For a little while last week, passersby and customers could see a piece of Craig’s Store’s history, dating back at least 120 years, according to store manager Barb Schwab.
The store has undergone a renovation, replacing its old exterior with new cladding. During that process, wooden siding was exposed which Schwab believes dates back to at least 1898.
Craig’s opened for business in Olds in June 1898 as W.M. Craig & Co.
Schwab, the fourth generation to run the family business, believes the store moved to its current location in about 1900, to what had been the R.W. Logan Hall.
“You know what? I would say that it is the original siding of Logan’s Hall, especially when I’m looking at it on the north side,” Schwab said during an interview with the Albertan after checking out an old photo. “That had to have been the original Logan’s Hall siding.”
She said an addition was added to the south side of the building in about 1907.
“In the old picture you can see the seam where those two sides butt up, so that’s why I’m assuming that it was a full-fledged addition, that the old siding remained,” Craig said.
Schwab said it might have been nice to just leave the old siding but that just wasn’t practical so it was replaced with the new cladding. As a result, the facade on the Barb’s Bargain Boutique portion is red and the facade of the Craig’s Store portion is brown.
Schwab listed the concerns.
“First of all, restoring it — the cost of restoring. And then upkeep would probably just not be something that we could afford to do, frankly,” she said.