The Hargrove General Store was built by J. C. Clark in the 1850s, and during over 130 years of operation, it changed hands many times.
Mr. Clark ran it as a general store for a number of years before he moved to Sarnia, at which time it was taken over by Duncan Gamble. In the 1880s, it changed hands again and Peter Cattanach took over.
The name of the store was later changed to Stokes and Stover when it was purchased by Henry Stokes and W. W. Stover. During the time they owned it, the store was moved to the east corner of the St. Clair Parkway and Smith Street from its former location about four blocks north of that site.
Eventually, W. C. Curtis bought and operated the store for about two years before selling to William E. and Adrian Hargrove in February, 1904. They operated it until 1909, then rented the building to Del Davis, who brought his own stock, but three years later, William Hargrove took over again. His brother, Adrian, moved to Western Canada.
In 1916, Charles Doan became William’s partner and the store’s name changed to Hargrove and Doan. William’s son, Warren, who spent much of his youth in the store, became a partner after World War II and took over its operation when his father died and Doan retired. Warren operated the store until he retired in 1983.
The store’s last owner was Kelly Johnston, who ran it as a meat market and general store until a fire in 1991 destroyed the building.
Today, a park and plaque mark the site where the old general store once stood,
Photo is of the Hargrove General Stopre as it appeared when it was first in operation. Story Courtesy St. Clair Beacon. Photo courtesy St. Clair Township Heritage Committee.