Do you remember signs like this?


One day last summer when Raymond and I were in Madoc, I spotted something that I must have seen many times during my childhood in the area but that I had totally forgotten about: a store sign imprinted in the sidewalk in front of its entrance, in brass letters. Those things used to be not at all uncommon, but when was the last time you saw one? And aren’t they lovely?

For me the particularly charming thing about them is the faith in the future that they show: a belief that the store whose name they’re advertising will always be there, and always in that location.

Alas, not so much for Riordan’s Drug Store in Madoc, Ont. I think I may have the vaguest of memories of that store, but if it was still extant when my family moved to Queensborough when I was four years old I don’t think it lasted much longer; in my memory, Johnston’s Rexall drugstore across the street was the only game in town, and it still is.

But isn’t it delightful that the Riordan’s Drug Store name lives on in this elegant way?

6 thoughts on “Do you remember signs like this?

  1. HArold Brintnell, who worked for many years for Tom Rupert in that very drug store can tell you the history of Riordan’s Drug Store. It involves a first world war soldier etc. and is very interesting. It is on a youtube video by Hastings Cable Visioin (Terry Pigden). I interviewed HArold B. for some time last winter in the Madoc Library.

    • Thank you, Grant and Gayle! I will check out that video as soon as I have somewhat surer internet access than I do here at the Manse. The name Rupert’s sounds awfully familiar, as does the name of Harold Brintnell. As always, you are a mine of information!

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. I’d forgotten about that! Thanks for the reminder. BTW, do you remember the number of grocery stores that Madoc used to have? A clue to one is in the lettering in the sidewalk ….

    • I believe you have saved me the trouble and answered the question in a later comment, Sash: O’Riordan’s, Devolin’s, McCoy’s and Kincaid’s, right? Have I forgotten anyone? Hard to believe that a small place like Madoc could have supported all those food stores!

      • That’s it, just the four, as far as I recall. If memory serves me correctly, Kincaid’s went from being a Red & White store to IGA, mid-60s. I still remember kind, elderly Mr. Kincaid. He was always there to greet the customers, and he was a very friendly gentleman, always helping to get a grocery cart for my mother. I remember one time he apologized that the tomatoes (those four in a plastic tray) were greener than he would have liked, but he had no control over what was sent to the store.

      • Those four tomatoes in a plastic tray! Yes! I totally remember my mum buying those at Kincaid’s (which, yes, was an IGA by then). Actually I think the tray was green cardboard, and the tomatoes were of course covered in cellophane. And they tasted much like the cardboard and cellophane too. Ah, the days before hothouses and buy local!

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