A nostalgic stroll up (and down) Water Street, Carbonear
I was a teenager in Carbonear during the mid-1940s to the mid-1950, and I recall the businesses and stores on Water Street. Here, to the best of my recollection, is a description of the street in those days.
I’ll start on the water side of the street, beginning at the cooper shop on Harbour Rock Hill owned by the Saunders Family, and head west. They made fish casks, drums, fish boxes and barrels. Continuing west, there were Mollie Parsons and Don’s Taxi, Geo W. Parsons and his fishing stage below the hill, Aunt Fannie’s store, and below the hill, Mark Parsons’ fishing stage, where you could buy a 15-24-inch fish for 15 or 20 cents each.
Then there was Pottle’s shop and Rorke’s Coal and Salt, owned by James Rorke, and a store owned by Wm. Duff, where he repaired radios. There was a bank next to Duffs, where we would dig worms for trouting. Then there was James Moore and Son; they sold groceries. Selby Harris delivered them by horse and cart.
The next store was Wm. Udell and Sons. There was a walkway down to Udell’s wharf and next to that was a concrete foundation owned by Judge Leonard Ash. Harold Maddock’s shop was next; they also sold groceries and rubber boots, etc. This business was later bought by Guy and Fred Earle and became Earle Freighting Service.
Coming west John Reinhart built a house which was to house the public library. Next was Saunders and Howell’s Lumberyard and in 1954 Stratford Pike built a hardware store. Next to that was W. and J Moores Ltd. They sold drygoods, groceries, ropes, twines, netting and fishing supplies. The sheds on the wharf contained hundreds of quintals of salt fish and salt.
Next was Frank Howell’s and E.E. Pike, where we would buy groceries, but before you reached E.E. Pike there was a large closed up building called the Empire Stores. After E.E. Pike’s was T. Badcock and Sons. Next was the public wharf. John Moores built a shed west of the wharf where he stored coal and offices on the street housed T. Eaton and Company, later moved across to the Cornish building. Cameron Bros was next; they sold hardware, drygoods and lumber. Underneath the building was the morgue where they made and stored coffins; Duncan Cameron was the undertaker along with his assistant George Long.
On the waterfront was a sawmill and lumberyard. Then you came to the old telephone offfice and next was Goff ’s Hotel and the tailor shop. H.A. Noel had a mattress factory west and then there was a closed store and building owned by Sopers. A vacant lot, where the town’s War Memorial Park now stands separated them from Ira Parsons’ Gas Bar and Convenience Store. Tom Finn’s taxi was next, then Keough’s Jukebox place and a home belonging to Patrick Joseph (Paddy) Sweeney.
Mike Lake’s store was next. He sold tobacco and cigarettes. Paddy Harrington was next with a grocery store and gas tank; Harrington’s taxi went to St. John’s every day. Going west was J.A. Thoms, where you could buy an ice cream for five cents and Mrs. Thoms sold drygoods and wool. The Rorke Stores were next. Here, you could buy flour, sugar, ropes, twines, kerosene oil, etc. and outside was a gas tank where you bought your gas and next to Rorke’s was Bing’s (Chinese) Chips and Take-out.
Then there was McCarthy’s Tailor shop where you could get a suit of clothes made. Then there was T.A. Finn’s where Mrs. Finn would mend, repair and alter clothhing. Next to Finn’s was Jordan Pike’s garage and next to him was R.C. Reid’s garage. George Thoms store was next and then there was Charlie Marshall’s; both were convenience stores.
Now the stores on the North side of Water Street heading west.
There was Jim Burden’s store at the corner of Captain Frank’s Lane and Water Street, where Red Circle is today. Then we come to the Orange Hall where we would go to the movies on a Saturday afternoon and admission was 15 cents. Later it housed the bowling alley. Coming west up Church Street the former Methodist Church and later the United Church in my time. Up the hill was the Methodist College and Aldred Penney Memorial Hall which later burned down.
Further west Graham Howell built a store and a house. The store was rented to Oscar Howell and used for a pharmacy. West of this was a small barber shop owned and operated by William Howell and Mac Howell where we would get a haircut for 10 cents. Then there was a water tank where we would get a drink.
Up Bond street was the Anglican Church and rectory; across the wall there was a short road that went down around the Anglican cemetery; John Tucker had a forge there which was later owned by his son Ambrose where he shod horses, made wheel bands, anchors, grapnels, bolts and many other things.
The Bond Theatre stood at the corner of Bond and Water Streets.
There was John McCarthy’s store where you could buy tobacco and a jug of beer for 15 cents. Next was Johnnie Butt’s where you could buy ice cream, cigarettes and Banner Caramels (2 for a cent); they were about an inch square. Then there was Osmond’s Restaurant and Graham Moores’ house on the corner of Howell’s Lane.