Friday August 22, 2014

The Balmoral Hotel

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The Balmoral Hotel as it looked in 1903.Appearing in the photo are: J.B. Ball, sitting, left to right, North West Mounted Police Constable St. Jean, waitress Mrs. J.L. McDougall, Constable Goldsmith, J.L. McDougall, and seen in the second floor doorway, N.W.M.P. Staff Sergeant C. Junget. This hotel, first known as "Arnold House" was built by Robert C. Arnold a York Colony homesteader. It opened for business in January of 1897. It is not known when the change of name occurred. We know it was called the Balmoral Hotel when Abe and Harry Bronfman became owners in 1905. Abe managed the hotel, while Harry managed a hotel in Emerson, Manitoba. A few years later, the Manitoba hotel was sold and Harry came to Yorkton to work with Abe. The Bronfman brothers became known in the entrepreneurial establishment of Yorkton as good business men, but also as "colourful' ones. For example; one Sunday morning in October of 1907, Sergeant Vickory happened to walk by the hotel and could not miss noticing that liquor was being served. The brothers were in violation of the liquor ordinance prohibiting sale of liquor on Sundays. They were charged and fined $50.00. They could have lost their license, because it was not the first time. In 1907, Abe left to manage a hotel in Port Arthur Ontario and Harry became sole owner of the Balmoral. Thus began the story of the Bronfman family, renowned world-wide for their liquor empire. The story of Prohibition continues weekly.

Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince,
Heritage Researcher, City of Yorkton Archives, Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North,
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3 306-786-1722



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