Over 50 years later, still a family business
In 1957, Peter D. Little moved his family to Port Elgin after landing a job in an existing furniture business. Six years later, it became Little’s Furniture Limited!
Our business was established where Meridian Credit Union is currently located. It then moved across the street, where the Bank of Commerce now stands. In 1975, we built, and moved to our current location, at the lights on the south edge of town, which at the time was surrounded by fields.
Little’s Furniture has always been a family business. Peter Sr. was always assisted in running the store by his wife Fern, and their three sons. We sold paint, wallpaper, floor coverings, and many diverse furnishings from across Canada. We made regular trips to Southern Quebec to pick up popular maple furniture. For some time, we were the largest Vilas distributor north of Highway 7!
Seasonal visitors and tourists fuelled the company’s growth. As well as local service, our weekly out of town deliveries included Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Sarnia and all points in between. Occasionally, there were trips as far east as Ottawa. Over the years, Little’s Furniture has shipped across Canada and even internationally – to Britain and Finland.
Little’s Furniture is still a family business, with J. Peter Little now at the helm. Peter Senior made his presence known around the store even after he retired. He always took great interest and pride in the business before his passing in the spring of 2007.
Sign of the times
We have been asked from time to time where we got our “Little’s” sign.
It was born in 1963, with a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood bought from our, then, back door neighbours, Ziegler Lumber. A local artist, and signmaker, Vida Wilford, crafted the logo. If memory serves me right, she created the logo in the style of Fern Little's handwriting. Fern was the founder's wife. The cursive style was then cut out of the single sheet of plywood.
It appeared for the first time on the front of our first location, presently Meridian Credit Union, downtown Port Elgin.
It later appeared on the rear of our second location, across the road, at the lights – on the rear of the building where CIBC is now located. CIBC razed the old 2 storey “Littles” building, and replaced it with the present CIBC structure.
It appeared next when we built our present location on the center front.
When we installed windows, in approximately 2005, the sign had to be removed, and it hung in our warehouse for some years.
A few years ago, we brought it out, dusted it off, and reinstalled it on the front again, only in a different position! It is a part of our history!