Ure’s Country Kitchen & Variety Will Be 25 Years Old in June! (NOW 26 YEARS!!)
And In The Middle Of Their Enlarged Facility Is The Structure Which Was Built As A Grocery Store Exactly 100 Years Ago
Article Published Spring 2013 | Marsh Collection Newsletter
Written By: Elenor Warren
It was a simple question that turned into a complex research project. In February the Marsh Historical Collection once again displayed its collection of Valentine cards from the 1920s. Included in the exhibit was a copy of a flyer from the Amherstburg Echo, January 15, 1926, which advertised “Chateau La Danse, the new dance hall and cafeteria built by George Sellars at Malden Centre.” One of our
visitors upon seeing the flyer asked, “Where at Malden Centre was that?” Well, that did it! Now that our curiosity was piqued there was nothing left to do but start digging. What we found was both historically and genealogically significant.
In 1902 Amos E. Wood moved his family from Kent County to a farm on Lot 34, 4th Concession of Malden. The Wood children were at that time as follows: Joseph, age 17; Reginald, 15; Harry, 13; Guy, 11; Willie, 2; and Lydia Jane, 1. Four more children were born in Malden: Charles, Mary, Ponty and Robert.
Reginald Wood, the second-eldest son, had always been frail and wasn’t able to work the farm with his brothers, so in 1913 Amos purchased four acres on the southeast corner of Hwy. 20 and 6th Concession from Fred Squire for $500. Here he erected a wood frame structure so that 26-year-old Reggie could operate a grocery store. In September, 1920 Reg Wood married Rosa Beaudoin and together they eked out a living running the little store. Unfortunately, by late 1921 Reginald’s chronic heart condition worsened and he passed away the following January. In April, 1922, Amos sold the Malden Centre property to George A. Sellars, who built a “two-storey frame house of the Brunswick type…adjoining the store”. Sellars evidently enlarged the place to accommodate the new dance hall and cafeteria mentioned in the
1926 ad. (Incidentally, Amos signed his name “Wood”, not “Woods”.)
Milton Cornwall was the next proprietor of the grocery store. In May of 1927 he leased the business and moved his family into “the adjoining house”. Nineteen years later, in March 1946, the Cornwalls sold the place to Reginald Bonnett and John Hiser for
$16,000. By then gas pumps had been installed but dates for additions and renovations allude us at this time. However, an item in the Echo of April 6, 1950 mentions that Reg Bonnett “enlarged his store at Malden Centre and opened a recreational centre”.
We haven’t been able to determine how long Bonnett was there, or how James and Marjorie Cameron became the owners of the property, but in 1953 they deeded the property to Elmer “Digger” Bondy for $1.00 “and other considerations”. Following Elmer’s death in 1962, his wife Albertine operated the business for an undetermined period of time. After that there were Pashleys, Eichenbergers and Kings in charge of the operation, and perhaps others whose names are not known to us.
On June 15, 1988 along came the hard-working, energetic Randy and Laurie Ure, who with their family have turned Ure’s Country Kitchen & Variety into a household name. Gas pumps, groceries, ice cream cones, gift items and Laurie’s kitchen – especially Laurie’s kitchen – are all available at Ure’s, and all with friendly service and a free smile. If you haven’t had breakfast at Ure’s, you haven’t had
breakfast! We congratulate Randy and Laurie on their 25th anniversary. Well deserved!