Clarence Banks’ Boat Shop / Barber Shop
Type of Business: Boat building / barber
Owner: Clarence Banks
Shut Down: Late 1970s
Clarence Banks used to work in a boat shop. After he left there, he started to build wooden boats in his barn. He was a skilled carpenter and people from the United States would buy his boats. He also cut people’s hair in a barber shop. His boat shop was open for more than ten years before he retired in the late 1970s.
Bon Portage General Store (also known as Crowell General Store, M L Smith General Store & Island View Country Store)
Type of Business: Store
Owners: Thomas Doane Crowell; Everett W. Crowell; St. Clair Shand; Moyle “Jolly” Crowell; Morton Smith; Ricky Smith; Rob & Helena Kaufmann; Darren Perry
Shut Down: 2008
The general store in Shag Harbour was open for many years and saw many changes in both name and ownership. Its legacy began in 1861, when Thomas Doane Crowell bought the building from Timothy Connell for ten pounds. Mr. Crowell owned and operated the store from 1861 until his death in 1923. Ownership of the store transferred to Mr. Crowell’s family. They owned it until 1944, before selling it to Everett W. Crowell. Everett owned the store for eleven years, and ownership transferred to his wife upon his death in 1955. Later that year, the store was sold to St. Clair Shand. He and his wife owned the store until 1956 before selling it to a local merchant and former president of the Chapel Hill Historical Society, Moyle “Jolly” Crowell. Jolly and his wife, Viola, owned the store for twenty years before selling it to Morton and Irene Smith. Naturally, it couldn’t be called Crowell General Store, and the name was changed to M L Smith General Store to reflect the new owner. Morton owned the store for almost 30 years before retiring and selling out to Ricky Smith.
Exactly 27 years after Morton had bought the store from Jolly, Ricky purchased it from him. He changed the name to Island View Country Store and ran it for about six years before selling the store to Rob and Helena Kaufmann. The Kaufmanns changed the name of the store to Bon Portage General Store, after a nearby island and the home of author Evelyn Richardson. They ran it for five years before selling it to Darren Perry in 2006. Darren ran the store for about two years before its doors were shut in 2008, after 147 years of business.
(Originally built by Everett W. Crowell in the 1930’s and was used as a grocery store before being operated in the early 1960’s by Merle (Al) Garron as a restaurant.)
Al Garron’s Restaurant
Type of business: Eatery
Owner: Al Garron
Al Garron’s restaurant was located near Prospect Point. Al and his wife had lived in the United States and worked in a ship yard, but after Al retired, they came back to Shag Harbour and he opened a restaurant. He served a rather unique item; clams and gravy. One resident of the area says it was the first time he’d ever heard of something like that, but that it must have been good, because all the young people ordered it. The restaurant was open for about ten years.