George H. (Henry) McGee

George McGee was in business for many years as a carpenter in Fenelon Falls before he opened a hardware store in 1897. He appears in the listings as early as 1890 as a builder/carpenter. In 1893 he owned a small shop “under the front of Ingram’s Hall, [on Francis Street East opposite the Mansion House Hotel] with a large shed behind it” [FFG 3 Feb 1893; 4]. In 1896 he built a “neat little carpenter shop” “on the rear end of Mr. John Chamber’s lot at the north east corner of Colborne and Francis Streets” [FFG 3 July 1896; 5]. By the end of the year he had decided to go into hardware, as he was already acting as an agent for various building supplies. “Mr. George McGee returned Monday from Toronto, where he purchased a stock of hardware, which he will open in Mr. William McArthur’s store, nearly opposite the post office… [FFG 8 Jan 1897; 4]. The store was open by mid-January and in May the front was “resplendent with fresh [pea green] paint” [FFG 14 May 1897; 5]. In 1898 he took on Mr. H. Ackert, from Ingersoll, as an assistant [FFG 29 April 1898; 5], and in July installed acetylene gas lighting [FFG 22 July 1989; 4].

The 1904 Souvenir completes the story. “G.H. McGee carries a most complete stock of general hardware, paints, oils, brushes, lamp goods, house furnishings in tinware, graniteware and silverware, builder’s supplies. He makes a specialty of tourists’ and campers’ outfits, every kind of fishing poles and tackle being kept in stock. He also carries a full stock of stoves and ranges and keeps two men employed attending to his eaves toughing and general jobbing business. It is 8 years since he started in business and his trade is rapidly increasing. Mr. McGee has been a member of the Council for several terms and is a member of the present body.”

The business disappears from the directories in 1906.

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