W. J. Medland and Son Feed Store

William John Medland was a true native son of Brooklin. He was born October 24, 1900. On April 20, 1927, Bill married Etta Pearl White, a country girl born December 17, 1903. Together, they lived at 26 Queen Street, where they raised their son, John. Once grown, John, his wife Jean and eventually their children worked with Bill in the Medland family business.
Starting out as a painter, Bill was later employed by Patterson Dairy. He worked at the creamery until 1941, when he purchased the livery stable at 6 Campbell Street, beside the Brooklin Hotel. The hotel eventually became the present day Royal Canadian Legion #152. From this location, he operated W. J. Medland and Son Feed Store.
Local farmers bought their seed from Bill and homes were heated using his coal. He made a point of ensuring that families who couldn’t afford to pay did not go without heat. In 1970, Bill sold the coal business to Dixon Fuels in Oshawa. The old building was eventually demolished in 2001 to make room for a small plaza.
Bill and Etta were loved by many and highly respected in the Brooklin community. In 1948, Bill was named Master of Mount Zion Masonic Lodge #39 and was later presented with a 60 year pin. Etta herself was a Master of Contract Bridge. After 58 years of marriage Bill passed away on August 21, 1985. Etta followed shortly thereafter on May 20, 1986. The couple are buried in Groveside Cemetery.
Barb Medland won the Jody Edwards painting at our 2019 annual homecoming
/reunion we host at the Legion. Jean Medland drew the winning ticket. A perfect way to end the day!

Grand Opening of Cullen Gardens

(May 30, 1980), Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village opened. Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village was Whitby’s largest attraction from 1980-2006, featuring expansive gardens, a miniature village, restaurant, entertainment stage, gift shops and historic homes that were moved to the property to save them from demolition. What are your memories of Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village? Click below to see what happened on that day. https://youtu.be/brRFI7S6XeM

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.

The Booth, an old time concession stand

By Jennifer Bailey Hudgins

In 1936 my Grandmother, Hattie Bailey opened a concession stand in the orchard between her house at 149 Baldwin Street, N and my Grandfather Jerry’s Sunoco service station at 157.

Baileys Sunoco with Gene Bailey and friends.

This stand was referred to as “the Booth” and it was from here that Hattie sold sandwiches, beverages, baked goods, candy, cigarettes, ice cream and paintings by local artist Cliff Delong.

Grandma Baileys booth 2

Grandma Baileys booth

It was here that Verna Sonley Hodson began to work at the age of twelve in the summers before her marriage to Ray. A neighbour, Mrs Pengally baked pies Hattie sold by the slice and local women brought flowers from their gardens. Members of Rebecca Lodge had their tea parties in the orchard and the UCW held quilting bees.


Before closing “the Booth” in 1953, Hattie also operated a concession stand for many years at the Brooklin Spring Fair.