C. B. Spencer & Sons

 

The firm of C.B. Spencer & Sons was originally established in 1870 by John H. Spencer. It was later passed on to his sons, Charles B. and Thomas E. Spencer. They were vessel owners, outfitters, and dealers in general merchandise. Mr. C.B. Spencer was a pioneer in Bank Fishery who built, sailed, and captained his own vessel.

Following the death of his brother in 1925, Charles B. took over full management of the firm until he retired in 1936. It was then passed to his two sons. Roy became the senior partner, and co-owner with brother Stanley. As Roy Spencer spent much time overseas during both World Wars, management of the firm was left mainly to Stanley, who was assisted by their two unmarried, and very ladylike sisters, the Misses Lucy and Winnie.

The two-storey building on Piercey Street has changed ownership several times since it was sold by the Spencer family in the 1970s and no longer looks the same. It's remembered as a quaint, old-fashioned general store where the customer requested all purchases from the clerk who would place them on the counter and then total up the cost, chatting all the while. Upon entering, you noticed a distinct smell, the pungent scent of barrel apples, dried fruit, molasses and loose tea combined with the freshness of new dish cloths and tea towels, sunlight soap and many other things. It may sound like a slow and tiresome process to today's generation who are used to modern supermarkets, but it was personal service and generally provided with a smile.

© 2015 - Town of Fortune, Newfoundland and Labrador

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