Historic photo of Vankleek Hill, ON

16 high Street

Ingram & Sons strives to build on the deep community tradition of kindness, dependability, and honesty that this heritage building brings with it. So whether you stop by to learn about cannabis or just for conversation, we’d love to help you with good old-fashioned service.

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The story behind our building

Since Vankleek Hill’s earliest days and long before Ingram & Sons Cannabis Co. opened, High Street has been the centre of the local community. Vankleek Hill has records dating back to the early 1800s, and over the last two centuries, it’s transformed from a quiet rural village to a popular travel destination known for its locally produced food, wine and beer. Now, more than 200 years since its inception, it’s never lost its small-town charm.

Historic photo of Vankleek Hill, ON

A colourful history

We’ve discovered that the history of our location — 16 High Street — is fascinating. For starters, High Street, as it is now known, was originally St. John Street. The Masonic Lodge were the original property holders way back in the 1850s.

Based on their club lore, they initially named the street after Saint John. So named by the original property owners: The Masonic Lodge dating back to the 1850s.In the mid-1800s, the Lodge was a central part of the local community. The Masons were integral to the Vankleek Hill’s history because “any man who becomes a Mason is taught a pattern for living – reverence, morality, kindness, honesty, dependability and compassion.”

The Ingram & Sons Cannabis Co. brick building was built over 120 years ago, in 1897. This happened to be the same year Vankleek Hill was incorporated.

Our building has had a very colourful history throughout the last century, passing through a dozen or more hands (sometimes for as little as $50), evolving every time into a brand new commercial offering.

Initially, our building served as the E.Z. Labrosse General Store. As a local newspaper advertised at the time, “E.Z. Labrosse Dealer in Groceries, Provisions, Wines and Liquors of all descriptions; also Grain, Butter, Eggs, Pork, Cordwood & Cash paid for all kinds of Farm Produce.”

Following store owner Labrosse’s death in 1930, 16 High Street transitioned into a car sales and gas station, then quickly afterwards into Crawford Wood, an electronic repair shop and appliance store.

Historic photo of Vankleek Hill, ON

The crawford STore, A community hub

In those days, only a few streets in Vankleek Hill enjoyed electricity. Radios, sewing machines, and other small electric appliances were brand new technologies and still a novelty. In the early 1950s, when few local residents had a television in their homes, Crawford placed a sample smack dab in the middle of his storefront. It very quickly drew crowds, especially for the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II and the ever-popular Hockey Night in Canada.

Mr. Crawford died in 1969, and for many in Vankleek Hill, it represented an end to an era. As one local explained in a tribute:

“We were always made to feel welcome at Crawford’s, whether you bought a fridge, a jackknife or nothing at all made no visible difference, we went in, out of the cold in the winter and were always met with the salute, ‘Sit down. What’s new?’

“Often, we got a cup of coffee, first we got an armchair, others sat on a paint can, his short stepladder, or just plain stood-up, hoping someone would have to go home. Just as in those gone-by days we swapped yarns, discussed weather, politics, sports and mini-skirts. And again, each one of us thought he had all the answers.”

June 26, 1969 edition of the Eastern Ontario Review, J. Howard Allison

Historic photo of Vankleek Hill, ON

Very special thanks to the Vankleek Hill & District Historical Society, who helped us pull together the 120-year history of the Ingram & Sons Cannabis Co. building, located at 16 High Street.

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