Bibson Railway and Manufacturing Company General Store
The Bibson Railway and Manufacturing Company also had a general store in Blackville. Its location would be around the residence of Cynthia Barry. This store supplied the men at the mill. Mr. James Wetmore from Saint John was the manager of this store. He lived in a large house which was called the T.R. house as it was formally owned by a man called Thomas Robertson. In a large shed at the back of the store were kept such things as kerosene oil, puncheons of molasses, barrels of corn beef and salt pork, codfish and other supplies. Customers would wait until all the molasses was drained from the puncheon which was sold for a dollar. When the band was broken open generally ¼ barrel of molasses sugar would be found in the bottom of the puncheon which was sold for a dollar. A great number of children in Blackville were raised on this molasses, sugar and porridge.
Bill Kehoe/Simon Bean Store
Mr. Bill Kehoe built a store near the current Fire Hall. Later it was bought by Mr. Simon Bean. It was a confectionery store in which he sold candy, ice-cream, cigarettes and tobacco. There was a pool table at the back of the store. This store later burned.
Grindlay General Store
There was a General Grindlay store owned by Mr. Bob Grindlay.
James Bean Store
Mr. James Bean built a store at the present location of MacRae’s Insurance. He also built a home at the present day location of Mr. Brock Curtis. Shortly after Mr. Bean died, his wife remarried to Mr. James Gerrish who took over the business. They sold groceries, feed, oats, and everyday items. He had a good business with hired help and would also make deliveries.
Mr. Jacob Layton was a general merchant. He sold dry goods, men’s furnishings, mixed paints, hay and oats, groceries, hardware and home furnishings, crockery, coffins and caskets, flour and feed. He was originally from Cains River. Local folklore says that Mr. Layton found a pot of gold, became suddenly wealthy and with his riches he bought a hotel, store, and barbershop.
A very large store called Schaffers Store was opened around 1902. When Mr. Schaffer first came to Blackville he was just a peddler with a sack upon his back. He carried such items as jack knives that sold for 10 cents a piece, mouth organs, trinkets, and ribbons. He rented Layton’s store and later built his own store which is on the present day site of the old village office. Schaffers store used the power house from Archie Alcorn’s which ran until 12:00 midnight. Soon after, Schaffers sold out to a local resident Mr. Tuzo. The building was completely closed in the 1960’s and in 1967 it was opened to the public as a police station, village hall, and ambulance station.
The Royal Bank of Canada was at the spot where Mrs. Mary Fernette lives. The Bank of Nova Scotia was where Doreen Burns lives now. Blackville Credit Union, the first Credit Union in New Brunswick, was opened in 1936. Click here to read more about its formation.
At one time there were several parlors and barbershops. One well known parlor shop was called the Millenery Parlor which was run by S.V. Jardine. Jake Layton had a barbershop and a man named Furguson ran it. Another barbershop was located near Curtis’s Garage and was owned by Jim Dale.
A blacksmith shop was owned by Mr. Roderick Robertson who did most of the mill’s blacksmithing. Hand tools were very common then and he had to spend more time on these things than horseshoes. In the wintertime he did the ironwork on sheds. His shop was down close to the river across from the mill. Jack Colford also had a blacksmith shop.
Boots & Shoes Shops
Blackville also had their own boots and shoes shop. One such building was owned and ran by Walter J. Kehoe. He traveled extensively and had good knowledge of what the public needed and their taste. His store opened May 1, 1944 and the people came to rely on him. There was a shoemaker where Hugh Crawford lives. The Cobbler Shop was its name and owned by Mr. Jim Harris. Mr. Cameron also owned a shop located at Mrs. Lucy MacKenzie’s.
Blackville Cheese and Butter Company
The cheese factory was opened in 1906. It was founded by a Jewit from Saint John and was located near the home of Freeman Sturgeon. The cheese was sent to out-going places and the milk that was used to make the cheese was carried by horse and buggie from the other side of the river. After two years it was sold and torn down.