Sunday, January 2, 2022

486 Sherbrook Street - Ferndale Apartments (R.I.P.)

© 2021, Christian Cassidy

Place: Radisson Apartments / Ferndale Apartments (R.I.P.)
Address: 486 Sherbrook Street (Map)
Architect: Unknown
Opened: 1914
Demolished: 2022

November 8, 1931, Winnipeg Tribune

486 Sherbrook Street had urban development on it dating back to 1903 when it was the home of John A. Coombs and family. He was a blacksmith with a shop on Fort Street. The last owner of the home was Jessie McCash, widow of James McCash, in 1913.

The Radisson Apartments were constructed in 1914. The owners of the block were Edward M. Counsell, a local real estate investor, and Frederick Hinds, a contractor with an office in the Builders Exchange Building. The architect is listed as "H. Green".

The initial list of tenants in the 14-unit block included the following, (note that for some male entries it the suite may have included spouses and other family):

1 - J. Ellis
3 - Edward D Mitchell, employee at Swift
4 - Malcolm Turnbull, inspector
4 - Mrs. S. A. Malcolm
6 - Severson (or Syverson) family (see below)
8 - E Cora Hind, commercial editor at the Winnipeg Free Press (see below)
9 - Charles Edmonds, manager of the Reinforced Brick Co Ltd 9
10 - Chas R Maxwell, piano tuner at Mason and Reich
11 - George Latter, accountant at Frank Hilson Co. 
12 - James McKenzie, clerk at city assessment office of city suite 12
14 - Walter Lewis 
15 - Gurney Walker, travelling salesmen for Whitla and Co. 
15 - Beatrice Embury

E. Cora Hind (Province of Manitoba)

Of note on the above list is E. Cora Hind who lived here from 1914 until 1921.

Hind became the agricultural editor of the Winnipeg Free Press in 1901 and by the time she lived here was a leading international authority on the Western Canadian agricultural scene.

In 1912, Hind co-founded the Political Equality League with fellow suffragettes Lillian Beynon Thomas and Nellie McClung. She participated in their famous Mock Parliament at the Walker Theatre in January 1914. (Perhaps Nellie and Lillian came over for tea or strategy sessions?!)

Severson household in the 1916 census of Canada

In suite 6 was the Severson, (sometimes spelled Syverson), family.

The head of the household was Dorothy Severson, 48, with daughters Annie, 24, Olga, 22, and Jennie, 16. The 1916 census lists a lodger, Marie Jordan, 22. Mrs. Severson was born in Norway and her daughters in the U.S.A..  At the time they lived here, Olga and Anna were manicurists by trade whilst Jennie worked as a clerk.

By 1921, Olga had moved to 104 Lipton Street with her mother and Jennie. Annie continued to live at 486 Sherbrook until she was found dead in her bathroom in May 1923. No cause of death was given but a brief newspaper mention notes that neighbours said she had been ill for some time. She was 33-years-old.

April 20, 1926, Winnipeg Free Press

Olga went on to open her own hair and nail salon in room 308 of the MacArthur Block off Portage and Main and ran it until around September 1930.

After that, mentions of the family disappear from the street directory and newspaper which suggests that they may have moved to a new city.

November 22, 1969, Winnipeg Free Press

Hannelore Brown lived in suite 1 in the late 1960s. She was a nurse and member of the Winnipeg Service Battalion’s 18 Medical Company, a militia unit based at Minto Armouries.

Brown and three other women made the news in 1967 when their team won second place in the Mary Otter First Aid Competition to find the "most proficient first aid team in the army" in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. They had beaten out many teams made up of regular service members.  

The photo above is from 1969 when Brown's team won first place in the same competition.

Classified ads for suites ended briefly in 1935 and when they resumed in 1936, the building went by the the name The Ferndale. This name still exist in gold letters above the front door.

A serious fire occurred at the building on New Year's Day 2022. The Ferndale is expected to be a total loss.

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