kimberley general store
Built 1904-06 by Frank Weber
235304 Grey Road 13
The two-story brick building was started in 1904 on the site of a former blacksmith shop which had collapsed from snow load the previous winter. Although far from the first store or the only store in Kimberley, this was certainly the largest. February, 1906, Frank Weber opened his General Store for business; then 1912 turned it over to his brother Dave. From 1921 until December 1923 the building was home to the Bank of Montreal. 1927 the renovated building was re-opened as a store for the next 22 years. After 1949, the manager of the creamery lived upstairs and used the main floor for storage. 1967-1989, the building served as Euphrasia Public Library; then housed an art gallery from 1990 to late 2009 when it was acquired by Stacie Constantine who re-opened it as Kimberley General Store in May 2010, and since then has been restoring many original heritage features of this charming venue.
This is a simple purpose-built structure of double-brick using a traditional common bond pattern. Like most general stores, the main floor has a very high ceiling to accommodate large items like tools or washtubs being hung up out of the way. The ample cellar would have been used for storage with additional storage and living space on the second floor. Originally the entry/porch was protected by an awning. The two-storey covered veranda added by Dave Weber in 1916 is very much in keeping with the design of other local general stores where a solid porch roof protects customers from Grey County winter snow, and in summer provides shade to visit with friends, enjoy a drink or a snack, admire the view of Old Baldy or just sit and watch the world go by.
Kimberley, founded c.1850 became a bustling commercial hub with gristmills, saw mills, three blacksmiths, two hotels (one temperance, the other decidedly not) as well as various stores all serving the extensive agricultural community in Euphrasia Township. Changing uses for the building which includes periodically housing Kimberley Post Office, also reflects ebb and flow of the local economy: agricultural decline during the depression; an influx of new residents when local skiing became available. Most recently the beautiful local scenery, challenging terrain and relaxed life-style has attracted artists, hikers, bikers and retirees. The General Store has come full circle and is once again a focal point of village life as well as a popular stopping place for tourists. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the variety of locally produced foods, cosmetics, arts & crafts, as well as home-cooked lunches, and most recently pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven.