Barbara A. Martindale- For What It's Worth April 30, 2013
The story of Gordon Pattison, one longtime barber in Caledonia, connects a few downtown locations: the Toll House (today's Edward Jones building) and Don's Barber Shop.
Gordon was the son of Thomas and Phoebe (Young) Pattison. They lived in the back apartment over the Caithness Street store behind and connected to the Edward Jones building. This part of the building is gone, but at that time in the late 1800s, Mrs. Renny had a butcher shop in the store below. Thomas Pattison was a barber and while the Toll House was being made-ready for his barber business and living accommodations, son Gordon Thomas was born June 29, 1894 in the apartment above Mrs. Renny's butcher shop. Soon the family moved into the Toll House where Thomas carried on business until his sudden death, leaving four small children. Gordon was just 14 years old in 1908 when his father died.
To help out the family, as a very young teenager, Gordon attended Barber College in Toronto and thus became skilled in the barbering profession.
Gordon carried on his father's barber business in the Toll House for a few more years. Then the family moved to a new building across the road, today's Don's Barber Shop. The barber shop has living quarters behind and above.
They had only been in their new quarters for a few months when the December 23, 1914 fire ruined most of the business block on that west side from the corner to the bridge. Gordon's home and business had smoke damage but did not burn down on that day. Other businesses weren't so fortunate. Gordon continued as one of Caledonia's barbers until Don Smith became owner and operator in 1960, where he continues to this day.
The Pattison Barber Shop was just one store that went through the devastation of the 1914 fire, another barber shop burned down just a few doors north and was rebuilt the next year.
In 1910, Charlie Maniex began to work for Joseph Stubbs to learn the barber trade. Following the death of Mr. Stubbs in 1941, Charlie bought the building and business from Joe's wife, Mrs. Janet Stubbs. That building was taken down, along with the next one, which was owned and operated by Ed Reid. The two properties were incorporated into the CIBC building of today.
But before that happened, in 1950, Charlie, with his son, Martin, owned and operated Charlie's Barber Shop. Charlie and his wife lived in the apartment over the barber shop with their three children, Madeline, Donald and Martin.
Known affectionately as Mart by the many ball players that came under his coaching abilities, Martin continued as a barber for many years. A dedicated member of the Caledonia Lions Club, Mart and his wife, Peggy, were known among a wide circle of community Lions Clubs.