ARTHUR SWEETLAND SHOP

built 1895

45 CHURCH STREET

Arthur Sweetland Shop

This charming two and one half storey commercial shop was built in 1895 by Arthur Sweetland Sr. Arthur was a well-known businessman in the community and operated Sweetland’s Dry Goods out of this building for many years. Before Arthur passed away in 1922, his nephew Silas Sweetland took over operations and later Arthur’s grandson Arthur Douglas Sweetland operated the store until it closed in 1950.

Since it’s construction the building has been used for numerous businesses. However, one of the most interesting was a business called the Wayside Inn.  The Inn was operational during prohibition in the 1920s and  1930s by  Arthur  Sweetland  Sr.  This non -nonconventional Inn was operated out of a tiny back room of Sweetland’s Dry Goods shop. The entrance to the Inn was a side door, barely visible from the main street. During prohibition locals, would gather in this back room to consume banned alcoholic drinks. Arthur’s most popular drink was a 21% banana extract that would be served in tiny glass bottles.

After Confederation in 1949, Sweetland’s Dry Goods lost their British suppliers and were forced to close their doors. After this closure, the building was used by numerous businesses such as Eaton’s (1950 – 1973); Whiffen’s Dry Cleaners (the 1970s); Jeangles Jeans (1980’s); Magreta's Clothing Store (1986 – 1994); and Wayside Collectibles (1996 – 2000). The building was used as personal storage and a workshop for the Sweetland family from 2000 onward, until Bonavista Creative purchased the building for a full restoration in 2016.

The building is a classic late 19th and early 20th century commercial style structure, which was common throughout Bonavista. It features two over two style windows on both the first and second floors as well as decorated crown and cap mouldings along the second-floor eves.

As is common throughout Bonavista's downtown, the building is incredibly close to the road evoking unique sense of place and historical purpose.