Survey 128, Lot 77 North-West Corner of St. George and St. John Street

Survey 128, Lot 77, North-West corner of St. George Street and St. John Street.

About 1915 General Store
“Nelson Perry’s Grocery Store” The Perry Family purchased this building after selling the bakery, to the Burns family. They lived

on the second floor of the store. * Did you know the phone numbers

were only 3 digits long at this time?

Nelson Perry stands in front of his store.

Picture provided by grandson Richard Wright

In the early 40’s and 50’s the Emerson family operated a restaurant

here. As recalled by Richard Wright you could buy the best two scoop ice cream for 20 cents here.

Annie McKinnon Emerson

worked at downtown McKay’s

Café before joining her husband Matt

in this venture.


1958 – due to the owner passing away the restaurant goes up for sale.

Orlo Horton continued to operate restaurant here for a few years until

it became a retail space again. Pegg’s Val-U-House operated here

in late 60s and early 70s..

Pegg’s U-House in late ‘60s

In 1975 Helen Austin owned the Restaurant according to her daughter.

It was called the Old Village Inn named after the color she painted

it inside… Ol’ Villa Inn. Her famous raisin pie is still talked about today.

The restaurant was passed between different hands in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The Rizakos Family

completely renovated the old building and added a new addition as it is shown in the 1984 flood.

A fire in 1986 brought the building’s use to end even though the Logan Family had made intentions to purchase it.

The building remained an eyesore for several years …at least until 1994. The town and the St. Clair Conservation Authority

finally reclaimed the land as part of the Floodplain Acquisition Programme and much conversation went back and forth until

funding support for demolition was received. We have not been able to confirm when it was finally taken down.

Today the Dresden Rotary Gardens have absorbed this lot. The Dresden & District Society maintains the park with Rotary help.

Sources, pg. 166, Stepping back in time.
Dresden Leader Archives 70-95