May 3rd 1933

May 3rd, 1933

Berwick Thirty-Six Years Ago:

An Interesting Description Of The Business Houses and General Lay-Out Of Berwick In Ye Good Old Days Before The Advent Of The Automobile, The Movie And The Radio.

Editor The Register: -

It has occurred to me that it might be of interest to many of the older residents of Berwick if I were to recall something of conditions and the general lay-out of this town - or village as it then was - when I first commenced business here thirty-six years ago.

There were no automobiles in those days, but it was a common sight to see fifteen or twenty teams hitched in front of the business houses which were mostly located at the northern end of the town, in the vicinity of Main Street.

Just east of the United Church was M. B. Anthony's general store; west of the church was Eaton's axe factory, Rupert Caldwell's store, Wm. Church's boot and shoe store and Joe Andrew's general store and millinery parlor. Dr. Charles Ells practiced dentistry where Owen Cotter now lives; Wint Ells ran a blacksmith shop just north of the corner of Commercial and Main Streets.

Illsley and Patterson (later J. M. Patterson) were established near the south-west corner of Commercial and Main Streets. South of this location was the store of Andrew Chipman, Dr. Eaton's dental rooms and L. A. Forrest's store. On the east side of the street was the old Aberdeen Hall. In this building was J.M. Moffat's tailor shop and Raymond Corbin's barber shop.

Mrs. Vaughn conducted a hotel where the Baptist parsonage now stands, and next to it was J. B. Chute's flour and feed store. The I.O.O. F. Block was occupied by Edward Foster, postmaster; Dr. Reid; Miss Vaughn, millinery parlor; H. A. Cornwall, gents' furnishings; Mrs. (Dr.) Middlemas, drug store and Dr. Croaker, dentist.

In what is now known as the old Hotel Block (or Freeman Block) was located the Commercial Bank of Windsor, the Valley Telephone Exchange, P. R. Saunders' jewelry store and Beeler's music store.

Mrs. Dora Barteaux conducted a fruit and confectionery business where F. A. Savage's ice cream parlor now is. S. W. Bligh sold farming implements in the recently removed Victoria Hall building. T. H. Morse did a general business where Dakin's garage now stands. W. V. Brown did silver-plating and Will Ray repaired watches in the building now occupied by Owen Little.

Fred Carlyle managed the Thorndyke Hotel on the corner of South and Commercial Streets and S. H. Nichols conducted a boot and shoe store where the Keddy store now stands. J. S. Nichols carried on a general business and millinery parlor in the building now occupied by the Berwick Garage.

West on Mill Street was Clark & Pineo's hardware store; next the old Register office; Peter Middlemas, wheelwright and repair shop, and the old Berwick Steam Mill.

South of the railroad was Hutchinson's woodworking factory and the Berwick Foundry. At this time Roy Pelton was operating the only steam laundry in the Valley. Charles Sanford was managing the Berwick Creamery in the building now occupied by the Farmers Union. The late Benjamin Borden operated a Photo Studio where A. L. Dennison now lives and Mrs. Nichols did a thriving business in the Grove House.

Dr. Frank Middlemas, Dr. J. B. March and Dr. Reid attended the sick, while Rev. J. W. F. Glendenning and Rev. D. H. Simpson looked after our spiritual welfare. Alex. Russell made the fires and trimmed the oil lamps in the Methodist Church and Billie Hicks performed similar duties in the Baptist Church.

H. E. Jefferson dispenses law and wrote insurance and A. A. Ford was engaged in the real estate business. George Lydiard was Station Agent and John Clark was leader of the Berwick Brass Band. The baseball team, under the management of R. N. Clark and R. T. Caldwell, played over in Charles Thomas' field beyond the river bridge.

Movies were unknown to us at that time, but H. Price Webber and his Boston Opera Company entertained us annually by such plays as "East Lynn," etc. Berwick had a number of social and fraternal organizations then, as now, including the Sons of Temperance, Glee Club, Forresters, and the Berwick Lodge of Oddfellows, which was the outstanding fraternal organization in the Province.

Camp Meeting was the big event of the year and you were certain to hear a sermon by such noted preachers as Rev. A. S. Tuttle or Father Ryan that would be of such high temperature that the sinner could almost smell brimstone.

I do not know what Berwick's population was in those days, but there were a lot of young people and when Howe Eaton and Arch. Beckwith announced that there were a number of double-horse teams available, we would have no trouble making up a sleighing party of twenty-five or thirty couples when we would drive to Kentville for one of Rooney's famous oyster stews. On one of these occasions Sam Parker was being served with a stew when he noticed the waitress was carrying the bowl with her thumb inside the dish. "Say, " said Sam, "you have your thumb in the stew." "Oh, that's all right," said she, "it's not very hot."

Those were the days of real sport.

R. I. Cook.


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