This envelope from West Transfer

COLUMN: What came before Nelson Commons, revisited

I recently wrote about what used to stand on the Nelson Commons site. However, I neglected to check the 1913 and 1914 civic directories.

recently wrote about what used to be on the Nelson Commons site. However, I neglected to check the 1913 and 1914 civic directories, which include street-by-street indexes, explaining exactly what stood there a century ago.

On the odd-numbered side of the 700 block of Baker St.:

701: Union Cash Grocery

711: Kootenay Steam Laundry

715: Campbell E.J. photographer

723: West Transfer co.

And in the odd-numbered side of the 700 block of Vernon:

702: Maccagus Emil restaurant

706: Reid Andrew M. (Mrs. Enga Anderson in 1914)

708: Burns John & Sons contractors

So there was a restaurant at 702 Vernon more than a century ago. That’s presently the address of the New China Restaurant, formerly the Shamrock Grill, formerly Grenfell’s Cafe. Grenfell’s first shows up there in the 1936 directory. I’m not positive if the building was erected that year, but it may well have been.

Emil Maccagus isn’t listed in the 1910 directory and he’s gone by 1918, although in the latter year an E. Maccagnio is listed as the proprietor of a confectionary and lunch counter, no address given.

Also, on Hall St. between Vernon and Baker in 1913 we have:

405 Vacant

409 Ludwig Jacob M harnessmaker

411 1/2 Svoboda John

Svoboda Katie furnished rooms

415 Ginsberg Harris second hand goods

417 Maple Leaf Restaurant (in 1914 the proprietor was Mrs. Vera Kruglak)

4171/2 Vacant

Also in 1914, the rear of 409 Hall was owned by Hazen Stevenson. That’s the property where he built a machine shop in the 1920s, but I didn’t realize he’d had the land for a few years before that. Hazen’s son Henry died last year at 99.

ERROR BY OMISSION DEPARTMENT: In our Year in Review edition, we named Nelson’s building boom in 2015 as our top story of the year and looked ahead to a couple of major construction projects expected to begin in 2016.

But there was one major omission: Selkirk College will break ground in the spring on an almost $19 million renovation to its Silver King campus. The province announced in November that it would fund the lion’s share of the project, which is expected to be complete by the fall of 2017.

IF NO NEWS, SEND RUMOURS: Has Alberta Premier Rachel Notley purchased property at Queens Bay? That rumour has been going around since at least August, but I haven’t had any luck verifying it.

The premier’s press secretary would neither confirm nor deny.

“I don’t comment on the premier’s personal matters,” Cheryl Oates said.

Would the premier herself talk about it?

“She won’t.”

So there you have it. Another mystery unsolved.

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