|Ken Storie. Winnipeg Times,Nov. 15, 1881|
Early Brandon is portrayed by Berton as the romantic epitome of the Old West. The initial post office was reportedly quite austere. This bastion of civilization and primary contact with the outside world was limited to a soap box with a hole in it, which sat outside the postman's tent.
Berton's characterization of fine dining in Brandon is worth quoting in full:
The first restaurant was a plank laid across two barrels on the trail that was to become Pacific Avenue. The proprietor was an eccentric, white-bearded cockney named Tom Spence whose entire stock consisted of a keg of cider, a bottle of lime juice, a couple of pails of water, and two drinking glasses. To attract trade, Spence had chained a live badger to a nearby post, 'just far enough from the counter to be unable to bite the customers.' (Berton, The Last Spike, p.30)
|Title: Collection of small animal heads mounted on wall plaques.|
Date: [ca. 1893]Photographer: Smyth, S.A., Calgary, Alberta