Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nat Bailey

This is the Maynard's building at the corner of Wylie Street and West 2nd Avenue. It was built in 1919 and was originally used as a warehouse and repair shop that serviced the industrial businesses in the area. It is a good example of the Edwardian brick industrial warehouse of the era.

Nathaniel Ryal Bailey is a Vancouver success story. He was born on January 31, 1902 in St. Paul, Minnesota and moved to Vancouver in 1913. He began his business career by selling peanuts during games at the Vancouver Forum. (The Vancouver Forum is also known as the PNE forum and is part of the Pacific National Exhibition.) Bailey added hot dogs and drinks to his repertoire thus adding to his business. When the Forum's roof collapsed in 1934, he built his famous log cabin, White Spot, at 70th and Granville Streets.

The above information I got from Wikipedia but for filler I went to White Spot and I am getting some different info.

According to White Spot, Bailey had transformed his 1918 Model T into a travelling lunch counter, which served sightseers at Lookout Point. Both sites agree that he did open the first drive-in restaurant in Vancouver (Canada according to Wikipedia) but Wikipedia says 1934 whereas White Spot states 1928.

The logs of the log cabin were painted white with the ends painted green. The carhops wore green uniforms with Naugahyde captain's caps and a white stripe down the pant leg. Nat had designed the first carhop tray and his specially designed tray fit specially in between the car's window sills.

White Spot became famous for its hamburgers, which contained Nat's special sauce - it was rumoured to be thousand island dressing mixed with mayonnaise but Nat never told. His french fries were never less than 3 inches in length and his hamburgers drew customers from all over. Later, Nat added his 'Chicken Pickens', which were extremely popular. (You have to remember that is before Kentucky Fried Chicken made its appearance.)

By the time that Nat Bailey retired, and sold White Spot to General Foods, he had built several drive-ins in Vancouver and Victoria.

Nat Bailey was a Freemason, a supporter of the Marpole Rotary Group as well as the Chamber of Commerce.

Bailey also supported little league baseball in Vancouver and was part owner of the Vancouver Mounties minor league baseball team. His love of the game of baseball was well known and after his death in 1978, the Capilano Stadium was renamed Nat Bailey Stadium and that is where the minor league baseball team, the Vancouver Canadians, call home.

Talking about the Vancouver Canadians, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them. For the second year in a row, they became Northwest League champions and became the only team to win back to back championships in five years. Kudos to the manager,  Clayton McCullough, and the rest of the team.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen, It’s great to find Vancouver bloggers; I’m one too. I love how in depth you got on Nat Bailey in this post. I remember going to a White Spot drive in as a teen It was somewhere on Cambie...maybe 25th area? Those hamburgers were so good with that special O sauce! Long time ago...:) I’m glad I found your to find the time to read your past posts.