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Yan War - Quesnel, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 52° 58.634 W 122° 29.868
10U E 533719 N 5869856
Quick Description: Now a parking lot, the site in question once held what was considered the oldest building in Quesnel when it was demolished, with nary a tear falling, in 1935.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 7/11/2019 6:40:28 PM
Waymark Code: WM10YF3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
Yan War

Chinese pioneers played a very important role in the early development of Quesnel. While many were gold miners, a good number also found success in business. From the 1860s until the late 1930s, most of the shops along Barlow Ave. and this section of Front St. were owned by Chinese residents. This site housed the Central Cafe from 1865 to 1935 and the Hing Kee Laundry from 1900 to the 1950s. Yan War had a booming business in his Apothecary shop next door from 1869 to 1939.

Project funded in partnership with the City of Quesnel and Heritage Legacy Fund
While the historical marker notes that Yan War operated his Apothecary Shop until 1939, news articles inform us that he had passed away by October of 1935. Perusing local newspaper archives we were able to discover a few tidbits about Yan. For example, he contributed to various charities through the years, apparently was an accomplished gardener, winning the occasional prize in the Cariboo Fall Fair for his vegetables, such as Turnips and Radishes. We also discovered that he was NOT a bootlegger but that he was known by at least four different monikers.

The site of his store, razed in October, 1935, beside the Ulysses Restaurant, is now vacant except for asphalt, making it a parking lot. The property changed hands in October of 1927, again seemingly contradicting the historical marker's assertion that Yan's shop operated until 1939.

December, 1924
TAKE NOTICE that an application has been made to the Supreme Court of British Columbia on behalf of Sing Kee, otherwise known as Yan Wah, otherwise known as Yan War, other wise known as Chew Tip, of Quesnel, British Columbia, for an Order or Declaration under Quieting Titles Act that the said Sing Kee is the legal owner in possession of the above described land, free from all other rights, interests, claims and demands whatsoever...
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer
April, 1925
A bootlegging case occupied the attention of Magistrate Lunn last Friday afternoon, when Yan War, a well known local Chinese merchant was fined $300 and costs for retailing hard liquor.
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer
May, 1925
There was general rejoicing in Quesnel's Chinatown on Wednesday night caused by the arrival of a telegram stating that the conviction registered against Yan War, a pioneer Chinaman and storekeeper, by the local Magistrates, for unlawfully selling intoxicating liquor, had been squashed by the Supreme Court. A little less than a month ago a man was seen near Yan's store with half a dozen bottles of beer and a half bottle of gin in his possession. Yan was charged with selling it to him, convicted and fined $300.00. No liquor was ever seen in Yan's possession, and he had not purchased either beer or gin from the liquor store during the present year. At the trial Mr. Avison, Yan's Solicitor, maintained there was no case to answer. After conviction he took Certiorari proceedings on the same ground, and the Supreme Court has now apparently upheld his contention and set the conviction aside.
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer
October, 1927
A real estate deal, involving the ownership of the lot on the corner of Barlow and Front streets, known as the Yan War property, was put through last week, a syndicate of local Chinamen purchasing the property. The deal was put through by the Vaughan Realty Co., acting for both parties.
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer
October, 1935
Work commenced on Thursday on the demolition of another familiar landmark In Quesnel when the old Royal Cafe (formerly a store operated by the late Yan War, and believed to be the oldest building in town) came under the axe. There will be few regrets at the passing of this old building, long an eyesore and fire-trap. There is to rise in its place an up-to-date service station which will not only be a boon to residents but also an improvement.
From the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Photo goes Here

Type of publication: Newspaper

When was the article reported?: 10/12/1935

Publication: Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Article Url: [Web Link]

Is Registration Required?: no

How widespread was the article reported?: regional

News Category: Business/Finance

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