Monday, December 6, 2010

Shopping Then and Now. part 2

These old postcards of Fort William belong to Alpo Koivuranta; he lent them to me, and I scanned them. The top one reads: Opening of Navigation, Fort William, Ont., Canada and the bottom one reads: Victoria Avenue, Fort William, Ont., Canada.

Before I begin my talk on shopping then and now, I’d first like to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed researching my topic because I heard so many interesting stories and learned so much about what shopping used to be like in Thunder Bay, when our city was Port Arthur and Fort William.

Looking through the old Henderson’s Directories at the Brodie Street Public Library was very helpful. The Henderson’s Directories preceded city telephone books and listed businesses, residents, and occupations not just people with telephones. From these directories, I found names and businesses; it was like stepping back in time and meeting people and places when Port Arthur and Fort William were vibrant communities of citizens and abundant local businesses.

When I mentioned to someone that I was writing about shopping, about how it is today and how it has changed so much from the past, everyone had something to say, some memories to share. It seems that shopping is a fascinating topic. Some of the people who I’d like to thank for sharing their memories with me are: Kay Swan*, Prue Morton*, Carol Knox, Ruth Mielonen, Maria Serino/Furtado, Elizabeth Kouhi, Mary Sliskovich and Steve from Steve's on Bay Street. [note: His shop is not there any more and I don't know where he is, nor his last name]. Steve was the only man I spoke with about shopping in the past, and his memories were microscopic. He could tell me who owned what shop, when, what its address was, and who they sold it to, going back to the 1930s. I also would like to mention how kind the librarians at Waverly and Brodie Public Libraries were, and how helpful it was to look through the old Henderson’s Directories that the Brodie Library holds in its archives.

*both of these women, Prue Morton and Kay Swan, have since passed away.


Black Pete said...

You ought to talk to Burt Brown. He's over 100 and lucid--terrific memory.

northshorewoman said...

Oh, my. I'll betcha we've got these gems of memory banks all over town!