Archive for the ‘Meikle Bros’ Tag

Vancouver Soda Water Works – 719 Gore Street

There were three Meikle bothers in Vancouver, and they all lived in this house and business on Gore Street when this picture was taken at the turn of the 20th Century. John D Meikle was aged 32 in 1901, William was 30 and Douglas was 34. All three brothers were from Scotland, with John, the head of the household arriving in 1894, and his brothers joining him in 1898. Meikle Brothers ran the Vancouver Soda Water Works from around 1900 here on Gore at the corner of Barnard (Keefer) Street.

Early soda bottles from the company show ‘Black Bear Brand’ ginger beer in ceramic bottles (that sell today at auction for several thousand dollars). The business prospered, although Douglas Meikle seems to have left the city quite soon after 1900. In 1904 the business became a limited liability company with $25,000 in shares issued, “to purchase or otherwise acquire the business, property and assets of Meikle Brothers, carrying on business in the City of Vancouver, as manufacturers and dealers in mineral and aerated waters”.

The Meikle’s seem to have picked up an earlier business; the Vancouver Soda Water Works had been in business as early as 1888, located a block west of here in the 700 block of Westminster Avenue (Main Street today). Initially it was run by A C Murchison & A F Derraugh, and in 1890 just by Mr Murcheson (who was Archie in the 1891 Census, but listed in the street directory as Colin), who moved the business to this address in 1892. He was from a Scottish family, but had been born in Ontario. Around 1893 the business seems to have closed for a while, and in 1894 it resumed operations, run by Alex Calley, (wrongly altered to Alex Kelley in 1899), partnered with G D Cross. From 1900 to 1905 George D Cross had his own Soda Water company on Pender Street, later run by A D Hossack after G D and J D Cross severed their relationship with Cross & Company in January of 1905, although the company continued in operation under the original name.

By 1908 Meikle Brothers were merged with Cross & Company and had moved to Richards Street, and of the three brothers only John D Meikle was still in Vancouver. Cross & Co continued in business making flavoured soda until the 1960s. These premises were taken over by Bell & Tedsbury, a lumber supplier, and G N Transfer Co. After the first war S Konokogi, a blacksmith occupied this location, with Joseph Robertson, a cooper, who remained here until the 1920s. By 1930 the site had become the Gasoline Alley service station run by Benjamin and Harry Felstein, later renamed to the Gore and Georgia Service Station, owned in 1950 by Joseph Lopez. In 1999 a new 2-storey retail building was completed, designed by Scott Gordon for J & F Investments.

Image source: City of Vancouver Archives CVA Bu P25

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Posted June 19, 2017 by ChangingCity in Chinatown, Gone

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