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Smellie Bros. and Co. Store

300 Main Street, Russell, Manitoba, R0J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/04/25

South and east elevations, from the southeast, of the Smellie Bros. and Co. Store, Russell, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
South and East Elevations
Primary elevations, from the southwest, of the Smellie Bros. and Co. Store, Russell, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Primary Elevations
No Image

Other Name(s)

Smellie Block
Bloc Smellie
Dale's de Russell
Dale's vêtements des hommes
Dale's Mens Wear
Smellie Bros. and Co. Store
Dale's of Russell

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1885/01/01 to 1885/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The classically detailed Smellie Bros. and Co. Store overlooks the intersection of Main and Westburne streets in the heart of Russell's commercial district. The two-storey brick structure, built in 1885 and expanded in 1909, stands amidst a streetscape lined with shops and services. The municipal designation applies to the building and its site.

Heritage Value

The Smellie Bros. and Co. Store began as a typical commercial establishment built in small Manitoba communities around 1900, and later expanded in scope and significance. The structure's brick finish and modest classical ornamentation convey an image of solidity and respectability, while the angled entrance and main-floor display windows take advantage of a prime corner location. Over the seven decades that the Smellie Bros. and Co. held tenure in this building, it housed the firm's general store, a bank, post office, warehouse, and dressmakers' and millinery shops. It was also the base from which the company, a partnership formed in 1897 by A.G.P. and Dr. T.S.T. Smellie, managed eight general branch stores and five creameries in south-central Manitoba. The scope of the firm's operations made it a powerful economic force in Russell and enhanced the store's status as a local landmark.

Source: Town of Russell By-law No. 1329/03/96, April 25, 1996

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site's landmark character include:
- a prominent location on the northeast corner of Main and Westburne streets in Russell's business district

Key elements that define the building's exterior character and commercial role include:
- the visual unification of two separate flat-roofed rectangular volumes of varying size through consistent use of brick, fenestration and detailing
- the angled bay in the southwest corner containing a raised main entrance with inset double wood and glass doors, sidelights and glass block transom, etc.
- the large, rectangular, canopied display windows facing Main and Westburne at street level
- the modest classical ornamentation, including a metal modillioned cornice partially encircling the roofline, second-storey stacked bands of horizontal brick intermittently placed, round arch windows with limestone sills, brick voussoirs and wooden frames, etc.
- the stacked wooden freight doors in the southeast corner, one on each level, topped by a metal hoist for moving goods to the upper level, and additional wooden freight doors on the rear elevation

Key elements that define the building's uncomplicated internal composition and layout include:
- the formal plan with unobstructed expanses
- the durable, utilitarian finishes, including hardwood floors, pressed tin ceilings, and decorative carved wooden balustrade on the stairs to the second floor
- details and furnishings recalling the many commercial uses of the building, including a Taylor safe in the northeast corner and utilitarian freight elevator, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1890/01/01 to 1890/12/31
1909/01/01 to 1909/12/31

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Russell PO Box 10 Russell MB R0J 1W0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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