Ghost Signs

  136 Market Avenue (East)

136 Market Avenue (East)

  Ghost Sign Transcribed:

Marshall-Wells Company

The Marshall-Wells Company was founded in 1892, when Albert Marshall took controlling interest in the Chapin Wells Hardware Company.  The merger would create the third largest hardware merchant in the United States. At the turn of the century, the company expanded their operations from Duluth, Minnesota into the Canadian market.  In 1901, Marshall-Wells constructed a hardware house at 123 Bannatyne and four years later, built a second warehouse at 136 Market. The Market Avenue property was extended and expanded over the years from one to two buildings and two to six storeys. Marshall-Wells operated out of the Market Avenue location until 1956, when it moved its warehouse to Ellice Avenue.

The company would eventually grow to license the Marshall-Wells name, and support locations with regional supply centres. By 1951, Marshall-Wells had eight branch warehouses in Canada and five in the United States. In 1957, Canadian holdings were sold and the company became Marshall-Wells of Canada. Through a series of corporate acquisitions and mergers, the company’s name and trademark were eventually lost when parent company Cochrane-Dunlop, who bought the company from the Hudson’s Bay Company for $20 million, went into bankruptcy in 1988.