Willis-Harper Hardware North Mural - Quesnel, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 52° 58.640 W 122° 29.774
10U E 533825 N 5869867
Quick Description: This building has been a hardware store as long as it has been a building, possibly since 1932. In 1997 it received two murals, this, the larger of the two being on the Barlow Avenue (north) side of the building.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/2/2019 2:52:02 PM
Waymark Code: WM10WNC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 2

Long Description:
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.

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.

In 1997 Leigh Cassidy, who often signs her works Jerii, was commissioned to paint a couple of murals on the store. What resulted were very topical murals, reminiscent of 1940s advertisement backgrounds a hardware store might create for a flyer of newspaper ad. Actually, the theme of the artwork is "hardware stores of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s". Cassidy spent over two weeks on the murals in the summer of 1997, completing them in late July or early August of 1997. This mural, on the north side of the store, consists of six panels, each framed with "barnwood" frames.

Since 1997 Leigh (jerii) Cassidy has done quite a number of murals in Quesnel, some quite large. As well, she is the one who converted something like 22 of the city's fire hydrants into Little People, renditions of historic figures (even dogs) of Quesnel.

Following is part of the story of how this became Willis-Harper Hardware.

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

Photo goes Here

City: Quesnel

Location Name: Willis-Harper Hardware

Artist: Leigh (jerii) Cassidy

Date: Late July, 1997

Media: Paint on masonry

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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