This photograph, from the collection of the Oshawa Archives, depicts a crowd waiting for a parade in 1913. In the background is a storefront advertising New Scale Williams Pianos. This is the store of Mr. A.J. Stalter, located at 12 Simcoe Street North.
Mr. Stalter had been a long standing businessman from Oshawa, who was renowned for managing his store economically, where he carried “a good stock of instruments from which to choose, selling from forty to fifty every year.” In 1915, his son Percy took over the business and partnered with Mr. Newton Johns, and the business became known as Stalter and Johns. They did not remain at their 12 Simcoe Street North location, for in 1921, the Stalter Music Store is found at 23 Simcoe Street North, on the east side of the street.
The Williams Piano Company, for which Stalter was an agent, had its headquarters in Toronto, however its manufacturing operations was located in Oshawa, on Richmond Street, west of Simcoe. They constructed pianos in Oshawa for 50 years. Their facility on Richmond Street, originally built in 1852, was torn down in the 1970s to make way for the Durham Region Police Headquarters and the Oshawa Times.
*This article originally appeared in the Downtown Oshawa BIA Newsletter. The Oshawa Museum is a proud partner with the BIA to share Oshawa’s history.