William H. Peck (1854 – 1933)
“Peck St. was designated after a man named William H. Peck. He was an early businessman of the area, and operated a small candy shop in the downtown business district.
Today Peck Street serves our local system running from Pine and Meridian to Ashmun and Fort, a combined length of 2,683 feet.”
Source: “On the Streets Where We Live”
A history of the streets and avenues of Sault Ste. Marie – A Tercentenary and Michigan Week project of the seventh grade students of Sault Junior High School – 1968.
Mr. William H. Peck was born in Syracuse, N.Y. in 1854. His parents moved to Michigan and relocated their residence in Bay City, when William was a young man. In the early 1890s, he moved to Sault Ste. Marie and established the first candy store in the city.
He married Angelia Proctor of Capac, MI; she passed away in 1918. He was later remarried in 1923 to Gertrude Dubois; the wedding ceremony was performed in Toronto, Ontario.
Mr. Peck was closely associated with the growth of the city. His first store was in a small building where now the Kritselis Block stands ~ Zorbas Greek American Restaurant, 111 West Portage Avenue. He made and sold candy and introduced soda water mixing the drinks by hand. In a few years, the establishment was enlarged and made elaborate with mirrors and the latest fixtures including a soda fountain. In 1893, Mr. Peck moved his business to the Mead and Fowle Block at 50 Ashmun Street. In the December 9, 1897 issue of the Democrat, advertisement touted the sales of Lowney’s Chocolates and Confections, Gunthers Bon Bons and Chocolates, as well as Allegrelli’s Famous Chocolate Creams. He promoted a Christmas Special of all his .50¢ Creams and .40¢ Mixtures, including Caramels and Butter Cups reduced at a bargain price of .25¢ @ lbs. As for the mixed nuts, he retailed them at .25¢ for 2 lbs. – What a special! He also sold fresh figs, dates and raisins. Interestingly, if one would call the candy kitchen and speak to Mr. Peck, it would be number 117 and two rings. He resided at 55 Spruce Street West, as listed in the Polk Directory of 1893.
Peck’s Candy Kitchen was then relocated to 208 Ashmun Street in the early 1910s. It retained its name and popularity, long after the business was sold to M. J. Weaver and was managed by W. B. Sprague.
In 1902, he was appointed as the Vice-President of the Chippewa County Savings Bank, with Mr. James L. Lipsett as President. The financial institution managed accounts in excess of $125,000.00 in resources. It was established by Otto Fowle, along with his brother-in-law Edward H. Mead. Mr. Mead was initially the Cashier and later held the position of Vice-President. The bank was reorganized as the First National Bank.
Mr. Peck was also engaged in the lumbering business, within the County, forming the Firm of Peck and Rye. William Peck pursued his business ventures in numerous other enterprises, such as the Johnston Harness Shop. In later years, he was associated with the Lock City Manufacturing Company and was president of the company. Some of his other investments were in the Troy Laundry Company, which he purchased from Ambrose S. Brown and the Soo Shirt Company. When the laundry business was sold, he remodeled the building into the Pasadena Apartments.
He was an active member of the Masonic Lodges and of the First Baptist Church.
Peck Street runs parallel from the head of the Power canal, at Meridian Street and extending to Fort Street, than further east from Pine Street to Ashmun Street. The combined length of the street is 2,710 feet, of which statistical information is obtained from the staff of the City of Sault Ste. Marie Engineering Department.
Source: The Soo Democrat (12-09-1897)
The Evening News (11-21-1918)
The Evening News (03-24-1933)