The First Store
Records show the earliest general store in the area was that of a Mr. Thornton who built a store in Bar River in 1880, on land purchased from John Evoy. This same store later became the home of Silas Evoy for a few years. In another change of ownership, James Collings converted it back to a store with living quarters upstairs. This was in 1904. In this year also, the Post Office was transferred to a more central location, and Mr. Collings became Postmaster as well. It remained in his hands until 1909 when a Mr. Stonehouse purchased it and occupied the establishment for one year, when Mr. Collings returned and was again operator, until the store was purchased by R.D. Curry in 1911.

First store in Bar River.

Mr. and Mrs. Curry offered a service to the whole of Laird Township, not only with the Post Office, but when mail delivery took place, quite often a telephoned grocery order would be delivered along with the mail. The Curry family consisted of Homer, Glen, Iris, Jewel, Shirley and Noel, the first two being born at Garden River, where the Currys had operated a store before moving to Bar River. Residents in the area well remember the family and their service, not only as the village storekeepers, but in the Presbyterian and Methodist churches as well. Their tenure in the retail and Postal business lasted for the next 40 odd years. When Mr. Curry died in 1953, Mrs. Curry remained by herself, continuing with business until she eventually sold to Mr. and Mrs. Bill Johnson. They, too, operated the store and Post Office quite successfully, until Mr. Johnson passed away in 1964, leaving Mrs. Johnson to carry on until 1972, when the Post Office and store were closed.

Curious to know more?  Delve Further Into The First Store Here:
Laird Chronicles Chapter 7 – Business And Industry
Laird History Volume Two – Transportation & Industry
Laird History Volume Two – Farming
Photos – Household Items
Photos – Clothing & Accessories
Photos – Mercantile & Drug Store