The General Store

Sometimes the questions go unanswered.

Why was some stuff left behind when the general store closed? I can figure out why the store closed – the community died.

Passed through Balaclava, Ontario, yesterday. Actually, we didn’t as much pass through as go looking for it. The community is one of several “ghost” towns in Renfrew County, places that were once thriving communities now abandoned. We were visiting the Bonnechere Caves (I’ll post about that soon) and I knew Balaclava was the closest ghost town.

I didn’t do much exploring. There are “no trespassing” signs posted. I’m generally a law-abiding creature, but I was sorely tempted to make an exception. However, there were children with us, and I do try, sometimes at least, to set a good example. I figured if I went in they would follow, and that would lead to safety concerns. I could see a couple of holes in the floor. Who knows how sound the structure is.

The sawmill that was the lifeblood of his community was closed almost 50 years ago. I suspect the store closed not long after. The products that I could see on the shelves had English language labels only. That means they have been sitting on those shelves since before 1974, when bilingual labeling was made mandatory in Canada. To me that doesn’t seem that long ago – a sure sign I am getting older.

So I didn’t go in to the general store. But I did take some pictures for you.




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