Volunteers in Saint John spent Monday’s holiday hard at work making the future a little brighter for an iconic tourist attraction and local slice of history.

Barbour’s General Store, a staple of uptown Saint John for many decades, has been taken over by a business which hopes to get it back up and running in time for summer tourists.

"About a month ago Waterfront put out a call for proposals and that's when I decided to try and make something happen here at Barbour’s store because it's such an iconic part of uptown Saint John,” said local entrepreneur Gill Nadeau.

Dubbing Monday “the big clean”, Nadeau says she brought in volunteers to help start the process of getting the location ship-shape.

Nadeau, who owns a wine touring business, says she plans to turn the historic store into a tourist hub for those looking for information.

“We'll be selling tickets on those tours daily, as well as kayaking excursions, experiences out at Rockwood Park with day tripping, harbour cruises,” Nadeau said.

Nadeau plans to put tourist information side-by-side with the historic artifacts that have sat on the store’s original shelves for decades.

She says she plans to re-open the store on Aug. 22, the same day 3,500 cruise ship passengers are expected to dock in Saint John.

Nadeau says it will help the city to have an information hub to welcome visitors.

"I think it's important because we've made such a big deal about Barbour’s General Store in uptown Saint John for the past 50 years, and even today we see dozens of visitors that are walking up, pressing their hands up against the window — they are trying to see in because they just know that this is where they're supposed to go to get information,” she said.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ashley Blackford