Montpelier Historic Downtown Walking Tour
Early sheriff and mayor Fred Cruikshank owned the first Model T Ford Agency in 1909.
Bear Lake Motors
Early sheriff and mayor Fred Locke Cruikshank was the owner of the first Model T Ford Agency in 1909 and closed it down in 1917 due to the (un)availability of new
vehicles for sale during World War I. N.T. Sneddon started Bear Lake Motor Company which bought the business from Cruikshank in 1918 becoming the official Ford dealership in 1921. In 1936, Sneddon moved the business to its present location shown in the pictures. Bear Lake Motors has run continuously as a Sneddon family business since 1918 with Bennett, T.R. and Murray Sneddon
operating the business over the years. The showroom was built on the east side of the building in 1981 after purchasing the adjacent property from Josie Driver.
"Odd Fellows" Hall
The members of the Enterprise Lodge, I.O.O.F, began building this building in the spring of 1897. The ground floor was opened as the "H.B. Whitman" store. The building was far enough along so that Whitmans started moving their stock of goods into the building in November of 1899. The store sold everything from dry goods, to hardware, to trunks, to furnishings. They also sold fresh groceries and glassware.
The Odd Fellows Lodge opened the upstairs in the summer of 1899. The upper floor was used as a lodge room, banquet hall and offices for the I.O.O.F. The estimated cost of the new building in 1897 was $8,000. As the new building opened, the Montpelier Examiner in its March 31, 1897 edition stated that "this will be the largest and handsomest building in the city."
The building presently occupied by the News Examiner was build early in the 1900's by the Whitman family. It was used as a dry goods store until it was sold to the Robinsons in 1942 for use as a newspaper building. Among the features of the building include a doorway that led into the adjacent Odd Fellow building, a large open second story that now contains newspaper files and printing forms. and plaque outside the front door that quotes the Constitutional Amendment outlining freedom of the press.
Many of the older residents of our community remember when a linotype was operated near the front window of the building. Ruth Taylor, one of the owners of the newspaper, gathered crowds of onlookers as she typed copy there. The linotype is still stored in one of the back rooms of the building along with other old printing equipment.