Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Say it with Flowers

Back in 1909, Thomas Leigh Clark opened the first flower shop in Lethbridge out of his home at 604 Cutbill Street, 10 Street South today. In 1912, Clark was joined by George Taylor, J. E. Terrill, and Frache Brothers, who all opened florist shops in Lethbridge, some of them also building full greenhouses to grow their wares.

Taylor was both a florist and a seed man. He had fresh cut flowers, wedding bouquets and floral designs available in his shop on the corner of Bartlett & London Streets, 12 Street and 7 Avenue South today.

The Terrill Floral Company, which opened on 11 Street South, specialized in growing roses and carnations, as well as house and garden plants. Eventually they moved their storefront to 604 3 Avenue South and maintained a greenhouse at 2015 6 Avenue North. The Frache brothers, who owned greenhouses at Henderson Park and on the north side of Lethbridge, bought the Terrill Floral Company in 1928. They eventually closed their operations in 1955.

The 1930s saw a boom in flower shops, florists and greenhouses. The Marquis Flower Shop, originally established by the Medicine Hat Greenhouses with manager H. Coventry, was purchased by Fred Edmunson in 1938. The Marquis Flower Shop is still operating today, 79 years after it was established. It has moved storefront locations three times, from the first floor of the Marquis Hotel of 4 Avenue South, to 312 6 Street South, to its current home at 905 3 Avenue South.

Lorna Perry was a clerk and assistant manager for the Marquis Flower Shop before opening her own shop, Lorna’s Flowers, in 1953 at 1508 9 Avenue South. Lorna retired in 1987 and the new owner renamed the shop Flowers on 9th.

Say it with Flowers is showing at the Galt Museum & Archives from SEP 15 to JAN 16.18.

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