient fire protection service of its own, including hose, hose reels, ladders, fire axes and buckets; and a well trained fire brigade drawn from the ranks of its employees.
During 1901–02 the plant was enlarged and improved at the cost of some $7,000. A new brick and wood, metal roofed power house was erected, a Robb boiler and Robb-Armstrong automatic engine installed, and a new leach house was built and equipped with a modern plant. A new larrigan factory was also erected, as the old one had become inadequate for the large business carried on. This factory contains a full equipment of machinery, consisting of sewing machines, eyeletting machine, riveting machine, punching machine, etc. Additions and improvements were also made to the tannery. As a result of these improvements the Company now has a most up-to-date plant, and are in better position than ever to carry on their increasing business.