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Percy Chisolm (Visitor at Bethune’s Store) 1940-1949

Percy’s uncle Bob reached up to remove the faded postcard and magazine clipping from the wall behind his cash register at Bethune’s Store. “The war is over now, you’ve got your whole life in front of you,” he said.

A woman and a young man stand next to old fashioned fuel pumps outside a general store.

Jenny and Gordon Chisolm at Bethune’s General Store, circa 1949.


Percy was visiting Braeside to apply for work at the new Gillies’ mill being built in Temagami.  He was excited about his prospects: since the end of the war, the company had made a concerted effort to place returning servicemen into their workforce.

Magazine clipping showing two men in WWII uniforms stand in front of an army tank looking at a map.

A clipping from an unknown publication shows Major John A. Gillies (left), commanding officer of a Canadian anti-tank battery in Britain, with Sergeant Major Paul Trudel, circa 1942


Percy noticed the victory gardens throughout the village. Aunt Bessie told him that Mrs. D.A. Gillies was urging everyone to grow as much food as possible to send overseas, where they still had food shortages.

Uncle Bob grinned when he handed him the postcard. Percy chuckled when he saw the back which simply read, “Thanks for the smokes”.  Uncle Bob had sent many packages of cigarettes overseas throughout the war.

A WWII soldier grinning with a cigarette in his mouth illustrates the front of a stamped post card addressed to R. Bethune, Esquire, Braeside, Ontario, Canada.

1941 postcard issued by the Overseas League (Canada) Tobacco and Hamper Fund for soldiers to send thanks to those who sent packages from home.


They stepped outside when they heard the familiar sound of a horse trotting by. There it was, over at Russett’s Dairy.

A young man sits on a horse in front of a small building with a sign for the Braeside Dairy over the door. A small boy and two other men look towards the camera. An insert appears in the lower right corner showing a bottle top for Russett's Dairy.

Regent Fairfield rides a horse in front of the Braeside Dairy c. 1940. Allan McCuaig and Claude Desjardins stand by.  The milk bottle top (inset) shows that Russett’s Dairy produced their milk from Ayrshire cows.


Listen to the audio clip about working as a Depot Clerk at Temagami in the 1940’s, with transcription: Interview with Sloan Watters.