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This month’s artifact is a little different.  To highlight the current exhibit Strathroy-Caradoc Then and Now: A Photographic History.  We have chosen to show a 1911 postcard from the Main Street (Adelaide Road) in Mount Brydges superimposed with a new image taken by Museum Volunteer Jerry Rozek.

In the image you see two buildings prominently featured.

The first building on the left was constructed in 1880 to house the village post office, a general store and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F) Hall on the second floor, addressing many of the needs of the local population under one roof. The store was established by Edward and Eliza Tuck, and carried a broad selection of merchandise. Following the untimely death of her husband Edward in 1886, Eliza took over the operation of the general store on her own. She eventually re-married John Betts, who managed the Commercial House hotel, and they carried on the dry goods business together for a number of years until the business was purchased by the Steer Family.  The first Mount Brydges post office was established in 1856, with Edward Mihell Jr. appointed as postmaster. Henry Bartlett was the postmaster at the time the office relocated to this building around 1913.  The I.O.O.F. name remains visible on the stained glass that highlights the three segmental arch windows on the second storey that give the building its distinctive character. The Odd Fellows, a benevolent fraternal organization, were actively involved in a variety of civic and philanthropic efforts in the community.  Much of the original architectural features of the building’s façade remain intact today, including the attractive cornice moulding that stretches across the façade above the storefronts. This beautiful structure played a significant role in the commercial activity of the early village.

The building to the right housed similar businesses. On the first floor the Union Bank of Canada and a general store and on the second floor the Independent Order of Foresters. It burned down in 1914 and was replaced with another two story building. Eventually this second building was torn down to make way for the Royal Bank of Canada that you see today.

Information from this blog can be found in the Mount Brydges Heritage Walking Tour.  An electronic copy can be found on the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc’s site or visit the Museum to pick up a brochure.

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About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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