Myrtle (M.A.) Washburn

  • Millinery 1897, 1902 (Approx.) - 1898, 1954 (Approx.)

In April 1897 the Gazette announced that “Miss Myrtle Washburn, a former resident of the Falls, is now one of Mrs. R. McDougall’s staff of milliners” [FFG 16 April 1897; 4]. “She arrived here from Guelph on Thursday of last week and her mother and brother will shortly come to the Falls with the intention of remaining.” Washburn remained at Mrs. McDougall’s at least until October 1898 when the shop then vanishes from the directories, although other sources claim it lasted to 1902. By 1902 she had set up her own business and it became a feature of the main street in the early decades of the 20th century.

The 1928 Gazette reported the following: “Miss M. Washburn has conducted a millinery establishment in Fenelon Falls for 26 years, taking the business over from J. A. MacDougall in 1902. The millinery parlours were then situated in the store now occupied by Messrs. H. Webster & Sons. Eleven years ago Miss Washburn moved to the present site on the east side of Colborne Street. Previous to taking charge of the business herself, Miss Washburn [worked] for some time with Mrs. MacDougall. Miss Washburn has a large number of customers in town and vicinity and [holds] spring and fall millinery showings at Oakwood and Little Britain. Miss Washburn is a regular visitor to the millinery openings in the city and about half of her stock is composed of pattern hats. Many orders, however, are made up by Miss Washburn, with the capable assistance of Miss Rachel McFarland, who has been with her for ten years. Both Miss Washburn and Miss McFarland are members of the United Church.” [FFPL 28:10A].

812 Washburn was also listed as a weaver in the Ontario Gazetteer and Directory (1901/1902).

813 Miss Washburn’s shop was eventually located in the Fraser Block [Helen Stewart Speller]

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