THEN AND NOW: The home of Mary St. is home to a lot of history

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You’ll need a little confidence, imagination, or a little of both to see traces of the original building in the house at 88 Mary St.

You’ll need a little confidence, imagination, or a little of both to see traces of the original building in the house at 88 Mary St.

Ownership was transferred from Francis Hugh Eccles via Jane Eccles, Henry’s widow, to John Lee in 1867. William Lount facilitated the sale to Lee, owner of a large retail furniture store on Bayfield Street.

J. Lee and Son had been in business since the early 1860s providing high quality furniture for living rooms and dining rooms. Their work was so beautiful in fact that it would have won first and second prizes at the Barrie show.

An advertisement in an 1872 directory read:

John Lee
DEALER OF FURNITURE OF ALL KINDS,
Bedroom and living room sets, upholstery, mirrors, paintings and frames, and, in fact, everything from a first-class furniture store.
A call from future buyers respectfully requested.
Bayfield Street, Barrie, Ont.
The lowest prices for money.

In 1892, David Horace ‘Hy’ Ellis was living in the Mary Street house with his family. Hy was a boot and shoe cutter, often traveling for work. The winter photo of his house was taken in 1904

A few years later, around 1908, William Tribble and his wife, Elizabeth Davey Tribble, occupied the house. Tribble grew up in Innisfil and still lived there with his family until at least 1901, when he moved to Barrie. In 1921,

Tribble’s occupation was listed as a machinist and living at 88 Mary Street at this time with him and his wife were daughters Annie and Eva, sons Gordon and Allan, and a grandson, Kenneth. The family also had a tenant in their home, Terry Benjamin. It was a full house!

Tribble worked as a carpenter for 18 years, until 1930, at the Barrie planing mill, a short walk from his home. At the time of his death in 1946 he was residing at 62 Park Street. William and Elizabeth, along with much of their family, now rest in St. Paul’s Cemetery.

So yes, the roofline has changed, the gable and chimneys are gone, a balcony door is now a window, but with a little confidence and imagination, you can believe that under the siding of 88 Mary St. , are the remains of a very old house.

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