PH26669 - Rural life in Oro remembered by general store owner

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Rural life in Oro remembered by general store owner


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Source : Farm Review
Media Type : Newspaper Article
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Author Creator : Murray Moore

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Community : Oro-Medonte
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Description : Ten memorable years of Loreen (Rice) Lucas' long life were spent running a general store Oro Township. At the end of the Second World War she was one of the people who drove the dusty roads of Oro to reach Mitchell Square."When we hit the back roads of Oro Township we couldn't see each other, nor could we see out the windows for the dust. We didn't dare open our mouths to talk or we would choke. But our driver kept up a steady stream of conversation and didn't seem to notice that we weren't answering him. After an hour or more, he finally drew up in a cloud of dust in front of a humongous building." The vacant building had 28 rooms and Lucas learned later that it dated back to the 1870s. The owner was happy to sell for $2,000 and hold a mortgage for another $2,000. It was "truly an old-fashioned store," Lucas remembers. The only running water was the pump in the kitchen, which had to be primed each time. The store owner was privileged to have electricity.When Lucas made her first telephone call, "I had to ring the operator and give her the number I wanted to reach. I no sooner rang than a cheery voice came on saying, 'Is that you Mrs. Rice? Welcome to Oro. We wish you the very best.' No one can imagine what that did for me." The store served as home to Loreen, her first husband and four children until "one of he most traumatic days" of Lucas' life. The general store came to a sudden end the week after Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Fire started in a thick wall separating the living quarters from the store. "We had started this day with a nice home, well-equipped store and a good business and by night everything we had worked so hard for, lay in ashes in the foundation of the store.

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