YESTERDAY AND NOW: A gripping story lurks behind an indescribable facade
The unassuming storefront at the northwest corner of Mary and Dunlop streets might have been hard to miss in the old days, but it’s steeped in history
This ongoing series from Barrie Historical Archives Curator Deb Exel shows old photos from the collection and one from today, along with the story behind them.
T West End store – 68 Dunlop Street West
Have you ever wondered what is hiding (or hiding!) Behind the indescribable facade of some of the buildings as we pass downtown? Or what is their story?
This unassuming store on the northwest corner of Mary and Dunlop streets might have been hard to miss in the old days. Built circa 1873 by Charles Henry Clark and nicely lined with decorative bricks and a veranda, the owners of the West End T. Store once had high hopes of expanding the building on the west side, although the expansion never came to fruition. occurred.
The West End T. Store was probably similar to the Canton T.. In addition to selling tea, they may also have offered wine, liquors, crockery, and other provisions.
Over the years, 68 Elizabeth Street (now Dunlop Street West) has become part of a small, bustling downtown area.
In the 1930s, the former tea shop was now the grocery store of HE McCullough, a friendly and well-stocked store that sold local and regional products such as meats from the First cooperative packers and items from Utopia flour mills, and offering home delivery.
Nearby shops included Ernest A. Williams, jeweler to 66 Elisabeth, John Rol, florist cat corner at 67 Elizabeth, George Montgomery Auto Parts next to it and William D. Minnikin, funeral director straight across the street at 69 Elisabeth.
When Mr. and Mrs. McCullough returned from their honeymoon in 1921, they briefly lived in 83 Mary Street., before walking down the street and getting closer to work.
Elsie’s brother, Harry Elwood McCullough’s wife Alfred Rayner Jr., also worked in the store, and it seems they were all “neighbors” as well.
Alf Rayner was listed at 49 Mary St., and Harry McCullough at 49½ Mary St. Home at 49 Mary was probably built around 1872 for Humphrey Bennett, father of one of Barrie’s mayors, John Henry Bennett, who had built a beautiful house on Bayfield Street for him and his wife Fanny Meeking, daughter of hotel owner Edwin Meeking.
The home at 49 Mary Street, which we now know as The North Restaurant, is where Harry’s son Rayner McCullough grew up. You can listen to the Barrie Archives video interviews with Rayner as he describes his childhood in the Mary Street neighborhood and Barrie in the 1950s.
Looking at the 1870s photo of Charles Clark’s T West End store you’ll see a white plaster house behind it – it was the Clark house in 50 Mary Street. It was then made much more elegant with the addition of bricks and is still a beautiful building today.
The Clark family owned the property for many years and by the early 1900s Dr. Henry Wallwin was living in the Clark House.
Another doctor would follow.
Dr Norman Wilfred Rogers attended the West Borough School, followed by Barrie College Institute before going to the University of Toronto for her medical degree. Dr. Rogers’ first practice was in northern Ontario: first in Cobalt, then in Cochrane, Haileybury and finally with Grand Trunk Pacific Construction, 60 miles west of Hearst.
In 1912, Dr Rogers took over the Stroud cabinet of Dr Leonard Jennet Simpson, who was Minister of Education from 1934 to 1940, before being appointed to the Royal Flying Corps’ medical officer at Camp Borden and also of Camp Borden. Kapuskasing internment, later serving overseas.
Returning to Canada in 1919, Rogers resumed his practice at Stroud until he took over the practice – and ownership – of Dr. Henry Wallwin, located at 50 Mary Street., in 1926.
Dr. Rogers was back. A regular in the neighborhood, Norman Rogers was himself born on Mary Street in 1885 to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Rogers.
And in 1930, Dr. Rogers gave birth to a baby for his neighbors, the McCulloughs, across the street at 49 Mary Street. It was none other than our video star Rayner McCullough.
And it’s a bit of the story of 68 Dunlop St. W. and two of the stately homes on charming, shady Mary Street.