Nels Nelson House - 1913
127 Queens Avenue, New Westminster, BC.
This dwelling is situated on a large lot of near 17,500 square feet.
Nels Nelson, who had been a brewer with Sapperton Brewery for ten years bought the Brewery in 1896. The brewery operated in downtown New Westminster.
The brewery survived a Prohibition from 1916-1920 by getting a special license to keep brewing. Theoretically this was for export, but with a compliant local government, Nelson kept New Westminster from going dry, a unique distinction in English Canada.
When Prohibition was lifted, the brewery was one of two to be granted exclusive brewing rights in British Columbia. With such generous government support, Nelson became one of the province’s wealthiest men and a leading figure in New Westminster. He built for himself this stately home in the posh Queen’s Park area.
Nelson Street was named after Nels Nelson.
Nelson Nels died in 1944 in his home.
Nels Nelson, born in Denmark in 1863, left school at fourteen to follow the sea. By 1881 he was sailing as able seaman on a German full-rigged ship that rounded the Horn and arrived later in that year at the bustling seaport of Victoria. British Columbia appeared to offer more opportunity to him than a seaman’s lot, so Nels skipped ashore and went to work for Louis Erbe at the Victoria Brewing Company for the next four years. Becoming accomplished in the art of brewing, he moved up island to John Mahrer’s Nanaimo Bottling Company, where he became knowledgeable of this new packaging medium.