Hello! Long time no blog. Hope everyone is well.
Have you ever wanted to live in an old grocery store, school, or church? I love the thought of fixing up and living in an old historic building. I have seen several old schools and churches being used as private dwellings but I think this is my first grocery store.
On a recent trip to LA, not that LA...I'm talking about the famous (or is it infamous?) City of Lethbridge, Alberta, I was able to see a building I hadn't seen before. This city has it's fair share of history and I always enjoy my visits.
Today we visit the Berte Grocery Building. This building is located in the Village of Stafford, which was annexed into the City of Lethbridge in 1913. Stafford was a small ethnic community of mainly mine workers, located near the Galt Coal Mine #3.
John Berte set up his store at this location in 1918. John and his family lived upstairs and operated the store until 1942. A fun fact is that in 1934 John had a telephone installed, making it one of 2 in North Lethbridge at the time.
Here is a full timeline of the store from the Alberta Register of Historic Places:
- 1918-1942 Owned and Operated by John Berte
- 1942-1948 Owned by Natale Natalini
- 1949-1979 Owned by Micheal & Mary Swidinsky who operated General Grocery and Meat until 1954
- 1954-1969 Leased to George Dong who operated George's Groceries & Meat
- 1970-1975 C.W.Chan operated as Yien's Grocery
- 1976-1997 William (Kin Wai Lam) and his wife Yee Wah Lam Operated as William's Grocery (they purchased the property in 1979)
- 2000-2003 Tumbleweed Cafe
- 2004 purchased as a private family residence
- 2012 Designated as a Municipal Historic Resource
I stopped here just before sunset and because of who I am as person, didn't take too many photos because I know someone lives there and didn't want to make it weird. This means I did not take photos of the sides of the building that have what's left of some ghost signs. Sorry.
|Berte Grocery c1920 - from Galt Musuem & Archives|
My friends over at BigDoer
did a great piece on Berte Grocery, read it HERE
Resources: Alberta Register of Historic Places