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Monday, 29 April 2013

Green Brier Inn getting a makeover

Green Brier Inn renos

Another north Main Street building is getting an exterior fix-up. The Green Brier Inn's location and appearance makes it hard to tell what era it is from so I thought I would take a look back at its history.

It was constructed in the summer of 1930 in what was the Municipality of West Kildonan, just on the edge of Winnipeg city limits. Its original address was 1589 Main. Fred Hammer and Sam Diner were the owners / proprietors.

Green Brier Inn renos

Hammer was owner of the LaSalle Hotel in Elmwood in the 1920s and 30s and a well-known sportsman. Active with the Elmwood Hockey Club, the city's Senior Amateur Hockey League trophy was the known as the Fred Hammer Trophy. He was also long-time president of the Winnipeg Driving Club (harness racing) and ran a winter harness racing track on the Red River behind his hotel in the winter.

Diner was owner of the Nugget Hotel at 711 Main Street and active in many local sports organizations.


May 29, 1926, Manitoba Free Press

The name of the hotel comes from the fact that Frank Shea, of the brewing family, is likely the man who bankrolled the venture. His father Pat bred Clydesdales that not only pulled his beer wagons, but won championships around North America (and were sold to Budweiser shortly before his death)

Frank's passion was racehorses. Through the 1920s and early 1930s his Green Brier Stables dominated the local horse racing scene and won many races around North America, (also see here and here). 


 1935 Manitoba Amateur Diamond Ball Assoc. program (source)

Though the stables and hotel were spelled Green Brier, it is often be found spelled Briar in media articles and sometimes even their own classifieds and other ads as above.

In the early 1940s the address was changed to 1611 Main Street as a service station was added to the property called the Green Brier Service Station.


January 9, 1965, Winnipeg Free Press

In 1965 the hotel was renovated to include a new Briar Patch Room and larger coffee shop.

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