In 1911 Tom Walton erected this familiar landmark in Cobble Hill Village. Originally known as Walton Hall, it has seen many other village buildings come and go since, but the store at the corner of Cobble Hill and Fisher Roads endured to celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2011. When the enterprise opened its doors, the main floor was a grocery store and the second operated as an art studio by day with lessons given by Mrs. Walford Gosnell and at night it was a very popular hall. There were many, well attended dances enjoyed here and service organizations made use of the busy facility for their meetings. The Cobble Hill Women’s Institute met in this hall when they first formed their chapter in 1920, as did the local Boy Scouts.
Over the years, a number of owners occupied the building after Tom Walton sold it to Herbert Fawdry and moved to Victoria in the early 1920s. Mr. Fawdry was followed by Jim Smith of Smith’s Meat Market and then on January 1st 1945 by Walter and Jennie Hearn who renamed it Hearn’s Meat Market and Groceteria. In June of 1947 Ron Groutage purchased the business. During the 1940s the second story was converted into owners’ living quarters and in the ensuing years the Sharpes, Don Foster and his family, Ira Luck, Jim MacGregor and then Bruce and Eleanor Ashmore were proprietors.
The Ashmores did restorative work on the building that was purchased from them by James and Anita Yeung in 1990 when James was visiting from Hong Kong. Anita’s uncle Ian Hong managed it for five years until James, Anita and their sons Michael and Ken were able to immigrate to Canada on December 8th, 1995. The Yeungs continue to operate the Market and have become strong and enthusiastic supporters of our local community.