The MacLeod’s hardware store was a staple in most Manitoba towns, until the company went bankrupt in 1992. Cotter & Company then acquired it and changed its name to TruServ in 1999. RONA purchased TruServ in 2010 and changed the name to Ace Hardware in 2015. Lowes Canada purchased RONA in 2015. Through the corporate changes, a little engine named Macleod sat in the Winnipeg distribution centre office of what had become Ace Hardware.
This engine was originally sold by the MacLeod’s store in Grunthal, Manitoba in about 1922, to a Mr. C. Falk. Fifty years later, Mr. Falk made the MacLeod’s Company an interesting proposal:
“I have a 5 hp stationary MacLeod’s engine. It’s about 50 years old and still in running order as I always use it for cutting wood. I could have sold it for a fair price. If you would like to have the engine for a souvenir I would trade, you for the same hp new air-cooled engine.”
The company took the offer, traded a five-horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine to Mr. Falk, had the engine restored and put it on display in their main office in Winnipeg. There it sat for 45 years, looking as shiny and fresh as when it was new.
In 2017 Ace Hardware closed the Winnipeg distribution Centre. Management, wanting to see it preserved, contacted the Manitoba Agricultural Museum to inquire on making a donation, the only request being that the MacLeod’s plaque is never removed from the engine. Plans to display the engine are being made. To see the engine as it appears today, be sure to drop by Museum and visit its current home, our Gas Engine Shed.