Memorable Manitobans: Eli Joel “Mac” Rochon (1856-1937)
Born in Prescott County, Ontario on 7 March 1856, he lived for a time at Kenora before moving to Fort William where operated the Avenue Hotel for 17 years before it burned in 1894. An avid curler, he skipped a Fort William rink that won numerous trophies through the 1890s and 1900s.
He came to Manitoba in 1903 and purchased the Leland Hotel from James C. Kavanagh the next year. He was a stockholder in the Balfour Implement Company, President of Parkview Realty Company, and a member of the Union Grain Company. He owned considerable real estate in Winnipeg, western Manitoba, and in Fort William, and race horses.
He served as President of the Thistle Curling Club (1912-1915) and Manitoba Curling Association (1913-1914). He enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during the First World War (misrepresenting his age as 44 instead of 60) but did not go overseas. Shortly after prohibition was imposed in Manitoba, he sold the Leland Hotel and moved to California.
He died at his home in Los Angeles on 8 September 1937.
1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Marriage registration, Ancestry.
“A baptism of fire; Fort William receives a serious visitation,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 March 1894, page 2.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
“Noted curling skip dies,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 September 1937, page 3.
We thank Doug Braden and Rick Mutton for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 26 April 2022