In 1919, when American liquor markets opened up and Harry Bronfman and his brother Sam were beginning to amass a fortune, Harry was 34 years old, married and had been in the hotel business for 20 years. Sam at 29 years of age and single had been a hotel owner in Winnipeg for 10 or 11 years. Harry owned the Balmoral Hotel, the City Garage and a liquor manufacturing plant all in Yorkton, and his brother Sam was also in and out of Yorkton, travelling to their warehouses in Regina and elsewhere in the southern part of the province. They were seasoned businessmen and they were going to get in where the profits were:warehouses along the American boundary. Distance was immaterial as they were not only reaching out due south of Yorkton, at places like Gainsborough, Bienfait and Estevan which was approximately 180 miles from Yorkton, but were establishing themselves in the extreme southwest of the province at a village called Govenlock. It was 669.8 kilometers or 416 miles from Yorkton! Of course, the Weyburn-Lethbridge CPR short line passed through this village, and Harry could use his own car dealership for vehicles to transport his cargoes. There was no handicap there when it came to shipping his stocks of liquor to keep the warehouses full. Sitting about 50 miles due north from Havre, Montana, the Govenlock warehouse served Havre customers, the parched liquor industry in the state and places beyond for three years or so. Next week, we will feature what life was like in the border village of Govenlock during those Prohibition years.
Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince, Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3