It’s been a while since I’ve done any posts about the commercial establishments that I remember from my midcentury Manse childhood as being located in the two nearby towns, Madoc and Tweed. (Technically Madoc and Tweed are both villages, not towns, but I think most of us think of them as “town.”) A while back I did a fond look back at two of those, Ross’s Ladies’ Wear and Stickwood’s dry-goods store, both located in Madoc – just click on their names and you’ll dig up my original posts.
Anyway, this very day a most interesting thing came in thanks to regular reader Sash, who grew up in midcentury Madoc (I believe just a few years ahead of me). Sash posted it as a comment on my Ross’s Ladies Wear entry, but since that was a while back, many of you may not find it there. And since it raises a question about commercial history in Madoc, and since I know the answer to that question must be out there among my knowledgeable readership, I thought I’d give it a post unto itself.
In poking around Madoc-related items for sale on eBay, Sash found the vintage matchbook that you can see at the top of this post. Now, I know that many of you of a certain age (like myself) will remember Dack’s shoes; in my youth there was a Dack’s store in every mall and on many urban street corners. The company had rather a sad decline; here is an interesting article about the company’s history and the aforementioned decline – though as you’ll see from the note at the top, not long after it was written there was a relaunch of a refreshed Dack’s brand (more here). The website for what look to be some pretty spiffy 2014 Dack’s shoes is here.
Okay, but as spiffy as those shoes are, it’s not Dack’s per se that I’m interested in. It’s what’s on the back of the matchbook, here:
What, people, is “Thos. A. Ross, Madoc, Ont.”? Is that a connection to Ross’s Ladies’ Wear? But this matchbox is an advert for men’s shoes – and aside from some fluffy slippers (as I recall), Ross’s didn’t sell footwear of any sort, women’s or men’s.
So who can tell me about Thos. A Ross? Was it a shoe store, or a dry-goods store like Stickwood’s that sold shoes and many other things? And where was it located? And when was it in existence? And what was its connection (if any) to Ross’s Ladies’ Wear?
I know you know, people. Please share!
(And Sash: thanks for digging this up!)