Derouin’s to close after nearly a century in business

Derouin’s Plumbing and Heating, at 139 Mill St. in Watertown, will close for good Dec. 30. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — Derouin’s Plumbing and Heating on Mill Street in Watertown will be closing its doors Dec. 30.

The family-owned business has been a staple in Watertown since 1923, originally opening at 225 Factory St. between Halley Electric and Knowlton Brothers, where the Impossible Dream is currently located. The business started when the great-grandfather of Gary L. Derouin, now secretary and treasurer, settled in Watertown from Quebec.

Mr. Derouin said that his father used to tell him “either the horse died or he ran out of gas,” which is why the family ended up in Watertown.

“Back in those days, it was a booming city,” Mr. Derouin said.

According to a Times article from April 13, 1963, Leon C. Derouin and his wife Catherine L. Derouin purchased the building from Anthony Rose, who was using the space as a business under the name of LaFrance Dry Cleaners.

The phones will be operational until Dec. 30, when both the phones and the internet will be turned off and the company will officially go dark.

Mr. Derouin said he is looking to sell “everything as a package.”

“Walk in, get the check, turn over the keys,” Mr. Derouin said.

Mr. Derouin said the decision to close the business was due to his age and wanting to retire and head south to Florida where he will be closer to his daughter. He wants to be able to drink coffee on a porch in January.

Mr. Derouin spent 20 years with the Watertown City Police Department, retiring in 1993, and spent time as a firearm instructor for the department, and as treasurer of the Police Benevolent Association.

What kept Derouin’s Plumbing and Heating around was the customers, Mr. Derouin said.

“We try to help people as best we can,” Mr. Derouin said.

The business’s six employees, plus the part-time secretary’s last day was Dec. 16.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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