Legacy From a Dapper Granddad

And what a handsome man he was!

Isaac Rosenburg+store-1935
Isaac Rosenburg in 1935, proudly stands before his store at 5601 Monkland Ave. in NDG, Montreal.

Isaac was my father’s father, a man I never got to meet, unfortunately; he died before I was born in 1945. In this picture he must have been in his late 40s or early 50s.

The store was called Monkland Dry Goods and was eventually inherited by my father. Thank you, granddad Isaac! It became my second home, as I used to go there quite often at lunchtime. (It was a short walk from Willingdon School which I attended from grade 2 to grade 7.)

ELwood 6903. That was the phone number of the store. I had to memorize that number as a child, because if my parents weren’t home, which was often the case, the store was where I’d find them. Even our first dog, Queenie, learned the route by heart – from home to the store and back again – she would go by herself whenever she escaped from her leash.

Isaac Rosenburg’s first location for his shop was on Westminster Avenue, in Montreal West. It must’ve been almost all farmland then! I think he sold everything… well, except food. Basic clothing, balls of yarn and thread and bolts of cloth, were his mainstays, my mom told me. I’m not sure when he moved the store to Monkland corner of Marcil, but obviously that’s when he decided to call it Monkland Dry Goods.

My best friend lived in one of the apartments above the store. So convenient! She and I, along with another couple of kids, used to play “school” in the store’s musty basement. No arguing about it: I was always the teacher! I used to make little workbooks for them and assign homework and give quizzes. I can’t understand for the life of me how they put up with this setup time and again! I think I wanted to be like my Aunt Bertha, a high-school teacher, whose red pencil used for marking papers was something I secretly coveted.

Monkland Dry Goods truly enriched my childhood. Lunches with my mom, buying trips to a toy factory with my father… a few more of my memories of that place and that era may be found here.

That same location is now a cupcake café. Good thing I don’t live too close to that address anymore!

9 thoughts on “Legacy From a Dapper Granddad

  1. I’m always interested in people’s memories of their childhood and their family history. I’m not really qualified to say how handsome your grandfather was, but I can say that he strikes me as having a very kind and honest face. I’ll be he was loved by his customers.

    I agree with you about the danger of living too close to that delicious-looking Cho’cola Bakeshop. I think I gained a couple of pounds just clicking on the link. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s wonderful that your family members shared their memories and life stories with you, along with their pictures like you featured here, as well as on yesterday’s post. It makes our life richer to be able to travel back in time and look at these photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ellie – I am glad that my mom sat with me and told me about family as well. I know nothing about my father’s family, but do know about my maternal grandparents and great-grandparents. Plus I have all the family albums which I digitized in 2017. The pictures will need tweaking and it is a big project for down the road, maybe when I’m retired, but I can go into the pictures I scanned in to use for blog posts or just to look at them.

        Liked by 1 person

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