Photos ~ Betty Dew Collection
The Laskay Emporium is pictured above, around 1950, and shows two of the general store's former owners and operators making some sign adjustments. On the left is Robert Arbuckle who bought the store in 1949 from Charlie Black, on the right. The Laskay Emporium lives on at Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. 2012 is the 167th year of its historic existence.
A wood stove was a feature of the Laskay Emporium for over a hundred years and was still in use when this photo was taken in the 1950s. Rubber boots hang overhead and huge jars and packaged goods sit on the counter. Lower down, on the corner of the counter is a bottle opener and a can suspended below to catch pop bottle caps. The pop cooler was located just behind the stove. On the wall in the background was the wall-mounted, hand-crank telephone above a sloped counter and in front of that a large, hand-hewn, wooden chopping block.
Advertising signs were as ubiquitous in the 1950s, as they are today. In this picture, signs can be seen for Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Canada Dry and Orange Crush. For this writer, Orange Crush was always my 'pop' of choice when I visited the store in the late 50s. I always got a hunk of cheddar cheese to go with my drink. The huge wheel of cheese was kept under a glass bell jar, on the chopping block.
These photographs belong to Betty (Arbuckle) Dew, of King City. Her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Arbuckle, were the last owners/operators of the Laskay Emporium. In its final years of private ownership the Laskay Emporium had lost its grandiloquent moniker and was known more simply as Arbuckle's Store. They donated the building in 1960 to the Dalziel Pioneer Village, today known as Black Creek Pioneer Village. Betty Dew has recently made these photographs and other materials available to the King Township Archives and to the King Township Library's Timeless King Online website. Owners and proprietors of Laskay Emporium, over the years, included:
1845 - 1856 - Joseph Baldwin
1856 - 1882 - Henry Baldwin
1882 - 1887 - Unknown
1887 - 1920 - George Teasdale
1920 - 1932 - Wilfred (or Wilbert) McCallum
1932 - 1949 - Charlie Black
1949 - 1960 - Robert Arbuckle
1960 - 2012 - Toronto Region Conservation Authority
Photo by Barry Wallace
The preserved Laskay Emporium know welcomes visitors and history buffs at Black Creek Pioneer Village.
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