The Company Store, circa 1926. Photo: Trail Historical Society

The Company Store, circa 1926. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: The Company Store was part of the community

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

As one of the biggest shopping days of the year nudges closer – that being in-store and online Black Friday deals on Nov. 27 – this week’s Trail Blazers gives a nod to the good old days when crowds could only turn up in-person to discover all the goodies available at the new store in town.

This image is titled, “Crowds at Opening Day of the new Company Store location, in 1926.”

The Company Store, also known at the Retail Department, was a community-oriented operation first established in 1917 as an outlet on Bay Avenue by the former Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company (now Teck Trail).

The store initially sold groceries. It later expanded into selling a variety of goods for low prices, including furnishings and household goods. These “good deals” frustrated other local merchants.

In 1919, it relocated to a larger store in the “Doukhobor Block,” located at the southwest corner of Bay Avenue and Eldorado Street in downtown Trail.

A new, modern, 25,000-square foot locale was built in 1925 on the corner of Cedar Avenue and Eldorado Street.

By 1931, the department store employed around 34 local men and women, who lived in the apartments above.

The Company Store was not just a place to shop, it was a part of the community. The property was decorated for special occasions, and staff participated in the city’s festive parades.

The Trail retailer operated from Cedar and Eldorado until it was bought by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1951.

The last sale at the Company Store was made on Halloween morning to Mrs. D. Williamson, by longtime grocery department manager, Tommy Alty.

The building was demolished in 1954.

Read more Trail Blazers:

– The Fruit Fair is where markets began

– Sign of the times

– Remembering The Liberty Theatre

– with files from Jesslyn Jarvis, Trail Museum and Archives



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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