Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Vincent for Sale

From Daily globe (St. Paul, Minn.) April 16, 1882 
Source: Library of Congress' Chronicling America
Coolican took his stand before a huge plot of St. Vincent, ambitious enough in appearance for a city of a hundred thousand, and opened the ball. Shades of Andrew Johnston, how he talked! There was not a symptom of let up for two hours. Here is a sample:
James Sarsfield Coolican,
Auctioneer of St. Vincent
“Gentlemen, I can’t go away from St. Pauland believe that you are all paupers. Twenty dollars for such a lot as that, two blocks from the shop reserves, and a corner lot, too; just the place for starting a saloon! Do I hear thirty? Going at thirty. Do I hear thirty-five? Remember, this sale is without reserve. Hitch on while the boom is on, and you will be wearing seal-skins and diamonds next year. Thirty dollars! Thirty dollars! Thirty dollars! Five do you say? Just in time; why I met a young man on the train the other day, and he showed me his bank book with a credit of $18,000, and he said he had $45,000 worth of real estate. He came to Winnipeg in a cattle car, and was returning in a Pullman. Made a little stake shingling roofs, caught on and there you are. Gentlemen, this double row of lots clear outside the town was bought by Winnipeggers yesterday at $250 per lot (whereupon he proceeded to sell a block in St. Vincent’s centre at prices ranging for $33 to $56 per lot). Hitch on to the boom boys, while she is moving. Telegraph to Sheppard, the town clerk in St. Vincent, or any one else there, and if he don’t say lots such as I am offering you are selling to-day at from $250 to $300, I'll open the wine for the house, provided there’s enough wine in town to fill such a thirsty crowd. Now pick your block; I’ll sell in any one of them not already purchased.”
From: Manitoba Historical Society