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Memorable Manitobans: Eli Joel “Mac” Rochon (1856-1937)

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Eli Joel Rochon
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Hotelier, curler.

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 J. 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 Manitoba Curling Association for 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.

Sources:

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage registration, Ancestry.

A History of Manitoba: Its Resources and People by Prof. George Bryce, Toronto: The Canadian History Company, 1906.

“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 for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 16 October 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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