1 McGill St.     The Gladney-Lynch Block


Gladney & McDonnell's Store Burns Down


Marmora Herald April 2, 1908
Shortly before six o'clock this morning some of the men who work at Deloro, and who go out in Webbs' carry all each day, discovered that the interior of Gladney and McDonnell's store was in flames. They at once gave the siren and a crowd soon began to gather, but by the time they got into the store it was impossible to save very much. That the adjoining buildings were saved was almost a miracle and it reflects great credit on the men who worked so faithfully to save it. The tailor shop caught fire a number of times and the heat was intense but those who were on the roof stuck valiantly to their post and poured water over the roof as rapidly as it could be carried from the adjoining wells.

The tailor shop, Miss Eastwood's Millinery Parlors, the telephone office, Mr. MacQueen's office, the dwelling apartments over these buildings and Dr. Jones' residence were nearly stripped of their contents. This was the day announced for Miss Eastwood's Millinery openings and everything was in readiness but hats, trimmings etc. were packed as quickly as possible and carried to the Herald office or other places of safety. While nothing was burned, the loss will be considerable as many of these millinery creations are too dainty to stand handling this way.
The building was a very substantial structure and was one of the oldest in the village, being built at a time when lumber was plentiful and only the best used. It was owned by the Gladney Estate, and although it was insured the loss will be considerable. The store contained a very heavy stock, and in addition there was from $1500. to $2000. worth of fixtures. The stock was fairly well insured but scarcely any- thing was saved and the loss will be very heavy.

The origin of the fire is a mystery though a number of theories are advanced. One is that it had been smouldering all night as two or three who passed the store about ten o'clock last evening smelt something like the odor of burning rags. Others think that it might have ignited some way from the electric wires, but this does not seem probable.

Mr. Norman Pringle's barber shop and pool room also had a narrow escape as the wind was blowing in that direction, carry cinders etc. with it. The heat was also very great and if the roof of the building had been dry instead of wet with snow there is little doubt but that it would have been destroyed. The Royal Hotel nearly had a fire too. One of the burning cinders lit on the sash of one of the windows in front of the building and burned through to the inside, filling the upstairs with smoke before it was discovered.

However the fire was located in time and extinguished before much damage was done. It is strange why some people would run a hundred yards with a pail of water and arrive at the building out of breath and with the pails half empty than stand in line and pass them along, although the latter can be done much more quickly and with very little effort. Another Argument in favor of fire protection. Will it have any effect.

Work to Begin September 3, 1908
A number of men started work yesterday clearing away the debris from Gladney & McDonnell & Co.'s old store preparatory to the erection of a new building. Work is to be pushed forward as rapidly as possible and the new store will be up to date in every particular. Mr. Ed. Shannon has the contract for the building and the fact a new store is to be erected will be a source of great satisfaction to our citizens generally.

Marmora Herald, May 19, 1908

(The Marmora Herald reported that same year that Edward Shannon built buildings at the Deloro plant and the Belmont plant,  Hubbell's store,  Henry Reginald Pearce's house and Mr. Kirkegaard's house in Deloro (later the nursing home)

The Obituary of Clarence William Gladney

  • Ronald Barrons Without a doubt the cold storage locker room was the coldest place to be. I can see that big door that led to the room in my memory and that would have been from over 50 years ago

  • .Glenn Cousineau Worked there for Morris and Bernadette were great bosses

  • Cecelia Murray My parents had a "locker" in the freezer at Lynch's when we were kids...dad kept his venison there til we needed it..probably fish too..though we ate a lot of pickerel in the summers!

The building on the northwest corner of McGill Street and Madoc Street has been  known as the Gladney building and the  Lynch building.   The earliest record indicates that in 1883,  when the Marmora Foundry Co. made its assignment to T.P. Pearce (which included all buildings, mines, equipment, timber limits, lands and water power")  this building was in existence,  and may have been used as one of the Foundry offices.

The property has changed hands a number of times:  T.P. Pearce first transferred it to his company known as the "Cobourg, Peterborough and Marmora Railway" which was his company running ore from Blairton to Cobourg.  That company,  in turn,  sold to Alexander W. Carscallen,  who then sold to B.C. Hubbell,  but later bought it back again with the assistance of William Edward Gladney.   So was established the first home of the   Gladney & Carscallen General Store and tailor shop.    Eventually,  Carscallen gave W.E. Gladney a quit claim deed.  Upon his death,  on Sept. 1, 1902,  the property devolved to his sons,  Edward and Clarence Gladney.

The report of the February 6, 1906   indicates that a partnership was formed at some point with J.A. McDonnell 

“The Gladney and McDonell Company had a cash clearing sale at their store. There are from 15-20 clerks and all of them bustling. The Gladney and McDonnell Company have one of the oldest and best general stores in the Province of Ontario.”

April of 2008, however saw the store burn down (see left), but on March of 2009, the rebuilding was complete, and the store reopened,

" The opening of the new Gladney & McDonnell's & Co's new store on the main corner of the town was a relief for everyone yesterday. For people could not look at Marrnora with that corner in ruins, without feeling a quiver of sorrow, it was like losing an old fireside friend. It had occupied a commanding position on the main corner of the town and had been for a half century one of the leading centres in the town"

"During March, 1909, a beautiful new store was completed and opened to the public. Occupying the same site and much the same general plan, it being six feet wider gives it a more ample appearance. The office is at the rear and forms a landing at the top of the first flight of stairs yet low enough to give a commanding view of the store below.
The second floor is used for clothing, wallpaper, carpets and general surplus stock. Another feature and the first introduction of it in Marmora is the cash and carrier system. At present J.A. McDonnell and E.M. Gladney, eldest son of W .E. Gladney and a junior partner, are on staff. Clarence Gladney, John Gehan and Miss Lena McDonnell act as cashiers."

"Before the store was officially opened, Mr. and Mrs. J .A. McDonnell (Pringle) entertained in the new store for their only daughter Miss Helena. The second floor was used for dancing, Spraque's Orchestra of Belleville providing the music. Refreshments were served on the first floor.'
Marmora Herald, February 1909;

Interesting: The new building also included acetylene lighting system Also, a tailor who worked for Gladney and McDonnell, Mr. Robert E. Colling, later went on to be the jailer at the Hastings County jail for many years.

Edward Mark Gladney

Clarence & Jennie gladney with daughters, jean and lib

According to the Marmora Herald, this partnership was dissolved in June of 1910, when the McDonnell family moved to Moose Jaw. (He had been Reeve of the Village from 1907-1910)

Edward Gladney continued to run the business until he left for service in WW1. In 1914, Clarence, who had been assisting his brother, took over the business and in 1917 formed a partnership with Jack Gehan and Tim Byrne, who was a former book-keeper & cashier at the store.

Marmora Herald 1917 - Messrs. E. M. Gladney, C. W. Gladney, J. H. Gehan and T. J.Byrnes have entered into partnership and have taken over the business of E. M. Gladney & Co., which they will continue under the firm name as formerly.

However,  this agreement was not long lasting and soon thereafter Clarence was running the business on his own, based on a 1925 agreement in which Clarence and Edward were partners,  but with no participation by Edward.  

In 1924 Jack Grant left high school to work for Clarence Gladney. He wrote “I had to open the store at 7:30 each morning, sweep out the aisles, shovel the snow if necessary, and wait on customers from 8:30 to 6:00p.m. We were open every Thursday until 10:00p.m. and every Saturday, as long as customers were coming in…….he had a little Ford truck which I used to deliver groceries to homes in Deloro, and once a week I’d go to Cordova. I was paid $6.00 a week, and I gave my mother $3.00.”

(In October of 1925, Jack left the store to work for the Deloro Mining and Reduction Company where he earned $62.00 in the first month.)

 In 1932,  Clarence sold the business to become a travelling salesman.

"The C.W. Gladney store was later sold to Albert Maynes,who remodelled and repainted the store a bright red, and called it the Marmora 5 cent to $1.00 store". --. Marmora Herald, March 21, 1935

Friday morning, - March 1st, Mr. Albert Maynes started to remodel C. W. Gladney's store, which is to be fitted up in the most modern style as a 5c to $1.00 store. The interior of the store has been cleared out to the bare walls, all shelving and other fixtures being removed. A partition has been erected across the rear of the store, providing for an office and a convenient store room and also shutting off the stairs from the main building. Only the one floor will be used. The interior will first be painted throughout and then new shelves and about 120 feet of counters will be erected. Handsome new lights are also being installed. It is expected the store will open for business about April 12th and further particulars will be given later. Marmora Herald March 7, 1935


In late 1949,  Vincent Michael Lynch (1907-1982)and his wife, Anna Christina Maloney (1905-1999) purchased the store from Albert Maynes. By the summer of 1950, the store had been converted to a grocery store with cold storage facilities and  renamed "Lynch's Frosted Foods". In the early peak years, over 500 lockers were rented out to families who stored their surplus vegetables and meats, When deep freezes became popular in every household in tile mid-1950's, the rental of lockers fell off drastically. Rather than close this section of the store down, as happened in many of the surrounding villages that had cold storage facilities, the store utilized the freezer department internally for their meat storage, and later, for storing their bagged ice cubes.

Vincent Lynch served for years as a councillor and later became Reeve for he Village of Marmora in the early 50’s. He died June 19, 1982 and is buried at Sacred Heart Cemetery, It was his brother, Morris Lynch who took over the business.

Morris Lynch, who took over the store from his father in 1975, closed down the grocery end of the business in 1987.  The store ice-cube making equipment has been removed and sold, and the freezer department has been shut down permanently .. Morris then ran the  Prince Edward Ice Company with his son Michael from their residence on Highway 7.Michael, his wife, Cathy and their young son, Cole,  lived in the huge apartment, built by his grandfather, located directly above the store.
Marmora Herald  Dec.1996


The buildings to the north were also owned by A.W. Carscallen and no doubt were built on land owned by the Marmora Foundry Co. 


Between 1865 and 1899 the Marmora Post office was located in the first building,  with David Bentley as postmaster. Besides being Post Master,  David Bentley was a Division Court Clerk &   Manager of the Iron Works.  He and his wife, Sarah Hodgkins,  originally lived in the limestone building that later became the Royal Hotel at Forsyth & Madoc Streets.  In 1883,  Mr. Bentley built his home at 18 McGill Street

The Marmora Municipal Office was located there in the 1940s, followed by Charles Bleecker's Insurance office,  which was later taken over by his son,  Howard Bleecker.   and  Miriam Savage.  Miss Savage was brought in from Quebec to assist Charles Bleecker at home and later  in the insurance business and with his duties as Village Treasurer.   Upon the death of Charles Bleecker in 1945,  she carried on the agency and his role as Clerk Treasurer upon 1969,  when she retired due to ill health,  and sold the practice to Gordon and Stella Bennett,  who relocated the insurance business at 31 Forsyth.

Council, Ralph Neal, Miriam Savage, Bob Maynes, Wm Shannon.j

Miriam savage

Miriam Savage's famous chair

In 1973 Don Mullen & the Marmora Herald  occupied this building,   where Mr. Mullan built additions to the back of the building.  (The coin laundry (above)  is a new addition (2015) replacing the staircase as shown  in the snowy picture above.)



The next building to the north was the Bell Telephone building which operated until the 1960's.

A man named Donald Clark,  who served in the office of the Deloro Goldfields,   was employed at the Carscallen bank,  along with a junior by the name of Wm. Laycock.  It seems Mr. Clark had his own plans on how to run the bank.

The last commercial building to the north housed the insurance office of A.W. Carscallen and his private bank " the Carscallen bank" (1886-1903), which,  in 1903 became the "Carscallen & Co. Private Bankers,  with a board of directors:  teller,  (Judge) James Parker,  William Hilton,  James Hughes and Michael O'Connor.  In January of 1904,  the company was bought out by the Sovereign bank.  On January 17, 1908,  the Sovereign Bank moved to the O'Neill building,  which was eventually home to the TD Bank in modern times.

In the meantime,  this last building, soon owned by Judge Parker,  was sold to the Great War Veterans Association (G.W..V.A.) on Feb. 5, 1945,  with Wilbert Wright as the first president & commander.  This Legion remained at this location until Sept. 1970,  when they purchased the Marmora Public School on No. 7 highway.  It officially opened on Dec. 4, 1971


jUNE 30, 1908 Mr. MaccQueen was Justice of the Peace. He was also the lay preacher at thePresbythrian church up on the hill.

The residential house just past this commercial set of buildings at 11 McGill,  is sometimes referred to as the Prout house,  where Mr. Fred Hamilton lived in the '60s. It was also known as the Laura Foley house.

11 McGill St. - The Prout house, also known as the Laura Foley house, - a wrongful visit by Herb Wright's car.