J. E. Seale's general store around1940
Source: MHHA archives
Prior to the Second World War, the store had its best years. Hardware, blankets, farm animal feed, apple barrels, molasses, salt cod and canned fruit were available. Dolly's doughnuts were said to be irresistible, and some people would visit her while shopping in hopes of being invited to taste some.
Morin-Heights resident Phyllis Probyn Buxton (1909-2007) described the store as follows: "To the right in Seale's store, on shelves behind a long counter, were rolls of fabric for shirts, dresses, aprons, dishcloths, and dry goods. Dick Brown, a tall figure, lounged about, and the shorter Jack McConnell was perched on a stool greeting friends and neighbours when they came to shop."
"To the left was a similar counter with the coffee grinder, a weighing machine and a massive cash register. Underneath the counter and shelves were bins filled with flour, sugar and other staples. Between the counters was a row of large clear-lidded boxes for sugar cookies and crackers sold by the pound."
"At the back of the store was a raised area. To the left was an open office where Mr. Seale or Norman Rogers, the manager, kept the books and received the salesmen. To the right, a door led to the shed for storing hay and grain, shingles and roofing."
"Joseph Seale's General Store in the 1920s and 1930s was the focal point of Morin-Heights, helping so many people during the Depression-era, dispensing hope and friendship to the community, and filling me with warm memories of the past, but not forgotten."