The collection of donations “in kind” is an important part of the work at the Historical Foundation. To actually hold the “piece of the past” not only links us to a time and place gone by, but opens up a whole story of someone’s life. We are reminded to think of the what, the when, the who, the where and the why behind the item.
Recently we received from Bob Sweet, (known to some as Sour Dough), the bank account books and day books of William Sweet’s bakery, originally located at 1 Main Street, at the NW corner of Main and Madoc Streets. (Bob is the grandson of William)
There stood there a small frame building where Mr. Wilkinson, the shoe maker, lived. This wooden building, built in 1875, was remodelled by William Sweet into his first bakery, and ice cream shop later in 1908. But in 1920, it burned down, at which time, Mr. Sweet and his wife, Emma Froats, moved their bakery to 1 Forsyth Street, known by many now as the Cassidy building.
The names in the Day books remind us of all the families the Sweets encountered each day, and which ones had the large families to feed. For smaller families, a half loaf could be had for five cents.
His successful business, which lasted until 1953, sent him across the street each day to the Sovereign Bank, first located in the last commercial building on the west side of McGill Street (#9). By 1908, however, Mr. Sweet had to carry his daily profits down to the bank’s new location at 32 Forsyth. In 1908, the Sovereign Bank closed its doors for the last time, and opened the next day as the “Dominion Bank”.
After the death of William Sweet from typhoid, on April 11, 1922, less than a year after the official opening of this building, his children Arthur (1887-1975), Frank John (1891-1955) (both of whom suffered typhoid that same year) and Jennifer 1903-1975) ran the bake shop until 1953.