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Orillia Hardware nailed down main street location for decades

Despite changes in ownership and a devastating fire in 1941, the hardware store was a fixture in downtown Orillia from 1867 until 1960s
The Orillia Hardware store opened in 1867 and later moved to this location at 21-23 Mississaga St. W. In this photo, circa 1953, you can see a grocery store next store. Today, this building is home to Creative Nomad Studios.

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

The Orillia Hardware was opened in 1867, the year of confederation. It was located on the southeast corner of West and Mississaga Streets.

Started by two sons of George Tudhope of Rugby, James and W.R. Tudhope later sold the store to White and Gilpin. Gilpin withdrew and Mr. George H. White continued to operate the store as White’s Hardware for the next 28 years.

The Orillia Hardware Company was formed in 1906 when Mr. S. Mullett and Mr. W. Anthony purchased White’s Hardware plus the inventory of The West End Hardware and combined the assets into one outlet.

Ten years later they moved to this location at 21-23 Mississaga St. W. The Orillia Hardware had a devastating fire in 1941 but rebuilt and continued to operate until 1960 when Walker Stores took over the building.

Next to the hardware store in this 1953 photo is the Fred Montgomery Grocery Store at 19 Mississaga St. W. This store was opened in the mid 1930s by Harold J. Montgomery and in the late 1940s taken over by Fred Montgomery, who also resided there.

Fred, as a young man in 1923, had gained his experience in the grocery business as a driver for T. B. Cramp. For many years they operated under the Red and White Grocery Store brand until closing in 1957.


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