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This downtown business was 'saddled' in history for generations

In 1860, Christopher Moore was one of Orillia's earliest harness makers and his Mississaga Street enterprise operated, in one form or another, until 1970s

#274   R.Hoy

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.

One of the earliest harness makers in Orillia was Christopher Moore. In 1860 he owned a saddle shop and later owned a butcher shop managed for a few years by J. J. Hatley. 

Working in the saddle shop for a few years were Robert Hoy and R. Dissette, who took over the business in 1871 and operated it as Dissette and Hoy until 1886 when Dissette sold to his partner.

Robert Hoy continued to expand the business located at 98 Mississaga St. E., manufacturing every variety of harnesses, saddles, collars, bridles and whips. Hoy died in 1898 and his widow carried on business for the next six years under the capable management of Mosses Boyd.

Mosses had worked in the saddle business since coming to Orillia from Port Hope in 1873 and purchased the business from Mrs. Hoy in 1904.

Mosses, along with his two sons, John Russell and Norm, manufactured saddles, harnesses and collars for both the wholesale and retail trade.

By 1920 they were the leading leather goods house north of Toronto, specializing in lumbering harnesses and collars, trunks, club bags, suitcases, buggy whips, robes, horse clothing, ladies handbags and purses. 

They also sold automobile tires and wool and plush rugs. 

Many Orillians will remember the large wooden horse that stood in their window since 1869 and was used to display harnesses and leather goods. The wooden horse, covered in burlap and painted a dapple grey, was 14 hands high and weighed 700 pounds.

Boyd’s Luggage and Leather Goods continued to operate for two more generations under the management of Russell and then his son, William Boyd, until closing in the early 1970s.