At Stories From the Past on May 23, Pete Reynolds and Peg Price shared memories of their great-grand-aunt, Miss Ella Ehrhardt, who owned Ehrhardt’s General Store on Main Street in Newfoundland for more than 60 years. Brother and sister, Peg and Pete are the fifth generation to manage the family business that has become a Newfoundland icon. They brought an album of historic photographs and family heirlooms from Miss Ella’s childhood and the early days of the store, including a bartering ledger from the 1890s, to share with those in attendance.
Miss Ella began helping in her parent’s general store while still a schoolgirl in the 1890s. She was one of nine children, and her parents, Frederick and Angelica (Oppelt) Ehrhardt, never hired a clerk outside of the family. Ella purchased the business in the 1910s, which she managed until her retirement in the 1970s. Customers still remember how she, a petite lady, would whisk the moving ladder along the wall and run up its steps to reach the goods on the top shelves. In 1974 Miss Ella sold the store to her grand-niece, stating at the time, “I watched the whole world change from behind the plate glass windows of my emporium.”