Friday, February 10, 2017

Eaton History, Bob's Mini Mart and Old Times!

Old Picture of Robie's Drug Store
This has been a sad year so far.  The old group has lost so many of its originals.  I was really sad to hear of the passing of Bob Cramphin.  Thinking of Bob brought back so many memories of 20 years ago when the little community worked together to put on a special event.Bob ran the grocery and gas station, and it was a great place to shop. You didn’t have to go far if you needed something, and believe me, the closest grocery store is in Morrisville or Hamilton, over 5 miles away in each direction.Bob was a very quiet person who served good coffee and I, because of his formal demeanor, would call him ‘Robare’.For our Bicentennial in Eaton I wrote the poem below for his ad in our history book since the mini mart was located on the site of the very famous Robie Drugstore in Eaton. The drugstore was a Mecca for summer folk and the rich who in Eaton’s Victorian heyday had ice cream there, bought ice, and bought very expensive souvenirs to take back to New York City.

After setting the whole Eaton Bicentennial thing in motion in 4 months and killing myself to get everything in place the morning of the event, people were disheartened because it was pouring rain at 7 am. But I was optimistic … the weather would improve... so I went into the mini -mart to find someone to help me get the 8 foot Birthday Cake from a Morrisville restaurant where we had stashed it. I found Bob a “basket case”; he was actually shaking. He said ,“I’m more nervous than you are!” He was too.

Yes, Bob’s Mini Mart stood right where the old Robie Drugstore used to stand. That drugstore was talked about by all of the locals during the time I lived in Eaton.

Eaton was quite a hot spot in its day. Of historical interest is the fact that when they tore the drugstore building down, Hyle Poole, who had bought the old Union School to turn it into a residence, purchased the two large front store windows. Today, if you drive by the historic marker on Brooklyn Street and look at the Old Union School, which was Pauline Brown’s house, you will see the two large windows still in place.

Today the mini mart is called the A=Z Mart. Condolences to the family and all the community that can remember hanging around or working at Bob's Mini Mart!


The mini-mart has taken the place
Of ye old country store.
Where people stop to fill their tanks,
But oh it’s so much more.
A spot to gather and chat a spell,
To catch up with the news.

A place that carries almost anything,
One could ever use.
Neighbors greeting neighbors,
With a handshake or a hi!
Children looking through a case
For candy they can buy.
Bait to fish, shells to hunt,

Or socks to keep you warm.

A place to check the temperature
 And hear of an impending storm.
A dusty picture hangs above the door,
It’s faded and unclear.

It seems that it’s the old drugstore,
That used to stand right here.


  1. Thanks Mar - This is a wonderful tribute

    1. I remember going to Bob's just about every day, when I was growing up in Eaton. Visiting Sheree, Luanne, Robin, and others with mom in the Chevette. I was fascinated by all the interesting conversations going on ;-) also, I recall Chet and this other guy who used to pick up cans by the road and return them at Bob's. I was riveted by all the action. There was a Kerosene heater in there in the winter that everyone would stand around and drink coffee.

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