William James Routly – Charlotte Street Grocer
William, the eldest of the children of Thomas and Eliza (Bond) Routly of Whitby Township, was the next son to leave home. He came to Peterborough in 1904. For a couple of years he took employment with the Peterboro Cordate & Manufacturing Company and during this time boarded at his brother, Nelson’s place, 392 Brock Street.
Three years later, in 1907, William opened his own grocery store at 168 Charlotte Street. He fashioned his store with a focus on groceries, fruits and confections. Within a couple of years, he obtained an apartment in the same building as the shop.
At current day, the pub, McThirsty’s Pint has the address at 166 Charlotte Street, which takes in the original 166-168 location of William’s shop.
Married Life and Family Years
On 22 March 1910, William married Mabel May Brandon, daughter of Henry and Mary (Irvine) Brandon. The wedding took place in the village of Cannington, Ontario. A daughter Evelyn Marie was born to them in 1911, a son, Carlos, in 1913 and another daughter, Dorothy May, was born in 1914.
William and Mable’s home remained at 168 ½ Charlotte Street until 1924. That year, William retired from the grocery business at the age of 51 years. For the next seven years, he was the caretaker for Charlbond Apartments, located on the north side of the road at 190 Charlotte Street. He and Mable had their own apartment in the building.
William James Routly died on 5 January 1931, at his home in Peterborough. His wife, Mabel May (Brandon) Routly, died on 8 March 1950. They are buried in Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough. Of their children, Evelyn Marie married George A. Cunningham. George died in July 1990 and Evelyn in September 2000.
Dorothy May, married George Henry Head. Carlos worked for the General Electric Company in town in the early 1930s but then moved away from the area.
Norman Thomas Routly – successor to Nelson
Norman Thomas was the youngest of the sons of Thomas and Eliza (Bond) Routly, of Whitby Township. Born in Brooklin, Ontario in 1895, he was still living at home when the census of 1911 was completed. The following year, he lived in Peterborough and worked as a clerk in his brother Nelson’s store.
Five years later, in 1917, Norman T. Routly enlisted in the military to serve in WWI. He would be away from Peterborough until 1922. That year, when Norman returned, he began working again for his brother, now as a salesman. Near the close of that year, Norman was married. His bride was Irene Mary Taylor, born 26 November 1895 in the village of Ashburnham. Her parents were John and Laura Anne (Stott) Taylor.
The Family Grocer Business
Norman settled into steady work at the Brock Street grocery store. He was employed as a clerk in the store for the next ten years. Around 1931, Norman began running the store, alongside his brother Nelson. From 1932 until 1952, the store was operated by Norman while his brother, Nelson, began taking on the less stressful role of being a clerk.
In 1934, Norman and Irene moved to their own house at 593 Walnut Street. A large two story red brick home on the corner of Monaghan Road and Walnut Street, their family had room to live comfortably in this large house. It is believed the children born to Norman and Irene were Lloyd Elwood, Norma J., and E. Wayne.
Lloyd served in the Air Force during WWII. In 1946, he began working as a clerk at the Brock Street, Routly Grocery store. That same year, 1946, he married Barbara Frances Bothwell and they made their home in an apartment at 709 Water Street. In 1947, he had a year’s training in the position of assistant manager and then continued on for another five years as a store clerk. Barbara and Lloyd moved to a house at 583 Reid Street in 1949 and again relocated to 1515 Fairmount Blvd., in 1956. Thirteen years later they purchased another home and moved into 324 Cottonwood Drive in the city’s west end.
Passing the Store to Another Generation
By 1948, Nelson Routly had retired from the store. Norman carried on. On 15 August 1952, not yet sixty years of age, Norman Thomas Routly died. His remains were laid to rest in Little Lake Cemetery. The death of Norman was followed two short years later, by the death of Nelson Routly on 5 January 1954. He also rests in Little Lake Cemetery. Irene Mary (Taylor) Routly, wife of Norman Thomas, died 6 January 1987. Her remains were laid to rest, next to those of her husband, in Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough.
In 1953, Lloyd Routly became the full time manager of the Routly Brock Street store. He became the proprietor some years later. The little grocery store continued under his ownership until it was closed in 1980. The building at 392 Brock Street, which housed both the store and a number of apartment units, was torn down. In its’ place was built a small cinder block, one story shop that most recently has been the location of a wine making business.
With the retirement of Lloyd Routly, came the end of an era of Routly brother stores in Peterborough. It had all started in 1897 and continued for almost one hundred years.