J.J. Hughes Store
J.J. Hughes Store in Elmira[i]:
In 1913 J.J. Hughes decided to open up a second location in Elmira, on the property of William Pierce. The store was originally operated on Hughes’s behalf by Billie MacDonald of Bear River, followed by Joe Bailey then by a Mr. Bell. Mr. Bell only ran the store for a very short time until the operating was taken over by Raymond MacPhee. After which Joe Bailey took over for a second time which is how the position came to be filled by Mary Ellen Bailey. Finally it ended up with Michael O’Keefe as the last operator. Under JJ Hughes, he had the responsibility of closing out this location, and that was the plan until it was purchased by Aeneas and Stella MacPhee. The MacPhee family ran it for many years, until it was finally bought by Joe Conway. The Conway’s closed the store in the 1970’s. At this time everything was moved from this store to the Elmira Co-op.
The post office was in the store for a short time. The store had two stories and big back rooms and a cellar for storage. They had an oil shed out back where they use to sell kerosene in bulk, as well as coal. One local resident remembers playing hide and go seek as a child and how the shed had a foul smell of kerosene, so they never hid by there. They sold most grocery items, hardware items, and gas as well. At that time they only sold flour in 100 pound bags. After it was vacant for some years the building fell in and was later tore down and buried. It closed in 1971 because there was no longer any need to have two stores selling the same things so close to each other.