From Livery Stables to Auto Centres


    Seems like all new things that come to Leduc in its early years started in downtown. By the time Paul Therriault sold his livery stable in 1923 the automobile had replaced horses as the normal means of transportation. By 1924 both the Leduc Hardware and the Moss/Bullock Hardware stores had established Bowser pumps in front of their stores to meet the needs of their customers. 
    It didn’t take long for individuals to see the need for auto mechanics and by the mid 1930’s several auto mechanical shops were open for business on 50th Avenue. Perhaps the best know was called Otto’s Auto Service and was operated by Otto Grubert.
    One of the first gasoline companies to make their products available to Leduc residents was the Purity 99 Oil Company. This was an Alberta company that built their own refinery in Turner Valley. The company expanded and by the 1940’s had stations across the prairies. In 1953 the company was bought out by another Canadian company called the Anglo American Exploration. Purity 99 would keep its brand name. Eventually BA bought out Anglo in 1963 and in turn was absorbed by Gulf Canada in 1970 and the Purity 99 brand name disappeared. Gulf would be sold to Petro Canada in 1985 and now is part of Suncor Energy. The Leduc Motors, located on Therriault’s original Livery stable site, sold Purity 99 gas for 11 cents a gallon in the early 1950’s.
    Other well-known Alberta brands available in Leduc during the 1930’s and 40’s were Red Head and Royalite as well as the still familiar international companies of ESSO and Shell.
    It didn’t take long for several Leduc businessmen to decide there was money to be made in selling automobiles directly to Leduc residents and a number of dealerships opened their doors to the public. Among the first to open was the Maple Leaf Motors in 1937 and would sell Dodge and DeSoto cars and trucks. Their competition saw Ford’s being sold by H. Judson’s Garage and in 1947 Howard Henderson open up his Chrysler - Plymouth - Fargo dealership on the corner of 50th Avenue and 48th Street. 
    Henderson had trouble opening up on time as three weeks prior to the grand opening a huge wind and hailstorm hit the area and blew out 15 of the buildings windows. The storm was so large that dirt blown into the air as far away as Telfordville could be seen as a black cloud. The dealership was, at the time, the biggest in Leduc and provided gas and a repair shop as well as new and used trucks and cars. In time Henderson changed the cars he sold to Buicks and Pontiacs.
    Just as the various grocery stores found it more and more difficult to serve their customers because of increase traffic flow and moved to locations that could handle the parking needs of their customers the various dealerships began to move away from downtown to more convenient locations. By 1961 Henderson had moved and sold the building. Today a number of businesses are located in the structure where one once bought and had repaired their automobiles. The building has been modernized and streamlined and from the front looks nothing like what one saw when Henderson sold his cars, but if you walk around the back you can still see the white wall just as it looked in the 1950’s.

More Stories:
  • Lions' International Life Membership Award The shiny metal Lions’ International Life Membership Card received by Wetaskiwin Lion, Isabel Peters, on November 24, 2014, is a symbolic recognition of her long time, dedicated service to the Club. The card was presented ...
  • Piatta Forma Singers Perform With The Black Gold Community Band Leduc choir Piatta Forma Singers joined the Black Gold Community Band in an outstanding concert held at Peace Lutheran Church in Leduc city’s downtown core, on the evening of Saturday December 6th. Piatta Forma Singers, a ...
  • Ben Turner - Liberal Hopeful A local man wants to change the face of Parliament. Twenty-two-year-old Ben Turner is vying for a Liberal nomination to run in the newly created Edmonton-Wetaskiwin riding in the next federal election. “I’m not too pleased ...
  • 600 & Counting For Telford Singers On a recent snowy and cold winter night, the Telford Singers celebrated an iconic milestone as they presented their 600th performance to a large crowd of appreciative residents, families and staff of Planeview Place. This ...
  • Millet Winter Carnival On Sunday, December 07, 2014 Millet held the second year of its Winter Carnival. At 10:00 am, the Millet Agriplex was filling with participants, volunteers, families, friends and Santa. The day started with a Carnival put ...
  • Leduc Fundraiser Welcomes Danielle Smith Wildrose members and ‘politically-curious’ residents gathered on Wednesday, December 3rd for a fundraiser hosted the Leduc-Beaumont Wildrose Constituency Association, promoting the Wildrose candidate for our region, Sharon ...
  • The Ash Girl The Wetaskiwin Composite High School (WCHS) Drama troupe performed Timberlake Wertenbakers’ ‘The Ash Girl’ running December 46, 2014. During the first couple of minutes of the performance, one was surprised by the sophistication ...
  • Twas The Night Before Christmas (Almost) Submitted by T.A. Phillips Recreation Coordinator, Town of Calmar After two years in the waiting, the residents of Calmar finally had their very own Christmas in the Park last night, December the 4th. Poor weather over the ...
  • CP Holiday Train 2014 The Christmas spirit swung into full force in Wetaskiwin at 5:30 p.m. on December 8th, 2014 with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train 2014. The train began its journey to raise awareness of the issue of hunger ...
  • A Memorable Ride For the first time this year, Food Bank executives were invited to ride aboard the CPR Holiday Train from Millet to Leduc, representing the Leduc and District Food Bank, Gert Reynar, executive director and Nadine Leming, ...
  • Check Stop On Highway 2A Amid a vast array of flashing lights on Highway 2A in front of the Super 8 Lodge in Wetaskiwin, vehicles were ushered through a Check Stop on December 6th, 2014. Only this time it was a Charity Check Stop where motorists ...
  • 15th Concert In The Country Pig Roast When you combine good food and good music, you have the delightful kind of evening that Millet’s Concert in the Country held for its 15th annual fall Pig Roast. The succulent pork from a whole roasted pig with all the trimmings ...
  • Thorsby Curling Club Donates $27,338 Submitted By Sam Kobeluck Thorsby Curling Club, which has been inactive since the late 80s, has turned over $11,000 to the Thorsby Elementary School for the purchase of a set of handbells for the music program, and a total ...
  • Annual Rotary Cruise Raffle On the bitterly cold morning of Saturday November 29, the exit lobby of Canadian Tire in Leduc saw a table set up with cheerful Rotary Club of Nisku-Leduc members selling tickets to the Annual Cruise Raffle, a popular fundraiser ...
  • CHIPS Went Shopping And Found Wetaskiwin Mall The 2014 CHIPS (Children’s Indoor Play Society) Winter Carnival was held on November 29th, 2014 in the Wetaskiwin Mall in the old Canadian Tire / Western RV space from noon till 4 pm. There were many squeals of excitement, ...
  • Danger At Highway 21 A heartbroken mother wants something done about the deadly intersection that took her daughter’s life. Using the opportunity for the public to speak to Leduc County Councillors on any topic at their Nov. 25 meeting, Shelley ...
  • 7-Year-Old Hero A seven-year-old boy continues to receive accolades for his heroism. t the Nov. 24 City of Leduc council meeting, Brandon Irwin was presented with a Leduc Achievement Award for the actions that saved the life of four-year-old ...
  • Local Woman Needs Community Support Imagine that you’re facing brain surgery, with an estimated recovery time of up to six months. Now imagine that you have $800.00 a month to do it on. This is the reality for one Wetaskiwin woman. Tracey Schmidt’s health struggles ...
  • 50 Years Broadcasting The Gospel The annual Far East Broadcasting Banquet in Wetaskiwin celebrated 50 years as a Canadian organization; brought news that Bob Bowman, founder of FEB Radio International in 1945, had passed away on March 12, four days before ...
  • Lakedale LightHorse 4-H Club By Kate Harink, Club Reporter And we’re off! The Lakedell Lighthorse Club has re-united for the 2014-2015 season. We have come to use our heads for clearer thinking, our hearts for greater loyalty, our hands for larger service, ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia