From Livery Stables to Auto Centres

Pipestone Flyer

    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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Photo submitted/ Rita-anne Fuss
Distancing Diamond Project in Millet for mental health

Distancing Diamonds allow for social distancing community gathering.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

The death of 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze of Edmonton has now been ruled a homicide following an ongoing RCMP investigation.
UPDATE: RCMP arrest youth for second degree murder of 19-year-old Jacob Chitze

Arrest made for the murder of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19.

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

Cases in Ponoka (East Ponoka County) as of Oct. 27. (alberta.ca)
Diagnosed cases of COVID-19 at three Ponoka businesses

Town ‘strongly encouraging’ residents to wear non-medical masks in public

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020. The Alberta government is hoping to get more Albertans employed by moving to limit the number and type of temporary foreign workers it allows into the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Alberta to limit temporary foreign worker program to save jobs for Albertans

Temporary foreign workers already in the province won’t be affected

(Emily Jaycox/Bashaw Star)
Wreath laying ceremony held in Manfred, Alta.

Ceremony marks 64th anniversary of Hungarian revolution, honours settlers

Submitted
Montana First Nations councillor gives back to youth

By Chevi Rabbit For Ponoka News Reggie Rabbit is a newly elected… Continue reading

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Most Read