The old general store in St. Brigide of Iberville
The old general store in St. Brigide of Iberville

The old general store in St. Brigide of Iberville

The old general store in St. Brigide of Iberville

Vestige of the past century

Sainte-Brigide d'Iberville (Quebec), Canada

Closed for twenty years, the old general store do not look like a ship adrift, ready to collapse under the weight of years. I mean, not that much for a wood structure. 

Known as the Peanut, the history of the store goes back over a hundred years. In 1907, a store adjacent to a house already exists when Rémi Boulais acquires the land. Increasingly cramped in his business, he built in 1921 the vast store covered with asbestos shingles whose exterior has remained intact to this day.


1912 - The old general store in St. Brigide of Iberville

General merchant's life from the early twentieth century was fictionalized in many Quebec series. The reality of the time, however, was different. Each week, Mr. Boulais has to take the train from the Central Vermont station located a few blocks away. Destination: Montreal to buy his goods from wholesalers on St. Paul Street. The goods were then shipped by train.

If most of the goods were stored in the attic or in the basement of his store, coal and construction materials were stored in a building close to the station, now destroyed.

This general merchant has made enough money to give his five daughters a better education. It was definitely not the case for the most of the people of this little farmers village.

Years have passed and the store has been sold a few occasions. From 1986 to 1996, a little grocery market has sold food and hardware. In 1996, the store has been sold to a man who has declaring bankruptcy twelve months later. After that, it never reopened.

Today, the owner is an antiques dealer who stores furniture and antiques inside. He testified the desire to open his store in autumn 2016. While the exterior still shows its yesteryear charm, the interior looks more like a warehouse instead of an old general store. Furniture are piled on metal structures, which leaves little room to move.

Anyway, time will tell us if a new life will be offered in this building or if it will be demolished as wished by the neighbours...

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