John Slater [ 1843 - 1924 ]

John Slater was born in England, and arrived in Canada in 1869. He was living for some time in Oakwood and later Toronto, before moving to his farm in Verulam. He commenced business as a watchmaker in Mr. McArthur’s building directly opposite the post office about the first of July 1880 [FFG 10 July 1880; 3]. Slater advertised himself as the only watchmaker in town in September [FFG 4 Sept 1880; 3], and by 1890 he boasted that his store had withstood opposition “five times in the last ten years” [FFG 11 July 1890; 5]. According to the obituary of Frederick Chapman, who arrived in the village in 1886, Chapman worked as a young man for John and Daniel Duggan during this period as well as John Slater [FFG 11 June 1942; 4].

Slater was burned out in the fire of November 1892 [FFG 18 Nov 1892; 4], and his store was robbed in 1895 [FFG 25 Oct 1895; 5], but he continued to make a living. The business moved several times and by the turn of the century Slater was located on the east side of Colborne Street near the canal. His store sign appears in many photographs of the period. Slater owned the “little blue building on Colborne Street” which was rented to Lee Lung in December 1898 [FFG 9 Dec 1898; 5]. Slater’s shop became a fixture of the main street for forty-four years and continued to operate until a few days before his death on October 31st, 1924. He was buried in Fenelon Falls [FFPL 24.17].

695 His ad is dated 1 July.

696 In 1890 Slater’s store was “Now located two doors south of the Mechanic’s Institute.”

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