George Weeks purchased the Eager General Store in December 1924, and so began the long tradition associated with “Weeks of Waterdown” that saw it grow from a small general store to a unique hardware establishment that was based upon good service and personal attention.
When the family arrived to take up residence, the hitching posts and front verandah were still in place. However, one night after returning to the store after delivering coffee to the East Flamborough Township Hall on Mill Street North, Ernie Weeks, George’s son, heard a crash at the front of the store. Looking through the window, he saw the northern section of the verandah roof had caved in from heavy snow sliding off the roof above. Afraid someone might have been passing by when it collapsed, Ernie and others spent an anxious time shovelling the sidewalk before finding no one had been trapped.
Besides the usual merchandise, Weeks was once also a cheese factory. George Weeks discovered that the temperature in the stone basement of the corner block was fairly constant and remained at the correct level to age cheese. When ready, piano wire was drawn through the 80-pound slabs to cut them into saleable pieces, which were then waxed to preserve their freshness. The “good old cheese,” brought customers to Waterdown from far and wide.
The age of the motor car brought great changes to the village, and to local businesses. With demands for a wider selection of goods, the Weeks family saw the need for expansion; the horse barn in the third section was demolished and replaced with a new building. However, it resulted in one of the walls of the fourth section collapsing, exposing to view the inside of the Featherstone’s home. It was subsequently purchased by the Weeks family.
After George’s death, Ernie continued to operate the store, allowing the business to progress from a general store to a hardware store that gained a reputation for the stock it carried and thus the phrase: “You’ll be sure to find it at Weeks of Waterdown.”
Sylvia Wray is the former archivist with the Flamborough Archives. She can be reached through the Archives at email@example.com.
This article was originally published in the Flamborough Review, 20 March 2009.