Other Merchants of the Springs 1940 to Now

The LeFley Store

This overhead view of Sheldon Spring from east to west clearly shows
School Street as constructed by the mill along with the roadway leading
into the Sheldon Springs and the intersection that would become the
Webster Store at in the 1940s.  The Mill can be seen in the upper right.
Not as distinguishable are the rail bed and the Sweet Hollow Road.



Henry E LeFley purchased land at the head of School Street from the Missisquoi Pulp and Paper Company.
The company assumed the mortgage on September 13, 1919. A second mortgage appears in 1934
on the same property to the Home Owners Loan Corp recorded which was released in 1948 when
Henry sold the house and store to his brother Arthur J LeFley

During the years that Henry ran the store both he and his wife enjoyed notoriety in Sheldon.

On Monday August 16, 1937 Saint Albans Daily Messenger reported on the 50th anniversary
of the Mr. & Mrs. Henry LeFley held at the Quincey Hotel in Enosburg.
Over the 130 guests attended with many retiring to the LeFley Sheldon home after. .

On May 14, 1935 the State of Vermont issued a Beer License to Arthur J. LeFley.
The State renewed the license on Jan 1 1936.

Arthur J appears to have taken part in the business since his name appeared on
a lease by the Gulf Oil Company June 20, 1938. T
he lease was cancelled on May 24, 1947

On July 5 1941 the Saint Albans Daily Messenger noted “Donald Babbie
has employment at Arthur LaFley’s store.”


The store counter and sign below are featured
in the Sheldon Historical Society Museum
and came from the “Arthur J LaFley store”

Saint Albans Daily Messenger August 23, 1957:

“Cherie and Sonny Cretakis of NYC are spending the remainder
of the summer with their grandparents Mr. and Mr’s Arthur LaFley

Rutland Herald February 12, 1946

”Permeant injunction and final judgement of $50 was issued against
Arthur J LaFley doing business as LaFley’s Store in Sheldon Springs o
n account of over-ceiling sales of food.”


The Burlington Free Press October 15, 1949

carries the obituary of Henry E LaFley.
Arthur LaFley bears mention as the brother of Henry
and Lorman LaFley as the son of Henry.

Land Transactions

Sheldon land records show that Henry E LaFley sold the store and home to Arthur J Lafleyon Jan 23, 1948
Arthur J LaFley subsequently sold the property to Lorman and Florence LaFley on November 22, 1969
Lorman and Florence LaFley then sold the property on October 17, 1972 to “Lee”

Burlington Free PressFebruary 18, 1972:

“Sheldon Springs LAFLEY , Arthur J  –
Funeral for Mr. LaFley, who died Tuesday February 15
will be held today at 10 a. m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.”


How A Road Changed Retail History

This 1940’s Map of Sheldon Springs
clearly show VT Rte. 105 going directly through
the small village. The merchants occupied buildings
along that route within the village and immediately
adjacent to the highway.

The new Route 105 created a unique intersection of then Main
Street and 105. In September 1940 Fred C Lake sold the property
to S. B. Collins of ST. Albans.

S B Collins subsequently granted a right of way to the state for the relocation of VT Rte. 105 which would make this corner a primary retail location. Ironically after the last owner went into foreclosure, S.B Collins, as one of the initial financial investors became the new owner of the property



The Webster Era 1949 – 1982

Cedric E Webster arrived in Sheldon in the early 1940s.  Envisioning a business opportunity he bought
the property from S. B. Collins on October 5, 1949 to build a gasoline station.
He registered the trade name of “Webster’s” with the state on November 9, 1949.
Cedrick Webster remained the grocer and gas station owner until 1982.
This location represents the longest surviving retail business in Sheldon Springs.
Only one competitor exists today and that location opened after 1949

Andy’s Quick Stop

In 1982 C.E Wester passed away. His estate sold the property to Andre and Denise Luneau
who took ownership as recorded in the Town of Sheldon records on May 11, 1982.
The Luneau’s maintained the short stop location under the name of Andy’s Quick Stop until 1988.
Andy remained competitive with the nearby quick stop.  He and his wife and children lived
on nearby Mill Street.

Andy tended the store and the gas pumps for over 6 years and is fondly remembered by the
members of the community. Denise. Luneau purchased “The Pines” Restaurant in Swanton
and shortly thereafter Andy joined here in that enterprise until his untimely death.

Ernie’s Quick Stop

On September 20, 1988 Ernest J and Leah M Riendeau assumed ownership of the property
and changed the trade name to “Ernie’s Quick Stop.” The couple maintained the business
until April 12, 1996 when after 12 years in business they failed.
They attempted a transfer of ownership to one Deborah Vincent
but the final foreclosure took place on April 12, 1996

[A gap exists in the property occupancy and ownership from 1996 until around 2000 ]




Pauline’s Quick Stop

In 200 Robert C and Sue Dudley began doing business as Pauline’s.
They prospered with a definite aim at the hunting population
with turkey contests and a big game scale.
Before Robert died in 2019 the Dudley’s lost ownership
of the store but not by their choice.
A foreclosure by financial supporters put them out of business.





Facebook postings helped to encourage support for the business prior to its closure.

On August 24, 2017 the Dudley’s posted the following to Face Book:

”It is with great sadness that we announce the closing of Pauline’s Quick Stop.
We were here for all of you for 17 years! We made many wonderful friends
throughout the years! Helped many people who needed a hand!
Good times and tuff times along the way and we wouldn’t change a thing.
We will miss you all and will miss serving you!
Good luck to all in the future! We will miss you all!!!!”


Apparently the property and store reverted back to the ownership of S. B. Collins who soon after open a Jolley Quick Stop.



Jim Roberts Jim’s Barber Shop and Restaurant

Jim Roberts came to Sheldon Springs as a barber around 1950.
He barbered from a shop in a building then owned by D’Augostino
where the bar and restaurant known as the Sheldon Restaurant served patrons.

This Messenger story from 1951 appeared well before 1968
when Jim built a larger restaurant where his Cree-Mee and
French Fries stand and barber shop stood for 22 years
until around 1990. He employed up to five people.


Land Recordsdates 8/31/54 indicate the existence
Land of a triangular shape with a Barber shop,
On 10/2/1954the property was mortgaged fo
Chittenden bank and discharged 1/11/1993.

Officieal records show that ”
Herbert J and Norna J Roberts
Filed a Doing BBusines As
Jim’s Lunch 4/15/1965

Jim won a seat on the Sheldon School Board in March 1965.
During his years here he maintained the respect of the town citizens.
Although this author never received an ear trimming from Jim
he did enjoy a coffee break there at least once.



Anecdote from local resident
“Jim first had the barbershop in a building near the company store
amd then he moved to the D’Agistineo block.
This resident always  had his hair cut there.
The “restaurant” was at first  a Hot Dog stand.
When coming home from playing in the band late one night
he saw the house where Art LeFley lived in engulfed in a chimney fire.
He went to get Jim’s help and they together rescused Art from
the fire and took him to Jim’s place to recover.  It was nearly 20 below.

Jim and his wife were adoptive parents with two sons but no children of there own.



Heritage Clocks – A Sheldon Springs Notable Business

After retiring from teaching science,
Jim Mercure began to fulfill his passion for woodworking and clocks.
Following many years of working the “school” 40 minute schedule
he found it difficult to adjust to being able to choose
his own time frame, “work for myself”.

 However he did successfully open and operate Heritage Clocks
for over 40 years.  Even though the shop is officially closed and he
travels with his wife Fern to Myrtle Beach annually, he does enjoy
speaking to his passion and will occasionally sell a clock.

Photo of Young Horologist


Some years ago a friend offered him the opportunity to help clean the town
clocks in Richford and Franklin.  “My friend opened up the clock, took
a look and cleaned it,’ said Mercure.
“That’s where the interest started. You’re looking at
a hobby that’s gone out of control.” – Messenger July 8, 2011 by Leon Thompson.




Jim handcrafts all his clocks with custom made dials
bearing his signature.  His shop continues to contain
a variety of clocks up to and including high-range
grandfather clocks.
He houses each time mechanism in a hand crafted
wooden housing and remains proud of his knowledge
of wood and his choices for each clock.




Like the sage he continues to be Jim says,


“Because I work for myself, I am as busy as I want to be”


Tipper’s Garage?

This unique structure, often unnoticed by passersby, houses a  two stall older garage. Although no business sign apparently hung over the door Lawrence Atwood Tipper often free services to friends and relaitives. He drove truck for a living for both Quinn Freight and Green Mountain Packages but he also loved to perform mechanical tasks both on his own vehicles and those of friends and neighbors.

No “retail” sign hung over the garage, however it did function as a gathering place primarily for the “fellas” of town who came to visit with “Tipper”. In October of 1979, he and his wife Leona Mae bought a vacant lot on the south side of VT Rte. 105 in Sheldon Springs just before the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail.  His widow lived here after his death as did his two daughters Phyllis (Archambault) and Nancy (Martin).  Leona recently passed leaving the property to the daughters.  Phyllis currently lives in the house.


Ward’s Grocery

Not easily recalled due to its loss by fire, Ward’s Grocery occupied the lot currently next to Rainville Electric on the south side of Route 105. This gas station and convenience store, operated by Harold and his wife Phyllis along with their children, remained open for abot 15 years.  Ward relatives living in the area recall them as good business people and good citizens.  The Doing Business As Ward Grocery filed with the state in September 1954 was recorded in Book 26 at Page 330 in 1959.  The house and store buildig became the property of “Bill” Irish but burned shortly there after.  A house trailer placed on a lot sold to Don and Christine Ward still occupies part of the property. He passed away in 1994 long after selling the property.  No photos could be found.


Mackie’s Ceramics

“Maxine Ovitt” operated Mackie’s Ceramic Shop at the current location of Rainville Electric on the south side of Route 105 next to Heritage Clocks.  In addition to selling hand crafted ceramics, she instructed others at this facility for many years.  Many residents in and around Sheldon Springs continue to have fond memories of her and the times they spent in her shop.



Durkee Sheldon Mini-Mart

Homer and Ruth (Remington) Durkee demonstrated Vermont entrepreneurship from the
beginning of their business ventures following Homer’s 11 years of employment at the Fonda  mill.
The couple married in 1963 following graduation from BFA St. Albans.
While Ruth raised a family Homer embarked upon a home building career.
Homer and Ruth remained married for 60 years.

In 1968 Homer purchased the former Sheldon Poor Farm property with the hopes
of using the buildings for rental.  He successfully leased the main building to “Threshold”
where they ran a residential drug rehabilitation center. In October 1978 the
residential center burned to the ground.  Home did assist in rehabilitation
the Poor Farm Cemetery but the property has otherwise been unattended.

A note of distinction as “Homer” joined the ranks of Henry Mower who moved his store
by oxen in the early 1800s.  When the “Mill” sold its properties in the early 1970’s
Homer purchased two larger management homes and proceeded to move them
from their Mill Street location across VT Rte. 105 to two separate location
on Sweet Hollow Road and on Rte. 105 to a lot he and Ruth purchased in 1972

Forty years ago in 1984, Homer and Ruth became
business owners when they opened the Sheldon Mini Mart i
n a building that Homer constructed which housed the store
along with the Franklin County Head Start program.
This local establishment continues to thrive and is the family owned store that has survived the longest.

The family worked diligently to maintain the business with Ruth working the early years
and Homer always in the driver’s seat on Sunday while holding “court” with many location men.
His two daughters Heidi and Heather worked in the store while attending high school.
Heather, now Prive, has operated the store for many years.  This congenial family
owned business attracted employees with staying power and dedication providing
a familiar atmosphere for customers.

Homer passed recently at the age of 79 while Ruth is confined to a nursing home.