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.

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