Bellevue Restaurant - Bellevue, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ScroogieII
N 49° 34.924 W 114° 22.107
11U E 690214 N 5495491
Quick Description: On August 7, 1920 the Bellevue Café was the scene of a deadly shootout among three police officers and a pair of train robbers, resulting in the death of two of the officers and one of the train robbers.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 7/30/2020 10:09:21 AM
Waymark Code: WM12X6V
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
A false-fronted, two storey, wood framed building, the Bellevue Restaurant followed the previous Bellevue Restaurant, which would likely have been the first restaurant in Bellevue, built around 1903. It was a victim of the 1917 fire which removed much of the downtown streetscape from Bellevue, being replaced later that same year by this building. Its builders and original owners were a trio of Chinese entrepreneurs, Mah On, Mah Wing, and Mah Joe. With the café occupying the ground floor, the upper floor probably served as living quarters for the owners. In later years the restaurant was operated by a series of Chinese owners.

Below is an account of the incident from Wiki, while further down is the historical marker attached to the front of the café. The incident was reported throughout North America and led to a trial of the two surviving train robbers, one of which was hanged while the other was sentenced to seven years in prison, dying in prison in 1926.
Bellevue Café Shootout
On August 2, 1920, local miners George Arkoff, Ausby Auloff and Tom Bassoff robbed the Canadian Pacific Railway's train No. 63 at gunpoint, hoping to find wealthy rum-runner Emilio “Emperor Pic” Picariello aboard. Eluding the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Alberta Provincial Police and the CPR Police, Auloff escaped into the United States while Bassoff and Arkoff remained in the area. On August 7 the two were spotted in the Bellevue Café. Three constables entered the café through the front and back doors, and in the ensuing shootout Arkoff, RCMP Constable Ernest Usher and APP Constable F.W.E. Bailey were killed while Bassoff, though wounded, escaped into the rubble of the Frank Slide. During the pursuit, Special Constable Nicolas Kyslik was accidentally shot and killed by another officer. Bassoff was eventually apprehended without incident on August 11th at Pincher Station, 35 kilometres to the east.

Although testimony suggests that the police officers had failed to identify themselves and had probably fired first, Bassoff was found guilty of murder and hanged in Lethbridge, Alberta on December 22, 1920.

Ausby Auloff was captured in 1924 near Butte, Montana after trying to sell a distinctive railway watch. Auloff, who had not been involved in the shootout, was returned to Alberta where he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, and died in 1926.
From Wiki
The coal mines in southwestern Alberta developed to meet the need for coal supplies for railways, other industries and consumers in the era before the widespread use of petroleum and natural gas. Bellevue sprang up as a town in 1903 in response to West Canadian Collieries' nearby coal mining operations. In July 1912 the town grew when the Company closed its mine at Lille and transferred much of its personnel to Bellevue.

The Chinese first arrived in the community in the latter part of the nineteenth century to provide cheap labour on railway projects. Once these projects were completed they had trouble finding work in the face of extreme prejudice. Therefore, the Chinese took on tasks that others found demeaning, including laundries and restaurants in many communities in western Canada.

Although early construction in Bellevue began as early as 1903, most of these structures did not survive the fires of 1917 and 1921. The Bellevue Cafe was probably the first Chinese restaurant in Bellevue. Owned by Mah Ling and Co., it burned to the ground in 1917. Mah On, Mah Wing, and Mah Joe built the current structure, the Bellevue Restaurant, later that year. Mah Joe emigrated from Canton, China circa 1908, first to Vancouver and a year later to Bellevue where he opened the restaurant. Since 1917, a series of members of the Chinese community have owned it.

The identity of the architect and builders are not recorded. According to the local history, numerous local contractors benefited from the demand for construction work after the 1917 fires. In all likelihood, local carpenters and craftsmen built this wooden structure in the months immediately after the fire. As coal-mining work was frequently interrupted by temporary layoffs or strikes, it is also possible that unemployed miners worked on the construction.
From the Alberta Register of Historic Places
Photo goes Here
Official Heritage Registry: [Web Link]

2438 - 213 Street
Bellevue, AB
T0K 0C0

Heritage Registry Page Number: Not listed

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