Snow Road Village
Snow Road Village got its name from John Snow, the surveyor for the old Snow Road, which began at Belfours Bridge and went through to Vennacher.
The K&P railroad had the first train into Snow Road in 1883. In 1913, the Canadian Pacific Railroad took over this line and in May they closed some of the stations, making them flag stations, Snow Road being one of these. John A. Geddes was appointed caretaker/agent of the station at that time and continued as such until the station was closed in Feb. 1963. Snow Road was a busy spot during the 1920s-1930s; pulp wood was being shipped by farmers from as far away as Watson's Corners. It was common to see as many as 50 or more teams coming in hauling pulp wood and various other types of wood. The wood was loaded and shipped out on the K&P. Maple syrup was another large export. Every spring, this syrup could be seen piled as high as the ceiling in the freight shed and the balance on the platform outside. There was more syrup shipped from Snow Road then anywhere else in the dominion of Canada at that time.
Snow Road Businesses
McLaren's Depot Store
Information from an interview with Mary Gemmill.
What is now part of Snow Road Station was once called McLaren's Depot. The lumberman, Peter McLaren, built a small log store with a post office and a residence on what is now the east end of Snow Road. He also built large warehouses, stables and a blacksmith shop. His blacksmith was James Cameron, father of Walter Cameron, the famous blacksmith and woodcarver of Fallbrook.
In 1887, the Canada lumber company bought all of the McLaren interests and Peter McLaren moved to his home in Perth, Nevis Cottage. He became a Senator in 1890. The Canada Lumber Company built a larger store next to the warehouses and a house next to the store for the use of their Superintendent and Paymaster. Some prices from their time were: eggs - .10 per dozen, high laced shoes - 1.50, coal oil - .25 a gallon, chewing tobacco - .10 per plug and green tea - .25 per pound. The post office that was in the original log building was closed in 1914, when it amalgamated with the Snow Road Station post office at Geddes' Store in the C.P.R station. It remained there until John Geddes retired; then moved back to McLaren's Depot Store in January 1949. The post office kept the name of Snow Road Station and remains so today.
In 1895, the Canada lumber company sold the McLaren's Depot complex to Bill and Jim Richard, brothers from Massachusetts, who continued to run the store. They built a large stone house farther down the road that is still there today. They operated the store until they left for western Canada about 1900. The house was bought by David Gemmill in 1909 when he obtained the rest of this property. Eventually, all the buildings disappeared except the larger store, the home beside it and one old storehouse that became a garage.
The store was then operated by W.J. Clement until Jan. 1914. Between 1914 and 1917, it was operated by Nettie Richard and her brother, Albert, and on Sept. 17, 1917, it was rented to Adam McGonegal. After him, there were a few short-time residents, John Gordon, George Gemmill (who bought the store from the Richard estate in 1936). There were several long vacancies.
In 1942, John A. Geddes bought the store from George Gemmill, but kept it vacant as he was operating the store at the other end of the village in the railway station. On Oct. 1, 1948, John sold all the stock in his own store, plus the depot store, to Max and Dorothy Millar. They ran the store for 25 years and owned it when the post office came back there. They sold to Gerry and Phyllis Saylor of Pennsylvania April 1, 1973. While Saylors had the store, they opened a restaurant in the side addition of the store. They called it the "Doo-Drop Inn". They offered breakfast, lunch and dinners. The restaurant only ran for a short time and then they closed it. They gave up the store business in Mar. 1978.
In 1986, the building was purchased by Dale and Mary Gemmill, who converted it back to a store and offered most everything people would need, including groceries, gas, dry goods, hardware, licences, fishing equipment, etc. After ten years in business, they had a party at their store to celebrate their success. There was music, dancing and refreshments outside in the yard. They ran the store until October 31, 2010, at which time they closed and the mail boxes were installed at the Snow Road Community Hall. In 2011, they held an auction sale and the store was torn down in March 2013.
When Gerry and Phyllis Saylor gave up the business in 1978, Phyllis continued as postmistress until she resigned in 1986 and the post office closed. Then rural delivery started from McDonalds Corners and was sorted into the green boxes outside the store. In Oct. 1987, an auxiliary post office was opened in Gemmill's store, with mail once again being brought in via Sharbot Lake and sorted into the green boxes outside.
Snow Road Store
This store and attached residence was built around 1878 by Delbert Wood. It was located at the west end of the village at the station. He operated it until April 11, 1899, when he sold to William and John Lee. From 1899 until 1903, the store was operated by the Lee brothers in partnership with W. McDougall; McDougall returned it to Delbert Wood in 1903. Delbert attached several sections to it. On June 17, 1909, he sold it to David Crawford, who was the station agent next door at that time. David was storekeeper and agent until June 20, 1912 when he sold the store and residence to John A. Geddes.
John was the storekeeper for 36 years. He was the Postmaster from Jan. 16, 1914 until Jan. 12, 1949 and caretaker of the station from May 15, 1915 until it closed Mar. 1, 1963. He sold his stock to Max and Dorothy Millar Oct. 1, 1948 and continued to live in the residence. The store was a great place to meet and visit and in the evenings the seats and benches would be occupied. It was a busy spot during the 1920s and 1930s. Pulpwood was being shipped by farmers from as far away as Watson's Corners and hauled by horses to Snow Road Station. It was common to see as many as 50 or more teams coming in hauling all kinds of wood, and piling where ever space allowed before being loaded into box cars and sold to Canadian and foreign destinations.
Maple syrup was another large export. Syrup could be seen piled as high as the ceiling in the freight shed and the balance on the platform outside. It was shipped in wooden boxes and there was more syrup shipped from Snow Road than anywhere else in the Dominion of Canada at this time.
Snow Road Logging Camp
Snow Road Church
Snow Road Presbyterian Church
The church was built in 1885 on a lot donated by Mrs. James Millar, better known as Granny Millar. It was built by Mr. Snowden at a cost of around $1600.00 dollars. Peter McLaren (the river baron) paid a bill of $700.00 dollars for the lumber. The church was opened and dedicated Nov. 28th 1885.
Rev. Alexander McAuley was the first minister, 1885-1891.
Rev. McCullock (1891-92)
Rev. Binnie (1893-1902)
Rev. Guy (1903-08)
Rev. McMullen (1908-17)
Rev. Little (1918-26)
Rev. McCaskill (1928-47)
Rev. Walter Brett (1947-51)
Gordon Brett (1952-56)
Allen Duncan (1958-61)
Rev. Faulkner (1963-64)
J.O. Forrester (1965-84)
Rev. Linda Bell (1984)
Snow Road School
The first school was opened in 1881 with Miss B. Maxwell as the first teacher.