The Village of Williamsford was first surveyed in 1858 comprising 400 acres in preparation for a railway which was to run from Toronto to Owen Sound. Each township was to contribute $40,000 to its construction. The post office was built in 1847 and the general store was built in the late 1800s.:204–206 Published by Patsy C on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
In 2010, a group of people who love antique cars decided to stop in to the Williamsford Pie Company. A customer took this amazing photo of all the cars lined up in front. If you did not know any better, you would think that this was a very old photo. But what gives away this photo is the new name of the company above the door.
Approximately 23 mins and 23.46 kms from Owen Sound the historic building stands, which was once a hardware store owned by the Elliot Family. It was originally built and opened by Louis Privat in 1904 and began as a hardware store along with the Sullivan (now called Williamsford) Post Office. It has been the home of the Williamsford Pie Company since 2007.
Since 1922, three generations of Elliots ran the Hardware business and raised their families in this building, with Bob being the last Elliot resident and owner, when he retired and sold in 2007. The building still hosts the Williamsford Post Office, and attracts locals and visitors on their way to and from Owen Sound. Williamsford sits on the Townline between Sullivan Township and Holland Township (now part of the Municipality of Chatsworth). Both Townships have published two history books but there are some great photos showing how the building use to look back in the 1900’s. The bakery now features a History Wall of old photos and information to preserve its memories, and to remember those from the past when it was a hardware store, family home and post office for over 103 years.
In April, 2016, the town of Williamsford was hit with a devastating flood. Many people had to be evacuated and several homes and business were badly affected, including the Pie Company. Then owner Laura Snider was however, able to keep the building open so the community could still have access to the Post Office. The community recovered, and the basement of the Pie Company was restored after a one month closure. The building stands as strong as ever, and is in very good condition given its age.
Courtesy ifpress.com Courtesy blackburnnews.com Courtesy blackburnnews.com
Oldest Post Office in Grey County – est. 1847
The Williamsford Pie Company hosts the oldest Post Office in all of Grey County, which was originally opened in 1847 and run by
Mr. Wm. Buchanan, a shoe maker and book-binder.
Courtesy Gazetteer and directory of the County of Grey for 1865-6 Smith, William Wye, 1827-1917
In 1900, the position of Post Master was assumed by Mr. Louis Privat, a Tinsmith, who built this building in 1904 as a hardware store, with his home and family on the upper floor. Mr. Privat moved the Post Office into this building as soon as it was built,
and it has remained in this building ever since.
Mr. Louis Privat and his wife, Mrs. Wilhilmena Privat, circa 1906. Louis Privat b. December 9, 1860, d. March 5, 1920. He is buried in the Knox Cemetery in Williamsford, ON.
T.J. Elliot purchased the building in 1922 from Mr. Privat’s son following Louis Privat’s death in 1920, and T.J. became the new Post Master. He kept the building as a hardware store, renaming it Elliot’s Hardware, and worked it with his son, W.J. Elliot, who purchased it from his father in 1933. W.J’s son Bob Elliot, still a resident of Williamsford, also assisted his father with the business, and purchased the store and building from his father in 1969. It remained Elliot’s Hardware, an icon in the community for 85 years, until it became the Williamsford Pie Company in 2007 when Bob and his wife Carol retired.
Original Elliot’s Hardware sign, 1922. Courtesy Bob Elliot
Elliot's Mill, 1865
Elliot's Mill, which was built in 1865 by Adam Elliot, is one of the first major constructions in the town.
Today, it is Great Books & Cafe, which opened in 2006.
1847 – William M. Buchanan becomes Post Master for 1st Post Office in Grey County
1865 – Adam Elliot builds Mill across street (Original Elliot to Williamsford)
1900 – Louis Privat becomes new Post Master
1904 – Louis Privat builds this building as a hardware store and his home, moves Post Office into it
1922 – T.J. Elliot purchases building/hardware store from Privat’s son, becomes new Post Master
1933 – W.J. Elliot purchases building/hardware store from father and becomes new Post Master
1969 – Bob Elliot purchases building/hardware store from father and becomes new Post Master
2007 – Mary Jo Beirnes purchases building from Bob Elliot, turns it into home and Williamsford Pie Company
2009 - Laura Snider purchased Williamsford Pie Company
2016 - Kim and Sam purchased Williamsford Pie Company
Mr. William Buchanan (1814-1904), Jannette Buchanan (Williams wife, nee Halliday 1815-1900) (Link) Louis Privat (1863-1920) and Wilhemina Privat (Louis’s wife, nee Krause 1865-1924) (Link) are all buried at the Knox Presbyterian Cemetery in Williamsford, ON. W.J. Elliot and his wife Catherine are buried at Shiloh Cemetery in Chatsworth, ON.