It’s Arichat in 1935 and we’re at the store of John LeBrun Sr.
The LeBrun family has a proud mercantile history in the community. John LeBrun came to Arichat from Brittany in France in the latter half of the 19th century. He began a small concern, which quickly grew into a large and thriving business.
In 1908 the original store, which had been built in 1883, fell victim to fire, but was rebuilt the following year by John MacDonald of Antigonish. This was a three-story edifice boasting an elevator and acetylene lighting.
John LeBrun, Sr., at his passing, was succeeded by his son Arthur who expanded the business by establishing a store in D’Escousse. He eventually joined the municipal staff, and later was manager of the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission outlet.
In the mid 30’s his son, John Harold, assumed management of the business and aggressively added an I.G.A. groceteria, plus building supplies and furniture. He was married to Claire LeBlanc and together they had five children: Helen (Nell), Ann, John, Florence, and Clarette.
John would succeed his father, Harold, and run the business until the 1970’s.
This majestic building continues its presence on the waterfront and now belongs to Herman Samson.
Now we experience a short walk along the harbour until we reach the site of the forge of Danny Grimes, which was roughly across the road from Dr. B.A. LeBlanc’s.
Not far on from the forge was a home that once belonged to Mr. Grimes, later to Norman Samson, and in 1935 to Hector DeCoste. Circa 1941 both the house and forge were destroyed by fire.
Soon after, possibly the following year, a garage was built in this approximate location by John LeBlanc who lived across the street next to Dr. B.A. This Irving Oil service station was taken over and operated by Lorenzo Boudreau until a new station was built uptown in 1959.
Harold LeBrun bought the old garage and used it as a warehouse until it was eventually taken down.
Taking another walk eastward, along the harbour, perhaps a quarter mile past the pond, we go to Tommy Duyon’s who was a fisherman born in 1909 and died in 1996 at the age of 87. Lillian Bourque from Cap Auguet married Tommy in 1929. She was born in 1910 and died at the age of 82 in 1992. There were five children: Pearl, Claire, Emily, Nicky, and Donald, 1933. This property had previously belonged to Edward Landry.
Within a few hundred feet was the store of A.D. Samson. Pre-1935 there was a smaller building on the west side for feed and heavier, bulk products. The store was long, running north-south, a story and a half. There were two large storefront windows at the entrance flanking the main door. Inside were counters running down both sides, as well as in the back. Shelves reached from ceiling to floor and were laden with foodstuffs, dry goods, and hardware. The counter at the rear of the building was where a huge roll of stiff brown paper sat next to a cone of string used to secure the packages.
Raymond Samson succeeded his uncle in the business, and he in turn was succeeded by his brother Alphonse. The Hull family were the last residents before the buildings met their demise.