In 1946 Buster and Pearl Balcaen moved to McBride and bought a garage from Dorrell Shovar on First Avenue and Dominion Street, then promptly pulled it with a cat to Fourth Avenue and Main Street. Buster’s brother, Leo, who had been a mechanic in the army joined them. For a home, Pearl and Buster bought a house and had it pulled to the lot across the alley from their garage. It wasn’t until the next day that they actually bought the property. A few years after setting up the garage, they pulled it to the back of the lot and built a new building in the front. This is the building that is still standing here today. Balcaen’s also owned the adjacent lot and had a John Deere Dealership in the front and Chevron bulk plant in the back.
This building has had many owners over the years – Don Amies, Lamming’s, Emil and Talitha Rosin, Gordon Woodley, Harley Bratton, Hruby’s and Trask’s. At one point there was even a car dealership, then a Ford Tractor dealership here.
Top: Esso Station, 1950’s. Valley Museum and Archives
Bottom: Harry’s Esso Service on 4th and Main, 1967. Valley Museum and Archives