A century of service

Dear editor,

There is a real milestone that happens this Thursday, December 1, 2022. It will be 100 years since my grandfather, Roy McTaggart took over the operation of a clothing store from Mr. Fred Henderson. I believe the store was on Mowat south of Scott St. in Fort Frances. The current store is now in at least its fourth location.

Three generations worked the business the following 98 years. Three of Roy’s sons, Gord, Jack and Hugh entered the business in the 40’s and into the 50’s. Almost all the third generation worked in the stores at one point during their school years, but it wasn’t until the mid seventies that John and Gord entered the business on a fulltime basis.

Under the stewardship of Gord, Jack and Hugh that the company saw expansion to Atikokan, Kenora, Dryden, Red Lake and a second store in Kenora and then a third. The brothers were visionary for small town retail and lead the way with many inovations in store operations.

In 1984 a group lead by Gord and John and 5 others bought the business the second generation. Under this new group the company saw updating, renovations, computerization and the addition of Source for Sports in Fort Frances and Kenora and a store in Sioux lookout. At one point there were as many as 9 stores.

Over the 98 years of the three generations in the business we were fortunate to have worked with hundreds most likely more than a thousand wonderful staff members who worked tirelessly to meet the needs of so many loyal customers. We were blessed.

As there was no fourth generation to take on the challenge of running a successful it was apparent that a successor be found. We were very fortunate to find a local indigenous investment group to buy the business and who still successfully run the business today in 5 Northwestern Ontario communities.

Thanks for the memories and support over the past century!

John McTaggart