A landmark business is about to come to an end on New Glasgow’s Riverfront.
Eddie MacArthur, owner of “Garrett’s By The Bridge Limited,” has decided to close his doors at the end of November.
MacArthur worked for the Garrett family since 1958 until he purchased the business in 1985. His whole life revolved around the world of antiques, collectables and newer items such as musical instruments and accessories, PEI’s Paderno Cookware and Pictou’s Grohmann Knives, both world famous products.
“I guess the thing I will miss the most is my regular customers from all over the world,” MacArthur says. He has sold items to people living as far away as New Zealand, Taiwan and the Arctic and as near as Pictou County and the North Shore.
Annually, many people in Pictou County and beyond came to Garrett’s to trade in their out grown skates for new ones.
Over the years of its existence, wide range of items could be purchased at Garrett’s from antiques to a new bed and mattress. Anything you might want or need could, in all probability, be found at Garrett’s.
This was the original factory site for the internationally known ‘Bluenose’ hooked rug patterns. In fact, the well known Bluenose Rug Hooking Machine was invented and patented here in 1926 by John. E. Garrett. Garrett’s was not the first or only producer of hooking patterns in Nova Scotia but it was certainly the largest and by far the longest in operation.
Garrett’s was also a major dealer for the Dominion Chair Company which produced the famous Bass River chairs, rockers and furniture. Tourists knew the store as the one by the bridge with the wagon on the roof.
One of MacArthur’s passions is Nova Scotia Glass, made in Trenton from 1881 to 1914 by Nova Scotia Glass Co., Lamont Glass Co. and lastly the Humphrey Glass Company. He has handled a multitude of these items in his time at the New Glasgow shop and still has a wide selection of pieces in stock.
Having developed numerous friendships among his customers, many have returned regularly to Garrett’s for a friendly visit and they seldom left without a treasure tucked under their arm or a tidbit of knowledge imparted by MacArthur. During his 54 years of working he has educated, as well as learned from, his friends and acquaintances.
Being a historian and researcher, MacArthur was constantly in pursuit of information evident by his huge reference library which made him a reliable source of knowledge in the antique and collectible world. He has been quoted and acknowledged in several books published on Canadian glass and hooked rugs.
But the time has come for Eddie to retire and move onto the next chapter of his life. Faced with increasing mobility challenges the notion of not having to navigate the winter ice and snow will be a welcomed change.
He says the decision to close was a long and trying process and now he is faced with the daunting task of dispersing the huge inventory and fixtures in the store.
The store will be open as usual until November 30. During this time he will be having a “Closing Sale” in hopes of reducing inventory or better yet cleaning out the entire store. He hopes to see many old friends and familiar faces visit the store once more before turning the key for the last time.