Editor’s note: Due to a production error, the “Repeating history” column that was scheduled to appear in the February 15 edition was not published. Below is the version of the column which was supposed to appear in last week’s issue of The Reporter.
In 1924, Joe Samson (who died 1975) bought a building from Dave Power who had operated a meat market there. The first floor of this building was remade into a general store locally known as “Little Joe’s Store.” Its location was across the lane from the municipal building.
Joe Samson married Kathleen Boucher (who was born in 1909) in 1930, and a child, Aurine, was born to them. They made their home in the upper storey of the building. The store was successively owned by John LeBrun, his sister, Nell Boudreau, and her son, Scott. The store ceased to operate in the 1980’s but reemerged as a meeting place for a tiny Baptist congregation.
Next to the store, across Delaney Lane, was the imposing municipal building housing county and provincial offices such as Registrar of Deeds, Registry of Probate, clerk, assessor, etc. When this structure was built in 1911 by E.C. Doyle, the Royal Bank agreed to lease a long, narrow section on the western side of the first floor. The second storey was something of a community centre where dances, celebrations, receptions, and suppers were held. The congregation of St. John’s Anglican Church sponsored an annual bean supper and dance, all for the staggering sum of 35 cents.
Immediately to the east of the municipal building was the home of Albert Thurgood (who died in 1953). Thurgood and his wife Mary Ann MacDonald were both natives of Gabarus who came to Arichat in 1920. A World War I veteran, Thurgood served as a fishery officer. He had been denied a similar position in L’Ardoise and came to Arichat with little enthusiasm.
He quite quickly made his presence felt by becoming embroiled in a controversy with the teaching sisters over crucifixes in classrooms; Albert Thurgood was Protestant. He had four children, Ernest, Hazel, Hadie, and Judge Fred Thurgood who died in Calgary in 1990. The house, of mansion-like proportions, had previously been owned by Remi Benoit, one of the first graduates of St. Francis Xavier University. It was then operated as the Silver Oaks Hotel. The Crowells were the ensuing owners before the Thurgoods.
At the time of its destruction in the late 1900s, the home was in the possession of Warren Mauger. Currently, Marcel Marchand resides in a small home of his own construction on the Thurgood site.
The neighbours were Eddie Edwards (who died in 1980) and his family: wife Eva LeBlanc (who died in 1987); children Pearl, Marilyn, Shirley, Edward, Harold, and Robert. Edwards was an agent for a prominent tea company for many years. The bungalow-style home was located very close to the street, but when purchased by Blair Gotell, it was moved back and a second story was added.
The empty lot that separated Eddie Edwards from Raymond LeBlanc eventually sprouted a small abode occupied by Joe Boudreau and his family. The children were Elaine, Edith, Christine, Donna, Albert, and Gary. The current owner is Frederick Hyland, who uses it as a workshop.