The way we were

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Published on February 10, 2010

Ayre and Sons decorated for departure of the Newfoundland Regiment, 1914. - Archive No. A 17-184/All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division.

Published on February 10, 2010

Woods West End Candy Store on Water Street around 1912. - Archive No. B18-1. - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

Woods store still stands, now serving as an office building for the city of St. John's. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

Atlantic Place now stands at the corner of Water and Ayres Cove. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

Newfoundland Radio Company, archive no. F 23-13, c. 1925 - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

The Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union stands on the corner where Newfoundland Radio Company did business. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

W.J. Murphy's Store on Rawlin's Cross, archive no. B 2-88, where these news boys did a brisk business around 1950. - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

Stella Burry's Hungry Heart Cafe made its home in W.J. Murphy's Store on Rawlin's Cross. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

Water Street, St. John's, looking East (ca. 1890) - A 2-35 - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

Broadway House of Fashion, Water Street, St. John's (between 1892 and 1932) - A 2-43 - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

The Fabulous 50s Club is now in the area where Broadway House of Fashion was. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

Royal Stores Ltd., Water Street, St. John's/James Vey (between 1895 and 1917) - A 26-104. - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

The Fortis building is now in the general area where the Royal Store was located on Water Street. - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

Walter Grieve and Co., Water Street, St. John's (before 1892) - B 1-73 - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

M. Connors: Wholesale and Retail Druggist, Water Street, St. John's (192-?: scanned from glass negative). E 7-8 - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Published on February 10, 2010

This photo is taken in the area where Crotty's Taxi service was located - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Published on February 10, 2010

Crotty Taxi and Service Station, Theatre Hill, St. John's (1938: scanned from glass negative) F 45-28 - All historical photos courtesy The Rooms Provincial Archives Division

Rooms exhibit showcases city storefronts

As development in St. John's downtown becomes a hot topic once again, a new exhibition at The Rooms is providing a look at the area as it stood in days gone by.

A collection of images - from the more than 400,000 found within the still images collection of the provincial archives - "Storefront" features businesses of the Water Street area, recorded between the 1890s and 1955.

As development in St. John's downtown becomes a hot topic once again, a new exhibition at The Rooms is providing a look at the area as it stood in days gone by.

A collection of images - from the more than 400,000 found within the still images collection of the provincial archives - "Storefront" features businesses of the Water Street area, recorded between the 1890s and 1955.

Visitors are able to see the Broadway House of Fashion and Connors Wholesale and Retail Druggist, along with other well-known shops of the city's commercial past.

In many of the images, the shopkeepers can also be spotted.

Moving through time, looking from photo to photo, means moving from horse and carriage transportation to the vehicles of Crotty's Taxi. It also means moving from the baskets of potatoes and braces of rabbits overhead in supply stores, to seeing the luxury of ice cream sodas at Wood's (10 cents per glass).

However, photos focused on the structures are perhaps the most striking here. After all, a building-sized mural proclaiming "Mayo's Tobacco is Always Good" on Water Street is something unlikely to be memorialized in the standard history text book.

"We had talked about different options for this (exhibition) space," said archivist Sandra Ronayne. "We recently had a display called 'Archival Mysteries' and so that was finished up and we were thinking about other pictures. I happened to mention that we had a lot of pictures of store fronts from St. John's."

The pieces selected have been, in many cases, donated from private and family holdings, Ronayne said. However, information on the people and locations in the photos was not always available, she said.

To that, employees are asking that anyone who might know something about the images make mention of what they know, so that the information might be provided to provincial archivists.

"Storefront" can be found on the second level of The Rooms and will be on display until the summer.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Rooms, Broadway House of Fashion and Connors Wholesale

Geographic location: St. John's, Water Street

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Recent comments

  • Lionel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Oh, the London Eye(sore)? Yeaaah, not really a good argument for unbridled ''development.'' Development is fine, but it has to be smart and conform to the requirements of the City, not the other way around.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Okay Lionel...you don't like that example, well let see what examples I can venture up....

    There was the Millennium dome, yes, it's designed purpose a flop but now it's the O2 arena, currently the most widely used concert venue in the world.

    Or how about the Millennium Bridge in London, or how about on-going construction of the new Chunnel station located at the London 2012 Olympic Park in East London.

    Oh, I know, how about Canada tower located in London's docklands, now major business hub in a once useless dockland area.

    Oh, how about the Eiffel Tower. Most Parisians hate the iconic tower the rest of the world loves.

    Hmm...how about Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

    Hmm...how about the Hong Kong International Airport located on a man made island.

    Either downtown becomes an area of businesses and fortune 500 companies or tell these guys to move out and turn downtown into ye olde st. john's where the city hires people to dress in 19th century garb and speak in ye olde english.

    I'm sure donovans in mount pearl would gladly welcome Suncor Energy, Chevron and Exxon Mobil to set up shop there.

  • sniff sniff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Saucy Face from St. John's, Nl writes: The Way We Were did you read that headline Shannie, Peg. Mary Walsh and Ronnie Hynes? It's the way were were, not they way we are now ... Too bad you can't smell the garbage and horse manure on the streets or the disease of those 'quaint' years when you look at the pictures, because that would really make you nostalgic. ===================================================================================

    Don't forget the 'honey buckets'.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I'm all for preserving one's heritage, but when the Houses of Parliment in London, which FYI has been used since 1036, however the most current structure was not built until 1857 can have one of the world's largest observation wheels in the world across the River Thames from it (London Eye)....then you've got to realise the view of a harbour full of human waste is not probably such a big deal.

    Get over yourselves and allow for the continued development of North Amercia's oldest city.

  • Justin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    LOL. You're a riot, Taxpayer II. Hey, look behind you. Somone's dissing Danny Williams. Sic him, boy!

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    The Way We Were did you read that headline Shannie, Peg. Mary Walsh and Ronnie Hynes? It's the way were were, not they way we are now ... Too bad you can't smell the garbage and horse manure on the streets or the disease of those 'quaint' years when you look at the pictures, because that would really make you nostalgic.

  • I. P. Freely
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I think I see Shannie there standing next to Frank. LOL

  • Lionel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Oh, the London Eye(sore)? Yeaaah, not really a good argument for unbridled ''development.'' Development is fine, but it has to be smart and conform to the requirements of the City, not the other way around.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Okay Lionel...you don't like that example, well let see what examples I can venture up....

    There was the Millennium dome, yes, it's designed purpose a flop but now it's the O2 arena, currently the most widely used concert venue in the world.

    Or how about the Millennium Bridge in London, or how about on-going construction of the new Chunnel station located at the London 2012 Olympic Park in East London.

    Oh, I know, how about Canada tower located in London's docklands, now major business hub in a once useless dockland area.

    Oh, how about the Eiffel Tower. Most Parisians hate the iconic tower the rest of the world loves.

    Hmm...how about Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

    Hmm...how about the Hong Kong International Airport located on a man made island.

    Either downtown becomes an area of businesses and fortune 500 companies or tell these guys to move out and turn downtown into ye olde st. john's where the city hires people to dress in 19th century garb and speak in ye olde english.

    I'm sure donovans in mount pearl would gladly welcome Suncor Energy, Chevron and Exxon Mobil to set up shop there.

  • sniff sniff
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Saucy Face from St. John's, Nl writes: The Way We Were did you read that headline Shannie, Peg. Mary Walsh and Ronnie Hynes? It's the way were were, not they way we are now ... Too bad you can't smell the garbage and horse manure on the streets or the disease of those 'quaint' years when you look at the pictures, because that would really make you nostalgic. ===================================================================================

    Don't forget the 'honey buckets'.

  • Telling it like it is
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I'm all for preserving one's heritage, but when the Houses of Parliment in London, which FYI has been used since 1036, however the most current structure was not built until 1857 can have one of the world's largest observation wheels in the world across the River Thames from it (London Eye)....then you've got to realise the view of a harbour full of human waste is not probably such a big deal.

    Get over yourselves and allow for the continued development of North Amercia's oldest city.

  • Justin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    LOL. You're a riot, Taxpayer II. Hey, look behind you. Somone's dissing Danny Williams. Sic him, boy!

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    The Way We Were did you read that headline Shannie, Peg. Mary Walsh and Ronnie Hynes? It's the way were were, not they way we are now ... Too bad you can't smell the garbage and horse manure on the streets or the disease of those 'quaint' years when you look at the pictures, because that would really make you nostalgic.

  • I. P. Freely
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I think I see Shannie there standing next to Frank. LOL