Home Hardware - Quesnel, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 52° 58.641 W 122° 29.778
10U E 533820 N 5869870
Quick Description: This building has been a hardware store as long as it has been a building, possibly since 1932.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/2/2019 1:08:41 PM
Waymark Code: WM10WM9
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
Views: 2

Long Description:
PIC According to the Cariboo Observer news article below this hardware store was established in 1933 (yet another article states the year as 1932) as the Northern Hardware & Furniture Co. The article also states that it was taken over on January 21, 1946 by Bill Willis and Lloyd Harper to become the Willis-Harper Hardware Store. No mention is made in subsequent issues of the Cariboo Observer in 1946, or in following years, of the construction of a new building. As a result, we suspect that the historical marker at the building, quoted below, is incorrect in stating that they "had this building constructed in 1946 to house their business". As well, the marker states that additions have resulted in a four storey building. The addition is three stories in height, not four.

In any event, the 1932 or 1946 building continues to house a hardware store, a member of the Home Hardware chain of hardware stores, and still known as Willis-Harper Hardware. Over the corner entrance hangs a somewhat Googie neon sign with the Willis-Harper Hardware name. Its style suggests that it was installed about the time that Willis and Harper took over the hardware store, in 1946.

To the right is one of the first articles placed in the Cariboo Observer following the Willis and Harper's purchase of the business. Following is the news article which tells the story of the Willis-Harper takeover of the store.

Home Hardware

Bill Willis and his partner Lloyd Harper had this building constructed in 1946 to house their business, Willis-Harper Hardware. The business soon outgrew the original two storey structure and additions were made, resulting in the existing four storey building.

Project funded in partnership with the City of Quesnel and Heritage Legacy Fund
Willis-Harper Take Over Northern Hardware Company
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 1946 | Cariboo Observer
W. (Bill) Willis and Lloyd Harper took over the Northern Hardware & Furniture Co. store and stock here from D. Whitmore and Alex Moffat on Monday, in one of the largest business transfers in some time. The new proprietors plan on carrying on the business, which was established in 1933, along the same lines as formerly.

The store was closed Monday for stocktaking, but open for business again Tuesday morning.

Bill Willis started to work at the Northern in June, 1935, and has remained with the firm ever since. During the past few years he has taken active charge of the store during Mr. Whitmore's frequent absences.

Lloyd Harper came to Quesnel in 1933 from Prince George in May, 1933, when they started the Harper Sheet Metal Works. For some years the business was operated by Lloyd and his brother, Len, who was killed in the fighting in Germany last year. Since that time he has carried on alone. We understand Lloyd plans on disposing of the sheet metal works.

Both Bill and Lloyd are of the younger generation of Quesnel business men, and both are keen sportsmen. Their many friends in the district will wish them success in their new venture.

Frank Whitmore plans on retiring and taking life easy. He says that during the past couple of years he has located all the pools in the country where the "big fellows" lurk, and this year he is going out and round them up.

The Shell Oil Agency, which was held by the Company, has been taken over by Ken Thibaudeau, who has attended to it for the past five years.
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

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Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Street parking in front, parking lot behind

What Agency placed the marker?: City of Quesnel

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