E.D. Fraser's Store (North Lake)
E.D Fraser’s store in North Lake[i]:
Located on the Northside road, between Elmira road and North Lake Harbour road, stands a now vacant building which was once home to Ezra Davison “E.D.” Fraser’s General Store. The building was originally built by Mr. Charles Stern and was the location of his cookhouse in East Point.
Prior to purchasing the property from its original owner, E.D. Fraser had been managing the store 22 years. He was also the local veterinarian, and worked part-time as a blacksmith and mill helper. After purchasing the business, he operated the store for an additional 28 years until his passing in 1938. At this time his second wife Amanda took over and dedicated nine years to running the business until retiring in 1947. During this time Amanda’s niece Mildred MacDonald (later MacVane) worked in the store. She recalls weighing much of the merchandise (meat, dairy, flour, spices, iron, paint, kerosene, ice) and pumping bulk molasses from barrels. There was also a tall cylindrical Irving gasoline pump just at the east corner of the store. The store also carried salted fish, rounds of cheese and stove oil from a pump in the store’s porch.
A building was attached to the store and used as a salt house; clocks of ice, puncheons of molasses, gas and other products were stored here. A unique aspect of the salt house building is that it was first home to the first religious meeting place for early Protestant settlers. Following this use it became the original North Lake School. Mrs. MacVane has vivid memories of the old church benches at the store, and how the men in the community would come to sit and tell “yarns” for hours.
Soon after Amanda retired, the store underwent renovations and became a member of the Clover Farm Group. This was a necessary step in order to meet the demands of competitive pricing by utilizing the benefits of having greater purchasing power.
In 1960, Amanda and E.D.’s children, carol and Austin, began operating the business. It quickly became known as the “Superette Market,” as it went through major renovations adding much more floor space. This allowed them to offer even more groceries, frozen goods, meats and alternative goods. The Fraser’s also took a step further and began offering more hardware, paints and dishware to supply the needs of farmers and fishermen. They also offered weekend sales and began to stock souvenirs and novelty items to support increasing tourism.
After Carol died in 1977, the store was sold to Lloyd and Norma MacDonald who owned and operated it until 1982. Under the MacDonald’s ownership the store was called the “North Lake Quik Mart.” They also expanded to include a small store at North Lake Harbour.
In 1982, the store was bought by Kay Anderos and was operated by her daughter Barbara Jardine, until finally closing its doors in the mid-1990s. When Barbara was operating the store, it became a popular hang-out for the local youth; they offered arcade games, VLT machines videos and video games. This store is the second longest run store in Eastern Kings; Elliot’s being the longest.