Bradford Landmark (My Store - Not Me) (By Harvey W. Curry) By no stretch of the imagination do I pretend to be Bradford's "Grand Old Man"; not for a while yet, I hope! But I feel sure that there are very few of the present residents who have actually lived here any longer than I have. I am still living in the house in which I was born, at 73 Holland St. W., and which was built by my father, William Curry, in 1898. I have lived in it ever since, with the exception of two years at school in Toronto, and one year of freelance rambling in the U.S.A. During all these years I have seen many things happen here. I could write about many tragic events, happy events, about Bradford folk who have gained considerable stature int he business world and in the professions; about local boys and girls who have starred in athletics here and elsewhere; about changes in the "face" of Bradford, such as its new buildings, its rapid growth and expansion in recent years; not to mention the fabulous metamorphosis of the Holland Marsh, from the trackless, mosquito-infested swamp of my youth to the spectacular "Vegetable Basket" of the present. But, if you will pardon me for being personal, the thing that I find most interesting is the history of the building which I operate my business, "Bradford Seed House". It is one of the oldest business establishments in town, having been built in 1871, the year of the Big Fire which demolished the entire business section. The builder was a Mr. Thos. McBrien, whose wife and daughter ran a candy store in it. Many years later it was still a candy store, but the proprietress was a kindly lady, Mrs. Steve Thompson. This was a real paradise for a young boy with a cent or two to "blow"; and in those days you could really do something with a cent. Her showcases featured such tantalizing goodies as chocolate brooms, licorice pipes, licorice chewing tobacco, and heart-shaped candies of various colours know as "conversational lozenges". They bore printed messages of such heart-throb quality as "I Love You", "Be My Sweetheart", etc. Stuff like that really gave a guy prestige with the ladies! Sometime during this wonderful era she introduced ice cream to her stock, and I had my first dish of it in the very office where I now toil and sweat. And believe me, there are time when I wish Mrs. Thompson still had it. Just prior to the Centennial Celebration in 1957, I went to the registry office in Barrie and listed the owners and tenants of this building and property back to the Crown. If you are still interested here they are: 1830: First owner was Robert Ross, whose crown deed gave him title to 200 acres of land from Holland St. to the 8th Line, and from Barrie St. to the western limits of town; 1857: Dr. George Dean Morton of St. Alban's (Holland Landing); 1867: James Goodchild (In this year Bradford was surveyed as we know it); 1870: John Goodchild; 1871: Thomas McBrien and daughter, Emma, tenant, candy store; Paul Chappelle, tenant, toys, novelties and candies; Isaac Pratt, tenant, boot and shoe store; 1902: Samuel Martin, Mrs. Steve Thompson, tenant, candy store; James Ronald and family, tenant, used as residence; Joe Corrigan, tenant, shoe repair; Secondo Cavallo, tenant, shoe repair; 1941: A. E. Scanlon, Joe Corrigan, tenant, shoe repair; 1941: Howard Bowsher, Harvey Curry, tenant, see store; since 1953: Harvey Curry, owner, seed store and Simpson-Sears Order Office (since 1952). We all beef and belly-ache at times about Bradford's shortcomings, and that, thank God, is our democratic right. But when I add up all the advantages and simple pleasures derived from living here, I wouldn't trade it for "all the tea in China".