On this parking lot, at the northeast corner of Barton Street East and Mary Street, once stood Hamilton’s largest furniture manufacturer.
William Malcolm and Alexander Souter began their careers working for James Reid, a local furniture-maker established in 1841. Malcolm and Souter bought the firm after Reid died in 1884. At first, production took place above and behind the partners’ retail store at 91 King Street West (where the Art Gallery of Hamilton stands today). By the 1890s, the growing company had relocated to this site, formerly the Wanzer Sewing Machine factory.
Workers in this plant used oak, mahogany, birds-eye maple and other woods to make all kinds of home furnishings. The factory closed in 1952. In 1969, the building was razed and the property became a parking lot.