Creemore in the 1940s: Part 7
Moving south down Mill Street was a garage operated by a Leonard Hill, who had a Pontiac franchise and sold a lot of 1939 Pontiacs. The building was rather dilapidated, having been built originally by Jack Laurence when he sold model T Fords. It was replaced by Nelson Corby in the 1950s but is now vacant. South of that was an empty lot. The Bank of Montreal was in the north half of the next building but closed in the 1940s and it was empty for some years. The south half was the Post Office for many years before moving to 176 Mill Street. The entire building is now occupied by Victorian Values. To the south, at 122 Mill St. the present Curiosity House Books, has been used for, many things, Creemore House of Stitches, an egg grading station, a doughnut shop, a private dwelling, and probably more. There still is a vacant lot between it and the corner. Across Edward Street, the present Mitchell Apartments originally was a wagon and buggy manufacturing business but by the early 1940s was an automobile repair garage and later a machine shop operated by Charles Joyce. The small building at the end of the street was a blacksmith shop built and operated by Raymond Parry, but closed in the late 1940s. Having covered the retail businesses in Creemore we should now look at the manufacturing businesses. The first that comes to mind was Peter Thomson & Sons Planing Mill. It was located on the south side of Francis Street, were the mini-mall is today. They produced pine sash, windows, and doors, mainly for use in local homes and Base Borden during the 1940s. They also made baseball bats. They were Creemore’s largest employer at that time, with at least 12 employees, and was managed by Greg Thomson. This mill burned in 1957 and was replaced with a concrete block building, which was used by several owners, but was demolished to make way for Foodland. Jim Jackson also had a sawmill on Francis street west of Collingwood Street. It was driven by a steam traction engine, but there are private dwellings there today. The other large enterprise, was H.P. Shepherds and Son, a grain elevator and feed mill managed by George Shepherd. It was a thriving business also selling coal and farm machinery. It was later sold to W.A. Gordon & Sons and unfortunately, it was all burned in October 1970, except the office, and was never rebuilt as an elevator. Another elevator and mill in Creemore was originally built by the Montgomery family to process alfalfa, for horse feed. It was located south-east of the station, and is all gone today. At the south end of Mill Street, in what is now the little park, there was a building, no longer there called the Evaporator. In the fall a man from Collingwood, bought apples from local farmers. He hired women to run peeling and coring machines, somehow drying the apples and shipping them as far away as England.
Gerry Blackburn is the author of Creemore, as Remembered by Gerry Blackburn, available at The Creemore Echo Newsstand.