Badjeros general store
Built 1885 by Neil D. McKinnon
663164 Grey Road 63
Badjeros (originally named Snow Drift) was likely the first interior hamlet in Osprey Township, established when Captain Phillip Badgerow erected a tavern, circa 1851, on the road from Maple Valley to Dundalk (now county Road 9). Badgerow, Badgero, Badjero & Badjeros are all common variations on the name of the first settler. Two previous general stores built on the opposite corner both burned down. In 1885, carpenter James Potts was contracted to build the current structure for Neil McKinnon who operated the store until he moved west in 1904. George Bailey took over till 1910; then Jacob Hamilton. From 1937-1980, in addition to penny candy and the usual household needs, Harry Sipprell limited the need for “trips afar” by selling everything from toasters to TVs and all things in-between. Following three other owners, Diane Colgan acquired the property in 1996. If you fancy being proprietor of a country store, this one is currently for sale.
This simple, well-maintained, purpose-built structure is mostly unchanged except modification to the front porch. The triple-arched original windows are designed to allow maximum interior light. The extremely high ceiling of the main store, allowed for hanging large “necessaries” like washtubs, copper boilers and farm implements. Original wooden drawers, shelves & counters grace the interior. Early daily log books and other historic items are on display.
The General Store in any pioneering settlement was of huge importance to the community. As detailed in “Pioneers in the Queen’s Bush”, slow travel over bad roads meant early settlers could rarely afford the time it took to reach larger commercial centres, so the store would stock not just food and kitchen staples, but lots of other needed items such as wool & dry goods for making clothing, bits of hardware, school supplies, tools, agricultural equipment, and a wide selection of other paraphernalia ranging from buckets to string to candles – in fact almost anything a pioneering homesteader might require on a daily basis. Customers would re-fill their own tins or containers with products such as coal oil, turpentine, sugar or flour that were stored in large barrels. Cash was in short supply, so farmers would bring eggs or produce or pails of wild berries to barter. The store keeper allowed “credit” against purchases with the outstanding balance on either side being paid in cash at month end. Surplus goods were collected together and taken by the merchant for shipment to larger centres, the cash from these sales providing him the means of paying itinerant salesmen for his mercantile stock. In continuous operation from the day it was built, the Badjeros General Store and Post Office always has been and still is hugely important to the life-style of residents in the somewhat remote agricultural community of Badjeros.