They call them hoarders today
Dunlop and Owen streets in downtown Barrie, circa 1900. SUBMITTED
He wasn’t the only one, but Mr. A.J. Tuck was hauled up before a magistrate likely more than any other merchant in the town of Barrie for keeping his places of business in what was described as deplorable condition.
The ads began appearing in the local newspapers in 1923: a good horse for sale; used automobile at bargain price.
Soon, Mr. Tuck had so many treasures to purvey that he opened up a storefront at 118 Dunlop St. E., and then another farther east, and then another on Clapperton Street.
Within a couple of months, he had more goods than he knew how to deal with and held an auction sale using the services of auctioneer, W. A. McConkey.
This clear-out sale did not seem to stop Mr. Tuck’s desire to collect more inventory.
One year later, his shops were overflowing with miscellaneous wares and the town was receiving complaints that at least one of his shops was dangerous and unsanitary.
He was found to have “rags, bottles, scrap iron, junk and other refuse” piled up everywhere.
The health board’s Dr. Little, local Member of Parliament W.A. Boys and sanitary inspector Bowman attempted to show Tuck what the law required, but stated sadly “Mr. Tuck shows a considerable inability to distinguish between filth and cleanliness.”
A.J. Tuck was convicted of keeping junk on the premises without having a permit.
One week later, the 118 Dunlop St. E. location was quickly cleaned out by a mysterious 3 a.m. fire.
This ‘Barrie Historical Moment’ is brought to you by the Barrie Historical Archive (barriearchive.ca). More moments will follow looking back at the city’s history.