Tuesday, August 21, 2012

666 Main Street - Weir Hardware Building


Main Street

Place:
The Weir Block
Address: 666 Main Street (Map)
Built: 1899
Architect: Unknown


Background:


Main Street ca. 1910

The F. W. Weir Company hardware store was created in 1893 by Frederick William Wooler Weir who came to Winnipeg from his native Peterborough, Ontario. In June 1899 Weir purchased a 23 foot lot on Main Street at Henry Avenue and had this building constructed. The architect is unknown.

The main floor housed the store and the upper floor was office space. For much of its first four decades it housed doctors offices, including A. J. Slater in the 1900s and Dr. Wilson Graham in the 1930s.

September 14, 1900, Manitoba Free Press

1905 Henderson Directory

In April 1905 Weir joined forces with John M. Wilson, a former manager at J. H. Ashdown Hardware, and the firm was renamed Weir and Wilson.

Frederick Weir married Mary Georgette Wilson, (not sure if she is related to his business partner), on May 16, 1889. She was from a pioneer family that came to Red River by paddle boat in 1876. The couple had seven children, four sons and three daughters.

Sons Morley and Stanley were sportsmen in the early 1920s, teammates on both the Elmwood Giants baseball team and the Assiniboines hockey club. They worked at the family business and eventually took it over when Weir and Wilson retired and renamed it the Weir Hardware Company.

F. W. Weir died in 1933 at the age of 75, wife Mary in 1939 and partner John M. Wilson in 1936.



666 Main Corydon hardware

In 1938 a second Weir Hardware location opened in the former Corydon Meat Market building at 838 Corydon Avenue but in 1950 it was sold off and became Corydon Hardware. The following year the Weir brothers sold the Main Street business to
James Rosenstock, a long-timer merchant in Winnipeg and Beausejour. He renamed it Bell Hardware.

March 5, 1953, Winnipeg Free Press

It appears that Stanley retired to Petersfield Manitoba, though I can find no record of his death.

Morley's wife Evelyn died in Winnipeg in 1951 and he moved to Houston, Texas and purchased the Park Hotel in the downtown area. Early on March 4, 1953 he got into a dispute with a customer over an unpaid hotel bill. The customer struck Morley who fell and hit his head on the pavement and died hours later in hospital. He was 55 years old.



Main Street, early 1980s (source)

Rosenstock ran Bell Hardware until around 1986, (he died in 1994.) It appears that the building has been empty since that time.

In 2007 CentreVenture purchased a group of buildings in the 600 block of Main Street for redevelopment. All were demolished except for the Bell Hotel, which has been redeveloped into an assisted housing complex, and the Weir Block.


666 Main

In October 2011 CentreVenture announced that JMT Holdings, a division of JC Paving, purchased the 666 and 668 Main Street to construct a three storey commercial building with a pharmacy on the main floor. In August 2012 a "coming soon" sign for the new development was hung from the building.

UPDATE: The building was demolished in February 2013:


Weir Hardware Block
Weir Hardware Block

Related: 
Photos of 666 Main Street
666 Main Street
Historic Buildings Report 

 Main Street

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