The bustling and progressive village of Coboconk, situated on the Gull river at the terminus of the Toronto and Nippissing division of the Grand Truck Railway, houses a number of substantial manufacturing and mercantile establishments that would do credit to larger and more pretentious centres; hotel accommodation ample and excellent; facilities for boating, bathing and fishing that are unexcelled; one of the best equipped public schools in the province, with a very efficient staff of teachers, and neat commodious churches representing the Anglicans, Presbyterians and Methodists.
The scenery not only in the vicinity but for miles around is varied; presenting pictures of wild and rugged grandeur, as well as those of the quiet and less awe-inspiring nature.
The majestic river flowing swiftly by connects a chain of shimmering, island-dotted water-sheets; pictures too subtle for pen description, which have become renowned as the Angler's paradise.
Tourists who have visited this picturesque resort require no urging to return.
The people are industrious and possess a spirit of enterprise which evinces itself in the progress and development of the business interests of the village.
The farmers in the surrounding vicinity, as a class, are in comfortable circumstances, and the greater part of their trade is bestowed upon our village merchants, whose commodious stores are always filled with the most select stocks, well bought and sold right.
A daily mail stage runs from here to Norland, Moore's Falls and Minden; of which Councillor Leary of Moore's Falls, is the popular proprietor. Travelling over this route, picturesque lakes, rivers, wooded valleys and hills are almost constantly in view. A mail stage also runs daily from here to Victoria Road, Kirkfield and Lorneville; while the third makes tri-weekly trips to Rosedale and Fenelon Falls. The latter two lines are operated by the well-known Charles Bowins, who is one of our good-natured citizens.
Following is a brief review of the principal business establishments and other institutions of the village:
W. L. SHIELDS.
We will first refer to the leading mercantile establishment of which Mr. Shields is sole proprietor. The marvellous success of this establishment is but another evidence of what may be achieved through the combined forces of pluck, energy and enterprise. It is but two years since the present young proprietor purchased the business from his brother, and which was at that time of comparatively small proportions. But steady development recently necessitated the building of a commodious new store in which old patrons and new find a largely augmented stock of choice goods unexcelled in any general store in the county. He buys from the best wholesale houses, turns his goods over rapidly, hence the stock is always choice and fresh. His motto is small profits and quick returns.
J. H. HARVEY.
Prominent among our most energetic and business men is J. H. Harvey, township treasurer and Justice of the Peace. Mr. Harvey has for several years been engaged in lumbering operations, both on his own account and in holding important and responsible positions for other wealthy and prominent firms. It is not saying too much to add that he has been eminently successful in all his undertakings. The necessity of a roller flour mill in the village has recently awakened his interest in another line and at present we find him busily engaged in preparing the mill recently purchased from Messrs. Bain & Pettinger for the new system of roller machinery which will be completed early in autumn. This will necessitate a large outlay, but will doubtless make a profitable investment and will be a valuable acquisition to the industries of our village.
A business that deserves more than ordinary notice in our review is that conducted by the popular reeve of Bexley. Mr. Ham for eighteen years has been a resident of our village and during that time has carried on successfully a general blacksmithing business; has been engaged in lumbering and shipping; and to his extensive business interests a few years ago added a flour and feed store; and since that time branched off into general groceries and provisions; and in this has had the success that formerly marked the development of other lines under his control. He carries a stock as good as the markets afford, and his business has the confidence of the people.
A. H. CARL.
This is one of the oldest established business houses in North Victoria; Mr. Carl having begun here with a small store in 1862, and by careful management, strict adherence to true business principles, the proprietor was enabled from time to time to add new lines to his stock, until the "House of all Nations" became noted as the place to find anything wanted from a "needle to an anchor." This leading mercantile establishment contains a stock of $10,000 worth of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, crockery, glassware, hardware, fancy goods, etc. Mr. Carl's long experience eminently fits him to cater to the people's needs.
JOHN R. PHILLIPS.
An important business in our village and one that should occupy a prominent place in our review is that carried on by Mr. Phillips, proprietor of the planing mill, sash and door factory, shingle factory, lumber dealer and contractor. Mr. Phillips has for many years been established here, and when but nicely started in his present business he had the misfortune to lose his mills and machinery by fire yet from the ashes rose in quick time a superior building refitted with the latest and best machinery, out of which has been turned a large quantity of lumber, shingles, sashes and doors and other building material ready for the workman. This gentleman and his sons are also experienced builders and anyone contemplating building should get their figures.
The above named gentleman for the past six years has been actively engaged in general mercantile business in our village, has always an eye open to the purchase of bankrupt stocks when placed on the market at a sacrifice, and consequently is in a position to compete with the best bargain houses in the county. Mr. Ross makes a specialty of firearms and sportsman's supplies and is quite in his element when disposing of a Winchester or talking bear trap to a customer, being fond of the gun himself and one of the oldest and most successful trappers in the north country. His genial disposition has won for him scores of friends, many of whom come long distances to deal with a man who thoroughly understands the needs of his numerous customers.
The proprietor of the mail stage line from here to Lorneville and also from here to Fenelon Falls is one of the oldest residents and has connected with his extensive business the village bakery, where his numerous customers always find the choicest "bread, buns and biscuits" at prices that are right. The stage leaves for Victoria Road, Kirkfield and Lorneville at 9 o'clock a.m. daily and for Fenelon Falls at 11.30 o'clock a.m. The best of attention given to the comfort of the travelling public who choose to patronize these routes.
The popular proprietor of the Coboconk lime works, for the past three years has been turning the rugged rock into gold. The lime from this kiln is shipped to Lindsay, Port Hope and Toronto, and is celebrated for its good qualities wherever it has been introduced. Mr. Callen, previous to coming here, had long been engaged in the manufacture of lime at St. Mary's and Innerkip, and his practical knowledge of the business has no doubt contributed largely to the success which has crowned his undertaking here.
MRS. NANCY LeROY.
Prominent among the oldest and foremost business interests of the village is the general store owned and controlled by Mrs. LeRoy. She succeeds her son E. B. LeRoy, who has been for the past years connected with the Canada Permanent Loan and Insurance Co., and by careful management and fair dealing has kept up the good reputation of the establishment, which has always been popular with the public, and deservedly so; for choice goods, staple and fancy dry goods, ladies' and gent's furnishings, boots and shoes, crockery, glassware, fancy goods, etc, and low prices, the store conducted by Mrs. LeRoy compares favourably with the best in the county.
J. D. REVELL.
A varied and extensive business and one which forms an important factor in the life of our village, giving annual employment to a large number resident workingmen, is that conducted by Mr. Revell, the proprietor of the large saw mill formerly owned by J. E. Gould, of Uxbridge, and who also owns and controls a large shingle mill. His lumber and shingles being well manufactured out of good material always find a ready market at the highest price. Mr. Revell's business is a boon to our village and also to the country north of here, where large sums of money are annually spent in the purchase of saw logs, shingle bolts, etc. The present season's cut will be over 2,000,000 feet of lumber and 2,500,000 shingles.
Our review would not be incomplete without a reference to the old established livery business conducted by the above named gentleman, whose "rigs" are known from Cannington to Haliburton, and from Orillia to Gooderham. Mr. Hume also carries on extensive farming operations, buys and ships cordwood, lumber, and shingles, and is at present engaged in completing a large contract which involves the construction of a solid stone bridge across the mill pond north of the village.
Mr. Elliott is the proprietor of a steam shingle mill; one of the many industries of the kind in our village. The cut of shingles from this mill although not large is noted for even thickness, good widths, freedom from any defects that would cause a rating below the class which their mark represents; consequently there is a ready market for the produce of Mr. Elliott's mill. All classes of shingles are sold cheap at the mill.
Mr. Russell is one of the old residents of our village and conducts a business devoted to the manufacture of harness, light and heavy, single and double. He has always a well-assorted stock of combs; brushes, whips, and everything usually kept in a first class harness shop. Ordered work receives special attention, is cut from the best material and made up in the latest and most approved style. Prices are as low as the lowest; and intending purchasers will save money by calling here before purchasing. There is no need of going to larger towns for anything in the harness line, when quality of goods as well as price is considered.
G. T. DRINKALL.
Another important and necessary business of our village is the furniture shop of Mr. G. T. Drinkall. Here is to be found all the leading lines manufactured of the best material, well made, of a high-grade finish, and sold at reasonable prices.
No more familiar name is there in our resume than the above. While George does not lay any claims to the proprietorship of a livery business in the stricter sense of the terms, yet with always at least one "good stepper" and a comfortable conveyance, he was sought after by those who wished a speedy drive and jocular, genial, light-hearted, good natured company, for such was always afforded with the presence of this typical specimen of Erin's Green Isle. The commercial fraternity have been George's best patrons and never enjoy a trip across the country so well as when successful in securing one of his outfits.
D. O. McRAE.
Mr. D. O. McRae a few months ago purchased the leasehold interest of Mr. James Thompson in the Queen's hotel. This beautiful white brick hotel overlooking the river is neatly and richly furnished throughout, and is a most comfortable and homelike public houses. Mr. McRae is a genial, thoughtful man, whose delight is to serve his guests with such treatment as will cause them not only to feel at home but that such a model hotel proprietor merits their continued patronage. This popular hotel is thronged at present with both Canadian and American tourist. A special feature is a free bus to and from all trains.
J. J. BROAD, M.D.
Dr. Broad, a resident of our thrifty village for the past three years, occupies a prominent position in the medical arena; and has won a wide and enviable reputation not only for the skilful treatment of diseases but also for exceedingly low fees, especially those charged patients who are not blest with much of this world's goods. Under his supervision our village can boast of a well-equipped and well-conducted drug establishment. The wants of the public are here met to the best possible advantage. His stock embraces all kinds of pure drugs, druggist's sundries, patent medicines, stationery, school supplies, fancy goods etc. The Dr. is now constructing a commodious new building, which when completed, he will occupy as an office and drug store.
This old established hotel needs but little comment in our review. For 21 years the travelling public have known this house as one where ample accommodation was sure and when the best of attention was always given to the comfort of its numerous guests. During the summer it has become the head-quarters of many tourists and pleasure seekers who have learned that it is not necessary to travel thousands of miles to find all that is required to make a pleasant and profitable "outing." The special features of this hotel are large, airy, well-ventilated rooms, deliciously furnished tables, and a choice supply of liquors and cigars at the bar and the best of attention in all departments.
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