Stettler hardware stores bring back memories for writer

Beaver Lumber’s former location always triggers a memory

Stettler’s Beaver Lumber in 1969, at the south end of Main Street. Photo submitted

There’s a line in a song by Canadian duo Bowser & Blue about being nostalgic.

At one point in the song, the singer remarks: “See that spot, above that lot? I used to live right there….” That will probably be me one day.

I make this assumption by the fact that I don’t adapt to new things very quickly.

A prime example of this would be, that even after all these years, I clearly separate the two Home Hardware stores. Not by the addition of ‘Home Building’ as I probably should, but by ‘Home Hardware’ and ‘Beaver Lumber’.

I think this is probably a small town thing.

I’ve seen it before.

A few years back, someone referred to 51st Ave. as Railway Avenue. By this time, I’d learned about the old names of some of our streets, and got quite a kick out of it; however I imagine some people would have no real idea of where he was referring to.

I’ve had this a few times.

Not that I have a lot of hardware store conversations, but when I do my answer to, “Where can I get this?” is usually, “Beaver or maybe Home.”

I can usually tell the age gap when people look at me curiously. I feel less dorky when they just nod knowingly.

One photo I’ve posted this week is Beaver Lumber when it was on the southwest corner of Main Street. It’s a parking lot space now, but it’s the corner directly south of the Sobey’s Liquor Store (speaking of what used-to-be formerly Petro Canada.)

I don’t remember as confidently as I used to if it was Beaver Lumber and then NAPA, or the other way around but if feel it was Beaver then NAPA.

Neither store I remember ever actually being in. Which I do regret.

I do remember being in the large building near the west end of Railway Avenue.

I rather liked the store. When I’m unable to think of what it’s called, I often refer to the church that is in that building now as, “The church in the old Beaver Building.”

At one point, the store was owned/operated by Dave Hagen.

I do remember when Beaver Lumber moved into the store it currently sits in now.

My dad had been operating out of the bay next to it for a few years, so I was lucky enough to have been in OK Economy on days where we’d have a lunch at dad’s office with stuff bought from the adjoining grocery store.

I sadly don’t have any pictures from the OK days.

One day, perhaps.

When I heard Beaver was moving into that building, I was curious how they were going to operate a hardware store in a grocery store. I was fairly young at the time, and didn’t comprehend the extent you could gut and refit a building so I was quite interested to see how they’d pull it off.

Carson Ellis writes a regular local history column for The Stettler Independent.

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