15 Forsyth Street (now park & throughway to back parking)
Originally on this lot was situated Clarke's jewellery, which was run by Nina Pinner, who eventually married George Hartley. Together Nina and George would later run their own jewellery store and watch repair in the building across the street (Shannon's drug store).
In 1916, Michael James Moloney (1875-1940) and Charles Alfred McWilliams (1874-1920) went into partnership and bought the jewellery store and spare lot beside it and installed a "fine modern garage" with a gas pump. (see photo on left)The building used by Clarke was sold to D.G. Chisolm and moved to his place.
"Messrs Moloney and McWilliams, who are agents for the Chevrolet car, are at present excavating for an underground tank which will be placed in front of the garage about five feet below the surface of the ground. The tank will hold ten barrels and will be fitted with an up-to-date automatic pump." Marmora Herald April 27, 1916
George Forestell, in 1934, joined Mr. Maloney in the partnership after McWilliams had died, and upon the death of Moloney in 1940, took sole proprietorship
In 1951, the Department of Highways notified George Henry Forestell (1883-1962) that he had to remove his garage gas pumps no later than January 1, 1952. Without the sale of gasoline plus his advancing age, George decided to sell his garage and property to Albert Johnston Maynes (1901- 1967) in the fall of 1951.
Albert Maynes immediately tore the old wooden garage building down and had the ground levelled by March, 1952. He planned to build a restaurant and two retail stores for rental purposes on this site.
Patrick Whalen of Tweed, was given the contract to build the 3 retail stores. Mr. Whalen had previously built the Plaza Theatre, the Liquor Control Board store and the Maynes residence located directly above the liquor store. He had also renovated the front of the Loveless Grocery Market (L.G.M.). The new Maynes cement block building was 110 feet in length and 40 feet wide.
On Tuesday, March 10, 1964, fire broke out at 4:30 a.m. in Richard's Restaurant. By noon although the fire was under control, the entire 3 stores were completely destroyed. Also heavily damaged in the fire were the apartments on the second floor and one apartment on the first floor of the Spencer Block which was north of the new Maynes Block.
Fire Chief Cecil Arthur Neal (1919-1990) and pumpers from Stirling, Madoc and Marmora Township battled the fire until it was finally brought under control. The local Marmora volunteer firemen praised the new water supply system installed in the village the previous summer for providing a steady pressure.
Living in the Spencer Block upper apartment dwellings were: Thomas and Archie Wong, George Mah, Robert King (1890- 1974) and his wife Mary Switzer (1915-2003) and their daughter, Mrs. Seymour Henry/ nee Christine McCormack (1895- 1969) and her son, Ronald Henry. Tenants in the lower rear apartment were Mr. and Mrs. Frank Baker.
Minor water and fire damage occurred at the Liquor store, the Plaza Theatre and the Maynes family dwelling. Living at the Maynes apartment at the time of the fire were, Mrs. Albert Maynes ,nee Helen Emerson (1900-1993), her son Robert Maynes (1932-1994) with his wife Margaret Empey (1936-2005)
The Maynes Block would later become a pedestrian pathway leading from the business section to the Legion Memorial Park.
The restaurant was officially opened on June 12, 1952 and was named Richards Restaurant after its owner, Richard Bon Mah of Toronto.
Also involved with the daily operation of the restaurant was Cecil Mah and Richard's son, Thomas Mah (1935-1958)
The restaurant had 9 booths located on the long north wall and several swivel stools near the counter. The new restaurant would accommodate 66 customers. The seats were upholstered in bright red leather with brown table tops.
A Seelbury-Selecto juke box held 100 45 rpm records. The restaurant was very popular with the young crowd especially after school hours when everyone gathered for a coke and French fries.
Next door Wes Graham opened a men's clothing store and later it was owned by Bill Clare. Bill Clare's Mens Wear had a going out of business sale during May 1962 and the store remained empty.
The third store was a women's clothing store and it was owned by Mrs. James Cumming/nee Reine Bourbeau (1897- 1977). Her daughter Mrs. James Marett , nee Lucille Bourbeau (1921-2005) managed Reine's Ladies Fashions.
Contributed by Gerald Belanger
Joan Deering: Worked one whole summer at Richards Restaurant and actually met my husband Nook Deering there.I also worked at Rene's boutique there after school .
Nancy Mah To all that worked there, you might remember my brother and me, running around as we were not very old at the time.
Pearl McCaw Franko: I worked at Richard's. George Mah gave me a graduation gift when I graduated as a nurse in 1963. It's a silver pin with a bow on it and a pencil that attached magnetically. Lovely. Perfect for a nurse. Still have it. He was very nice to me. He gave me my first cheeseburger. Someone had ordered it and left. I had only ever had a plain burger as the cheese was 5 cents more. I had mixed feelings working Saturday nights. All the guys who'd had a few at the hotel arrived just before closing and ordered all this food just when we were almost all cleaned up. However, they were generous tippers!
Sandra L. Wilson: I worked there too! Worked many nine hour shifts for $3.00 plus tips when I was only 12 & 13 yrs. old. Great experience with George and Archie. Both always kind and considerate.