By Lloyd Reed – Camrose, Alta.
Back in the early days, when farm families came to shop in Camrose, they had to cover the horses with heavy robes in the winter or, if they could afford the price, put them in a livery stable until it was time to go home.
As the years passed, the livery stable turned into a storage for the old Model-Ts. I remember the livery stable located north of the present Royal Bank and south of the Credit Union.
At that time the Crown Lumberyards took up half a block where the Royal Bank is, and then the livery stable used several lots.
In the 1930s, Jack and Tillie (Shermack) Atkins owned the stable and then it was turned into a place to store the Model-T. There was no such thing as antifreeze for the cars. They had to drain the radiator and leave it until it was time to go home, refill it, cover the radiator, or spend the money to store it in the new car storage area.
Also added was a car repair shop on one side run by Mr. Klug and the boys, Henry and John, who cleaned parts and other jobs after school. This was taken over by Mr. Hillard who operated a taxi business out there, and who I started to drive for.
That’s how I got to drive the Watkins man’s car. It had to be stored in a warm garage and George Carter (I think that was his name) had an unheated one. It was so nice a smell and I enjoyed the ride. In the morning we drove it to pick him up.