At the end of the contiguous bricks on Main Street
The McCullough Building brings us to the end of the existing brick buildings along this block of Carberry’s Heritage District. This one-storey brick structure was constructed in the late 1890s and has served a number of family-owned grocers and butchers over the decades.
Simple and practical, this little store sits on a rubble stone foundation, has a flat roof and a high front parapet suggesting boomtown architecture.
In this picture you can see how the McCullough Building is now the anchor at the north end of the block since the Rex Cafe building was demolished. The side of the building displays the original brown-red brick of the structure.
This vintage picture – the McCullough Building is the second building from the left – reveals its original brickwork with corbelling below the cornice, tall display windows with a multi-paned transom over the entrance and the furled fabric awning which many of the storefronts along the street used to protect against the hot afternoon sun.
For many decades, the store housed grocers including Sam Bookhalter, Tony Blair, Kotaska Brothers, Les Christopher and A Peill. It was a Solo Store for a quite a few of its years. This ad is from the local history book marking Carberry and area’s 75th Anniversary in 1959. It gives a nice history of the Blair family in business and augments the heritage aspect of the book. According to this account, the building once included the now-gone Rex Cafe to the north.
When I mentioned the Solo Store to Pa Tuckett, a small smile arose on his lips and he very quietly said, “Oranges.” I asked him to repeat. “Oranges,” he said. “I had three kids, Willie, Jane and Zeke, not Ezekiel, just Zeke, okay? They all loved oranges. You didn’t find many oranges on the dusty prairies during the 1920s and 30s but when you did, it was a little bit of heaven. This was back when Sam Bookhalter had the place, way before Solo. Sam’d send his delivery boy over to our house to say he just got a small shipment oranges in. Me and Myrt would scurry over and buy as many as we could afford which wasn’t usually many. I remember the bright eager eyes of the kids, gathered around the kitchen table, watching as I cut every orange into quarters and gave each kid one. Their little faces, wet and dribbly with juice, beamed for oranges like nothing else.”