About the Cows

Posted by Charlton
September 4, 2013
Our-Lucky-Stars-Cows

These wonderful cow paintings have become a huge part of the cafe culture. Trevor spotted them outside Pot Of Gold Antiques on Old Wooler Road which is where we’d bought some chairs and little vintage dessert plates. Mary Postar, the proprietor of the shop didn’t know much about the cow paintings other than that they were salvaged from a barn somewhere around Oshawa. Friends urged me to take a pass on my original intent to have rotating art exhibitions and buy these big beauties for the cafe instead. So, the day before opening they were delivered, and yes, they were perfect.

They’ve been very popular and real conversation starters. Within a few days of opening, a local farmer approached me and said that he believed they could be from a farm in Brooklin, Ontario that he believed was demolished to make way for a new subdivision and the 407 highway. Since then several customers have recognized the paintings and indeed its been confirmed that they were originally hung on the barn exterior of Roybrook Farms in Brooklin, owned by renowned Holstein breeder Roy Ormiston . Indeed the first gent to shed some light on their provenance brought me a copy of ‘The Chosen Breed’ which holds plenty of information on Roy Ormiston and his cows including his legendary ‘white cow’.

Another local farmer has told me he thinks he knows who painted these wonderful beasts and I’m hoping he’ll return with the artist’s name so we can give credit where due! ( My dad would like to have brass plaques made and mounted on the ‘frames’ of each painting, giving names to the cows, to their home and to the artist!)

Now, one final thing – the bull on the right has horns which seems okay, but so does the cow on the left and people are asking if that’s ‘correct’. So, I’m wondering – can you tell this city girl!? And I’d also welcome any more information on the story of these paintings and their subjects! Use the email link on the left to contact me or go to our facebook page and share your comments!

Brooklin’s First Pharmacy

By Jennifer Bailey Hudgins

Russell (Russ) Short graduated from the University of Toronto School of Pharmacy and his first place of employment was with Jury and Lovell in Oshawa. In the late 40’s he moved to Toronto to work for Hoopers Drug Store at Bloor and Sherbourne where he partnered with Bill Burgess, son of the owner. 

1950’s saw the introduction of discount retail making retailing by the smaller service providers more challenging, so Russ made the decision to relocate to a town that could support a Pharmacy.  This was at a time when Brooklin was growing with a new residential subdivision and the community supported a medical centre as well as doctors offices.

Russ purchased 65 Baldwin Street and moved with his wife Bernice and sons Bob, Jim and Gary to Queen Street in Brooklin. Construction of Short’s Pharmacy commenced in 1959 with the grand opening in May 1960. Brooklin’s first Pharmacy! The family then purchased a home on North Street.

In the early days the store was open 7 days a week with extended hours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. ( 9 to 9 ) and new jobs were brought into the village when Russ employed locals. The pharmacy served an area well beyond Brooklin, as flyers were regularly distributed to residents as far as Locust Hill in the west, Hampton to the east  and Greenbank to the north.
In 1971 Russ was joined by Bill Burgess who re-located from Toronto to live in Ashburn.  In 1980 Russ suffered a stroke and was not able to return to the Pharmacy. His partner Bill Burgess continued on with the business, and at his retirement, Bill’s daughter Peggy Frankovich took over. Russ passed away in 1984 and is buried in his home town of Bowmanville.