4 Forsyth Street

Marmora Royal Hotel Forsyth Street, Jim Marrin's drug store, c. 1918 (after the fire

Fire at Marmora           

June 26, 1914
A serious fire occurred at Marmora Sunday morning commencing about 2:30, the Reeve telephoned to Reeve Coulter for assistance, asking to have our steam engine go as it looked very serious. Mr. Coultier thought this too risky but promised to take half the fire brigade and the small hand engine and within an hour 17 men under the direction of Chief Jas. Lagrow and the Reeve landed at Marmora and under an hour and fifty the engine got there. By that time the fire had been slightly checked. Our boys on their arrival set to work with a will.and deserve great credit for the willing manner in which they responded to the call for assistance from our sister village in their time of need. They arrived home again about 8:30 Sunday. Both Belleville and Trenton were appealed to for aid but refused to run the risk of sending men or appliances. The fire is supposed to have caught in the rear of Miss McWilliam's millinery store, which with Jones' Drug Store and a laundry, were destroyed. It also extended to the Royal Hotel which, with stables, outbuildings, furniture, contents etc, was also completely destroyed, saving very little. The proprietor of the Hotel had just completed extensive repairs, refurnishing, painting etc., and his loss will be heavy, as it is thought he had not put on insurance.
Stirling News Argus June 26, 1914

Excerpt from Belleville Intelligencer,  Industrial Edition 1914

"The Rexall Store."

One of the best qualified, as he certainly is one of the most careful and attentive druggists and chemists in this section,  is Mr. J. P. Marrln, whose establishment on Forsyth street has always maintained the highest of reputations for pure fresh goods and thoroughly proficient management. Mr. Marrin brings to bear upon his business trained skill and a wide range of practical experience. He established himself In business In Marmora six years ago and is constantly developing a large and influential patronage that has steadily grown to Its present proportions and Importance. The premises are neatly and attractively appointed, and fitted up with all modern improvements.

Competent assistants serve patrons promptly and the prices are always just and moderate. In stock is carried a complete line of pure drugs, patent and proprietary medicines, drug sundries, toilet articles, school books, magazines, stationary, etc. Careful attention Is paid to the compounding of prescriptions and family recipes. A modern soda fountain will be found In connection. Ice cream, soda and all kinds of cooling summer beverages are served here, and a fine line of cigars, cigarettes and tobaccos are carried. This reliable house Is well known to the community, and is conducted upon principles of integrity and the high standard of professional ability.

There have been a number of commercial stores to occupy this building since,  including:

  • Ross's Pizza

  • Hand-Me-Down Shoppe leased by Shirley Zuffelt

  • Bowes and Cocks Real Estate

  • Bill's Pizzeria and Submarine Shop leased by William Werner

  • Mike's Doubles Pizza Shop

In 1862, Doctor Henry Mitchell Jones(1844-1923) arrived in Marmora from Barbados with his sister,  Frances,  and wife,  Elizabeth Bamber,(1854-1884). He was a practicing physician and obstetrician. In 1869 Doctor Jones opened a drug store on Forsyth Street,  but when his wife,  Elizabeth died in 1884,  his sister,  Frances took over management. 


 On Feb. 2,  1909, James Patrick Marrin (see left column)  and his wife Jane Rayburn took over the business of Thomas Oliver. Doctor Oliver was forced to sell his drug store business because the Pharmacy Act of Ontario required that all drug store owners distributing drugs had to be a certified druggist.

Dr. Jones had 3 children - Henry Clive,  born in 1873,  Frances Clare (1877-1883)  and Elizabeth Pearl (1884-1884).  In 1886,  Dr. Jones was remarried.  With his second wife,  Mary Wilkinson,  he had four children:  Muriel Ellen,  Olive Marion,  Hubert Murray Jones and Charles Stewart Jones who married Emma Grant. 

In 1908, Thomas Edward Oliver and his wife, Minerva Warren were the new proprietors of the Jones Drug store. Doctor Oliver was an honour graduate in Dentistry from the University of Toronto.

Fishing 1940 Pat Sullivan, Mrs. Jim Marrin, Margaret Sullivan, Jim Marrin, Peanut McWilliams, Alfred McWilliams

14 September, 1914                          " Mr James Patrick Marrin is excavating for a solid brick structure on the site of Dr. Jones' Drug Store which was recently destroyed by fire. Mr &  Mrs Marrin will move in the apartments over the store" 

In June , 1914, fire destroyed the Marrin Drug Store. The Marrins built a new red brick Rexall Drug store with apartment dwellings upstairs. The new building was officially opened in Nov., 1914.


In July,  1929 William Gould became the proprietor of Marrin's Drug store,  and later,  in 1941,  sold to William Issac Watt.



By 1951,  Mr. Watt had sold the building only to the Royal Hotel,  (who in turn sold it to D.B. Sanderson) while at the same time,  selling the Rexall business to Clinton Nickle

Clinton Spurr Nickle and his wife Audrey Ince took over the Rexall franchise but do not move into the Watt building. Instead, the Nickle's opened up their drug store just a bit south on Forsyth Street in 1956,  where the name remains today.

Back at 4 Forsyth,  John McKeen of Norwood opened a butcher shop under the name Marmora Meat Market. He leased the building from then owner W. D. Sanderson. In 1960, Presley Nichol from Madoc opened a jewellery store in the Watt building,  with a coin laudramat in one half of the area.  After Nichol's jewellery store closed, a series of proprietors either leased or purchased the building in the  subdivided  main floor.

  • Tralis Salon leased by Tracey Booth and Lisa Durbatch

  • Papa's Pizza

  • Reid's Flower and Country Charm

  • Darlene Whitney operated Darr's Pizza until 2013

  • Marmora Pizza.