- Corporate body
- 1928-1961, predominant 1928-1931
Wm Dawe & Sons (William Dawe & Sons, William Daws & Sons) Limited was a woodworking and general building firm located in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and Labrador. In the 1900s they were the best-known coopers in Bay Roberts and also had a thriving operation in Hampden, White Bay. As well as general barrels, they also made casks and veneers.
The firm was established in 1892 by William Dawe (1845-1928) of Bay Roberts. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Dawe, he initially worked along side his father in the fishery before opening a woodworking, lumbering and sawmill on his land at Station Road. He married (Mary) Eliza Russell (1865-1932), daughter of Charles and Mary A. Russell, in 1884 and had nine children: Lewis (1890-1949), Wilfred (1892-1963), Augustus (1894-1972), Edward (1897-1972), Frederick (1898-19-?), Myrtis (1902-1984) and Christine (1909-2001)and Chester (1904-2002) and Maxwell (1899-1970), who worked at the St. John’s offices.
Dawe later sold the company to Saunders & Howell of Carbonear. Out of William Dawe and Sons came the firm of Avalon Coal Company Limited in 1919. They started out as wholesale and retail coal merchants but later changed to Avalon Coal and Salt Company. In 1933, a new veneer butter pail, protected by patent right in Canada, was invented by this firm and was used by the Newfoundland Butter Company located in St. John’s. In 1949, the Bay Roberts plant was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt.By 1948, oil was added to the company stock and the named changed again to Avalon Coal Salt and Oil Company. The firm operated the ship M. V. Dawe. It was managed by son Lewis Dawe.
In 1919, Dawe’s sons became partners and a new firm was established, officially becoming incorporated as Wm Dawe & Sons Limited in 1920. Son Wilfred was made managing director and established a veneer and lumber division of the company.
The success of the company lead to a new branch being established at Mudge’s old premises, South Side of St. John’s in 1927. In 1929, son Chester was named manager of this newly opened branch. Having worked mainly in the White Bay operation, he brought his expertise to this extension of the company. Rapid growth forced it to expand and the company purchased the Veil Building on the corner of Water Street and Springdale Street in January 1936. Included in its inventory were “Builders Hardwares” to include paint, varnish, stains, glass, nails, putty, and other building related materials. They also manufactured office furniture, including desks and cabinets, and doors, window-boxes, mouldings and so forth. Their St. John’s offices and showroom was also located here.
By the early 1940s, Chester had separated from the family business and opened his own hardware store in St. John’s in 1945 called Chester Dawe Limited. This firm was acquired by Rona in 2006.
William Dawe died February 16, 1928 and was buried at the Anglican Church Cemetery at Coley’s Point. At that time, his sons took over the various branches of the business. Wilfred was elected president of the firm and Chester and Maxwell headed the St. John’s offices. It went into liquidation in 1964 and was purchased by Malcolm, Edward and Augustus Dawe. It was managed by Augustus until he died in 1972 and Eric N. Dawe became managing director.