Snow Road Businesses

McLaren's Depot Store

- About/History

What is now part of Snow Road Station was once called McLaren's Depot. The lumberman Peter Mclaren built a small log store, with a post office and a residence on what is now the east end of Snow road. He also built large warehouses, stables and a blacksmith shop. His blacksmith was James Cameron father of Walter Cameron, the famous blacksmith and woodcarver of Fallbrook. In 1887 the Canada lumber company bought all of the McLaren interests and Peter McLaren moved to his home in Perth, Nevis Cottage. He became a Senator in 1890. The Canada Lumber Company built a larger store next to the warehouses and a house next to the store for the use of their Superintendant and Paymaster. Some prices from their time were: eggs - .10 per dozen, high laced shoes – 1.50, coal oil - .25 a gallon, chewing tobacco - .10 per plug and green tea - .25 per pound. The post office that was in the original log building was closed in 1914 when it amalgamated with the Snow Road Station post office that was at Geddes' Store at the C.P.R station. It remained there until John Geddes retired and it moved back to McLaren's Depot Store in January 1949 and the post office kept the name of Snow Road Station and remains so today. In 1895 the Canada lumber company sold the McLaren's Depot complex to Bill and Jim Richard, brothers from Massachusetts who continued to run the store. They built a large stone house farther down the road that is still there today. They operated the store until they left for western Canada about 1900. The house was bought by David Gemmill in 1909 when he obtained the rest of this property. Eventually all the buildings disappeared except the larger store, the home beside it and one old storehouse that became a garage. The store was then operated by W.J. Clement until Jan. 1914. Between 1914 and 1917 it was operated by Nettie Richard and her brother Albert, and on Sept. 17, 1917 it was rented to Adam McGonegal. After him there were a few short-time residents, John Gordon, George Gemmill (who bought the store from the Richard estate in 1936). There were several long vacancies. In 1942 John A. Geddes bought the store from George Gemmill but kept it vacant as he was operating the store at the other end of the village at the railway station. On Oct. 1, 1948 John sold all the stock in his own store, plus the depot store, to Max and Dorothy Millar. They ran the store for 25 years and owned it when the post office came back there. They sold to Gerry and Phyllis Saylor of Pennsylvania April 1, 1973. While they had the store they opened a restaurant in the side addition of the store. They called it the "Doo-Drop Inn". They offered breakfast, lunch and dinners. The restaurant only ran for a short time and then they closed it. They gave up the store business in Mar. 1978. In 1986 the building was purchased by Dale and Mary Gemmill who converted it back to a store and offered most everything people would need, groceries, gas, dry goods, hardware, licences, fishing equipment, etc. After 10 years in business they had a party at their store to celebrate those years. There was music, dancing and refreshments outside in the yard. They ran the store until October 31, 2010 at which time they closed and the mail boxes were installed at the Snow Road Community Hall. In 2011 they held an auction sale and the store was torn down in March 2013.

The post office that was in the original log building was closed in 1914 when it amalgamated with the Snow Road station post office that was at Geddes store in Snow Road. It remained there until John Geddes retired then it moved back into McLarens Depot store (then owned by Max and Dorothy Miller) in Jan. 1949 and the post office kept the name of Snow Road station. When Gerry and Phyllis Saylor gave up the business in 1978 Phyllis continued as postmistress until she resigned in 1986 at which time the post office was closed, mail then started coming in by rural delivery from McDonald's Corners and was sorted into the green boxes outside the store. In Oct. 1987 an auxiliary post office was opened in Gemmill's store at which time the mail was again brought in via Sharbot Lake with the mail still being sorted into the green boxes outside.

Information from an interview with Mary Gemmill.

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Snow Road Store

- About/History

This store and attached residence was built around 1878 by Delbert Wood. It was located at the west end of the village at the station. He operated it until April 11, 1899 when he sold to William and John Lee. From 1899 until 1903 the store was operated by the Lee brothers in partnership with W. McDougall and McDougall returned it to Delbert Wood in 1903. Delbert attached several sections to it until it reached the size it is now. On June 17, 1909 he sold it to David Crawford who was the station agent next door at that time. David was storekeeper and agent until June 20, 1912 when he sold the store and residence to John A. Geddes. John was then the storekeeper for 36 years. He was the Postmaster from Jan. 16, 1914 until Jan. 12, 1949 and caretaker of the station from May 15, 1915 until it closed Mar. 1, 1963. He sold his stock to Max and Dorothy Millar Oct. 1, 1948 and continued to live in the residence. The store was a great place to meet and visit and in the evenings the seats and benches would be occupied. It was a busy spot during the 20's and 30's. Pulpwood was being shipped by farmers from as far away as Watsons Corners and hauled by horses to Snow Road Station. It was common to see as many as 50 or more teams coming in hauling all kinds of wood. It was piled all over the place and then loaded into box cars and sold to Canadian and foreign destinations. Maple syrup was another large export. Syrup could be seen piled as high as the ceiling in the freight shed and the balance on the platform outside. It was shipped in wooden boxes and there was more syrup shipped from Snow Road than anywhere else in the Dominion of Canada.

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Snow Road Logging Camp

- About/History

 

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