Ayre's Department Store

    Ayre's Department Store on Water Street.
    Ayre, Charles Robert (1819-1889). Businessman; politician. Born Exeter. Ayre arrived in Newfoundland in 1832 to work in the business of Benjamin Bowring in St. John's. Later he left the Bowring Company to establish a business with John Steer, the resulting partnership lasting until 1858. One year later he opened a store on Water Street with a second partner, Alexander Marshall. When the latter resigned in 1884 Ayre engaged three of his sons to enter into business with him, thus creating Ayre and Sons. As well, Ayre served as a Member of the House of Assembly for the District of Burin from 1873 to 1878, as a member of the Executive Council in Robert Thorburn's administration of 1885 to 1888, and as Member of the Legislative Council from 1979 to Ayre's death in 1889. Active in the Methodist Church as well, Ayre is remembered also for having donated $15,000 toward the building of a Methodist orphanage in St. John's.
    H.Y. Mott (1894), A.B. Perlin (1958?), D.W. Prowse (1896), Evening Mercury (Apr. 12, 1889), JHA (1874-1879), JLC (1879-1889). (Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador)