The Question Mark Store and Lunch Counter

Question Mark Store in the winter of 1949, Marg MacDonald on stairs photo credit -Patsy Ormond

Question Mark Store in the winter of 1949, Marg MacDonald on stairs
photo credit -Patsy Ormond

 

Owned, operated and built by Margaret MacDonald and Bill and Jeanne VanManen, the Question Mark

Store and Lunch Counter opened on the May long weekend of 1948. It was located at Six Mile, fronting the upper side of the main highway, on the west shore of Duhamel Creek. The original plan was for a cabaret (along with another business partner John Arichuck) but the area residents put up a petition against it so those plans changed.

Lunch counter at the Question Mark Store, 1949 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Lunch counter at the Question Mark Store, 1949
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

Question Mark Store the lunch counter 1949 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Question Mark Store the lunch counter 1949
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

Question Mark Store, Margaret MacDonald 1949 Photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Question Mark Store, Margaret MacDonald 1949
Photo credit – Patsy Ormond

Lunch counter at the Question Mark store, 1949 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Lunch counter at the Question Mark store, 1949
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

 

The Question Mark was built from scratch. The land was cleared, logs were cut at nine-mile and boomed down the lake. The logs were then hauled up from the lake by horse and milled on Joe Ramsden’s sawmill (located close by).

 

Bill Vanen with horse used to haul logs from lake to mill for construction of the store. Winter 1947-48 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Bill Vanen with horse used to haul logs from lake to mill for construction of the store. Winter 1947-48
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

Joe Ramsden's Mill Jan 1948 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Joe Ramsden’s Mill Jan 1948
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

Bill was killed in a car accident at 9-mile in 1952. Margaret and Jeanne continued with the Question Mark. After a short time Jeanne decided to return to Edmonton but remained a partner in the business. Margaret got married to Bill Heddle in 1955 and continued to run the business.

 

Margaret MacDonald, Bill and Jeanne VanManen on steps of the store 1950 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Margaret MacDonald, Bill and Jeanne VanManen on steps of the store 1950
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

In Oct 1959 the store was sold to Helen and Leo Lambert. By the mid 1960’s the store was owed by Mr. and Mrs. Russ Davis who closed down the lunch counter and built on living quarters at the back.

 

Notice of change of ownership, October 13, 1959 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Notice of change of ownership, October 13, 1959
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

Newspaper article on change of ownership, Nelson Daily News, October 15 1959 photo credit - Patsy Ormond

Newspaper article on change of ownership, Nelson Daily News, October 15 1959
photo credit – Patsy Ormond

I cannot recall when the Question Mark closed for good. Although the building still stands today, it is now a residential property.

 

Patsy Ormond May 2014