Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/10/2017 (251 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
While cleaning out the basement of her family’s restaurant, Christina Schlosser uncovered a unique time capsule.
While past owners of 361 First St. made off with most of the historic building’s artifacts, they failed to collect a small wooden box filled with stamps, which Schlosser recently came across.
They weren’t postage stamps, but printing press stamps that were used to copy advertisements to paper via vintage printing presses such as what The Brandon Sun used back in the day.
Uncertain as to what she should do with the stamps, Schlosser reached out to The Brandon Sun, offering them as a unique window into the past of both print media and the building that currently houses the Hansel & Gretel Schnitzel House.
The building was constructed in 1932 to house the Zink’s Pure Food Store, which is believed to have been where the stamps originated, with many of them featuring items they would have sold, such as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Campbell’s Soup.
Albert Zink and wife Elsie operated the grocery store from the building’s construction to 1980, when Zink retired during his 80th year. He died the following year, having spent his entire life in the Wheat City.
According to his obituary published in The Brandon Sun, Zink —a Wheat Kings booster — was living next-door to his former grocery store at the time of his death.
Some of this history was captured on a municipal heritage committee plaque that’s featured on the building’s southern exterior wall, with the building’s interior also serving as a shrine to its history.
Schlosser moved her family’s German-themed restaurant into the building approximately seven years ago, at which time they began adding German artifacts to the building’s decor.
Her parents owned a hotel in Germany for approximately 30 years before picking up and shifting to Manitoba in 1993, initially settling in Wawanesa.
While adding their own cultural flair to the 361 First St. building, they couldn’t help but retain some of its original components, including a post office window that accompanied its original business, with Zink’s Pure Food Store also serving as Brandon’s first sub-post office.
Other than using the stamps as a springboard to share her building’s unique history, Schlosser said that she’s uncertain as to what she’ll do with them.
Daly House Museum curator Eileen Trott said that they don’t have any artifacts or archival records related to Zink’s Pure Food Store. The Brandon University SJ McKee Archives’ records of Zink’s Pure Food Store and its 48-year history is limited to one black and white photograph of its front counter, fully stocked with groceries.
The printing press stamps join newspaper archives in filling out some of the gaps in the business’s history, highlighting why Brandonites supported the corner store for almost 50 years.
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