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Shore Acres Hotel & Roadhouse opening in 1925 on the site of the Rankin home

Shore Acres Follow-Up from Issue 18, October 2001

Above is a photo of the Shore Acres Hotel, built on the site of the Rankin home that once stood on University Avenue facing the Detroit River. In October, Andrew Foot sent in a postcard of a home also called Shore Acres with Windsor, Ontario printed on the front. Dave Newman thought it was the Shore Acres pictured below. I know that this is not so because I was a patron of the hotel for many years.

The Rankin home was demolished in 1925 following a fire set by vandals and was vacant for many years. The hotel was opened in August 1925, with a dining room able to seat 400, overflow space on the verandah and a large ballroom where a five-piece orchestra played. It had modern sleeping accommodations, shady porches and beautiful lawns with a splendid riverfront view as well as ample parking. They specialized in roadhouse dinners, fish, frog, chicken, and steak. Province-wide serving of 4.4% beer and ale was approved in May 1925 by the Ontario Government.

The beer on opening day was supplied by Kuntz Brewery of Waterloo, Ontario, serving “Ye Olde Inn Ale” and “Olde Dutch Lager.” I spent many an enjoyable evening on the verandah of the Shore Acres Hotel with my friends, drinking beer in 10 oz. glasses at ten cents each. It was operated by Mr. and Mrs. Herman Sutton, her two sons and their wives from 1937 until the early 1950s. The hotel was torn down in 1954 to make way for the Rotary Club Swimming Pool.

The Rankin House was built in 1842 for W.R. Wood. It was sold to Col. Rankin and occupied by him and his family until his death in 1893. It was then purchased by his daughter, Phyllis McKee Rankin, wife of Frank Davenport, a famous American actor. She had the home renovated with the intention of occupying it, but unfortunately never did. It was sold to Robert Segal, a Detroit department store owner, who held it until it was sold to make way for the hotel.

I too have the identical postcard owned by Andrew Foot . My card was post-marked Athens, Ont., June 1912. So the mystery of the card is still unsolved. Perhaps there is a Shore Acres in the village of Athens.
Bill Marentette, Windsor

Poker-Playing Dogs?

I have two ORIGINAL pictures of dogs playing poker that I am trying to research. One is entitled “Waterloo” and the other is “A Bold Bluff.” The Walkerville Brewing Company is written on the side of the poker tables. Were these pictures used for advertising purposes? If so, could you please provide me with some information as to their history?
Judy Abel, (from an e.mail)

These advertising prints were widely used by the food, beer and tobacco industry in the mid-twenties and early thirties both in the United States and Canada. They originated in the United States. In Ontario the following breweries used the pictures, usually in a set of four:

Egmondville Brewing Co. (Huron County), near Seaforth, Ontario
Heather Brewing Co., Kitchener, Ontario
Blue Top Brewing Co., Kitchener, Ontario
Walkerville Brewing Co., Walkerville, Ontario

All of the above ceased to operate years ago.
You can still buy the prints without advertising on them today.
Bill Marentette, Windsor
Member: National Association Brewerianna Advertising Assoc.

Fender-Benders at Willistead

When I was a little girl, Arthur Kemp, the head gardener for Willistead Manor lived in the gate house (then known as the Lodge) next to the road entrance to the park. One of Mr. Kemp’s duties was banking the fires in the greenhouse, which used to stand just south of the Coach House.

Before the Kemps moved into the Lodge, which was partial compensation for his gardening duties, they lived on Lincoln between Wyandotte and Riverside. They were from Hastings, England, and knew my parents as they also hailed from there.

Just before my mom married my dad, she stayed with them in their Lincoln home. Years later, I stayed with the Kemps in the Lodge while my mother returned to England for several months.

Your cover painting from Dec./Jan. brings me back to my time with the Kemp’s. The brick sidewalk and the passageway through the wrought-iron fence next to the main entrance disappeared when the entrance was widened to allow for two cars to pass through at once. Before that was done, there were a lot of fender-benders there.
Norah Biggar, Windsor

Long Live King the Horse

Everybody knew King, the horse that pulled the Purity Dairy wagon. He was the best-fed horse around. One winter day in 1952, I was on my way to school (Begley) and while walking along Wyandotte Street, I saw that King had slipped on the ice and fallen. I joined a group of people standing around him and I heard that he would have to be shot.

In school a little while later, while we were singing “God Save the King,” we heard two pops and we knew that King was gone. At lunch, there was nothing left of King but a bloodstain on the road where he had fallen.
I’ll never forget that day.
Vicki (Affleck) Moffat, Windsor

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