Century old building demolished in Preeceville

Memories came flooding back for many as they watched the 109-year-old building known as the old Alex Clark Barbershop and Pool Room in Preeceville demolished on September 4.

The following information was obtained from the Preeceville and District Heritage Museum and the Saskatchewan Cemetery website under Alex Clark's obituary.

article continues below

“Clark was born at Hilly Grove, Manitoulin Island, Ont. in 1878. Clark left the Island in 1904 and came west to Ochre River, Man. where he was a blacksmith for a year.

“In 1905, he moved to Buchanan where he ran a livery and draying service and he also started auctioneering until he came to Preeceville in 1910. In 1910, he opened the first barbershop and poolroom. Since there was no place for worship he opened the poolroom every Sunday for the Presbyterian congregation where services were held until the church was built later.

“This was moved from a side street in the fall of 1911 to the south block on the east side of Main Street. This was a gathering place for the men of the area. Alex Clark had a wonderful sense of humour and provided many laughs. He was also one of the auctioneers in the area and added much zest to the auction.

“In 1914 the building was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt the following spring. He ran the Barbershop and Pool Room until 1944 when he sold it and continued auctioneering.

Clark had one of the earliest phonographs in the area which was returned to Preeceville and the museum by his granddaughters.

“He was the first Overseer for the Town of Preeceville in 1912. He was also the overseer in 1915 and one of three overseers in 1923-24, 1925-26, 1928-32, 1937, 1938-40, 1941-44. He was a Town councilor in 1919 and 1945. He was the first Mayor in 1947. He was also a chartered member of the Masonic Lodge. Clark passed away on February 21, 1963 at the age of 84.

“In 1944, Bill Sawkiw bought the Barbershop and Poolroom. He remodeled the building and added a bowling alley. In 1946 he sold it to Joe Babcishen. In 1958 Steve Shpak became the owner and ran a poolroom until his retirement in 1976.

“Floyd Head purchased the property in 1976. He established Head’s Shoe Repair. The store also carried some retail goods. The building was then sold to Bob Hearn who established a woodworking business.”