In Buchanan's 1902 illustrated tourist guide Aberfoyle was described like this:
'...in the season, quite a gay place, with a convenient railway station, well equipped shops, comfortable villa's, ornamental cottages, exhibiting tasteful freaks of architecture, and in addition to the Parish Church an Episcopalian.'
Exactly which of Aberfoyle's buildings were thought of as 'tasteful freaks' I am not quite sure. The 'well equipped shops' most likely included Wm. Lockhart & Sons, purveyors of 'fancy biscuits of superior quality', and owners of a tea room located opposite Aberfoyle railway station, no doubt taking advantage of a considerable footfall of visitors arriving to and leaving Aberfoyle by train. In addition to Lockhart's the village's businesses also included three hotels, two of which were Temperance Hotels, two drapers, two bootmakers, two joiners and cartwrights, a dairy, two grocers one of whom also sold wine and spirits, a blacksmith, a plumber, a coal merchant, a butcher, and last but not least, a 'fancy stationer and fishing tackle dealer'. Not bad for a smallish village. But that is not all - in 1916 Surgeon Dentist, R. Stirling set up shop in the Masonic Hall at the Bailie Nicol Jarvie Hotel every second Thursday where he would offer 'Painless Dentistry' at moderate charges to his patients. His adverts stated reassuringly that 'Painless extractions by modern methods' was his speciality, saving patients from 'suffering that dreadful toothache and enduring sleepless nights because they dread the ordeal of having the teeth out'. Oh R.Stirling, where are you now??
Katinka Dalglish, museum curator, Strathard Community Trust member, Scandi immigrant, beginner blogger.
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