The earliest business listed for the Minicola family appears in the 1893 Peterborough directory. Edward Minicolo fruits appears at 206 Charlotte St. Somehow Leonardo’s name was anglicized to Edward. He has also been listed as Leonard or Ned at various times. It’s doubtful he was the owner of the business at this time as he was only 18 years old. See the Examiner article below which lists Philip Minicolo as the owner of the business.The 1894 Directory lists Philip Minicolo, grocer, etc as being at 206 Charlotte. Edward (Leonardo) is listed as a peddler for the store. The article below is from the Peterborough Examiner, September 1st, 1893. They have mistakenly listed Philip’s name as Peter. There are no other Minicolas in Peterborough at this time. The streets listed for the business and home are correct. Note that Donato was also known as Thomas or Tom.
|Minicola Store at 160 Hunter St. Circa approximately 1910. Pictured left to right are: Unknown, Lucia Minicola (Nicholas Minicola’s daughter) and unknown (possibly Philip Minicola)|
|Right: From the Peterborough Examiner circa 1893. It appears Philip would send out the younger boys with a load of fruit to sell. My guess is they would either go door to door or set up on the sidewalk in a busy area of town.
It’s unknown where Donato was that night but we can guess he eventually made his way home.
|The 1895 Directory lists Nicholas Minacolo as the proprietor of the store. Philip is now listed as having a grocery store at 67 Elm St. which is the family home. In 1897 the store moves to 170 Hunter St. and is renamed Minacolo Bros Fruit Dealers. Thomas (Donato) and Nicholas are listed as the owners of the store. By 1899 the store had moved to its final location at 160 Hunter. Leonard and Nicholas are listed as the owners although it can be assumed all three older boys are involved with the running of the store at during this time.|
|Right: This advertisement appeared in the 1899 Peterborough Directory. Leonard and Nicholas are listed as the owners of the store. It’s likely Donato was also involved at this time.|
|At some point around 1899 Donato leaves Peterborough to work and live in Orange, New Jersey. He next appears in the 1905 Directory as a clerk at the store. In 1907 the name of the store is changed to N. Minicolo Fruits and confectionery.|
|Left: Another advertisement for the store from the 1907 Peterborough Directory. Donato is listed separately as a clerk at the store. Leonard appears to have sold out to his brother in the preceding years. Leonard may have been in Italy at this time.|
|In 1912 Donato opens his own store at 410 1/2 George St. By this time Nicholas’ daughter Lucia (Lucy) has started working as a saleslady at the store. After 1915 the store is closed and the space is taken over by a music business. Nicholas then takes over the store on Elm St. after the death of his mother Lucia. According to a 1922 obituary from the Peterborough Examiner “his integrity of character and square business dealings won for him so large and ever-growing a patronage that he was in a position to retire seven years since.” He would have been approximately 51 years old when he ‘retired’ to the family homestead on Elm St.|
|Above: Photograph of the store at 160 Hunter St. Circa 1900 – 1915. Nicholas Minicola is on the right and unknown younger lad to the left may be Joseph J. Minicola. The building was known as the Cluxton Block and was demolished in the 1970’s to make way for the Royal Bank which now occupies this space on Hunter St. between Chambers Street and George.|
Above: Looking west on Hunter St from Water, about 1910 showing approximate location of the store.
Right: Cluxton building, about 1900 on the north-west corner of George and Hunter. Store is not visible due to the telephone pole in the foreground on the far left side.
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