Posts tagged #A & R Brewery

Oliver Hector Allen

Dates: b. 10 August 1858 d. Revelstoke, 19 July 1928

Cemetery Location: Block A, Row 2, Plot 6


Oliver Henry Allen was born in Ontario in 1858, the son of a well-known Toronto brewer. While serving as lieutenant in the Riel Rebellion in Saskatchewan, Oliver met Mary Mclean, an editorial writer for the Regina Star, and they married on 30 August 1884.

In 1888, the Allens moved to Calgary and opened the Bow Valley Brewery. In 1889, they closed the brewery and moved to Revelstoke, where he partnered with Thomas Righton to open A & R Brewery in August 1890. The business was dissolved by October the same year, but Oliver immediately began working on a new brewery, which he built on the north bank of the Columbia River. The Revelstoke Brewery opened May 1891, specializing in fine class ales and porter.

An article from the Kootenay Mail, 1 December 1894, described the Revelstoke Brewery as the largest of its kind in the Kootenays. “The buildings now present an appearance of a small village, there having been recently added to the lager beer brewery a new ice house with a capacity of 150 tons.”

Oliver closed the brewery in 1900, but worked for the Enterprise Brewery in 1901 and 1902. In 1903, Allen started another brewing operation behind the Revelstoke Wine & Spirit Company’s building (RCMP detachment location), in partnership with William Johnson. Under the resurrected name, Revelstoke Brewery, the business operated until 1906.

Oliver died in Revelstoke in 1928, at the age of 69. The newspaper obituary claims he died in Queen Victoria Hospital, but according to his family, while in hospital he overheard a nurse say he would not make it past the night.  So Oliver left the hospital and walked home, wrote a note to his wife, then harnessed up the horse and buggy to drive to Three Valley; he wanted to see one more sunrise before he died. The engineer on an eastbound train saw Mr. Allen slumped over in the buggy, 20 feet from the railway, and phoned to notify the family.

The Allens had six children: Emma, Thomas, Marie, Dalton, Marjory and Jack. Their son, Thomas Allen, shot and killed his sister Marie’s husband, David Calder, during an argument at the Allen’s Eagle Pass ranch in 1924.