The Borkowski Brothers

Olivers Bar and Grill
Williams Lake, B.C 1980

Brothers who made History

Either you know who the Borkowski brothers are or you don’t. Maybe you have heard the Borkowski name in conversation about the buildings of downtown Williams Lake. Maybe you’ve heard that the brothers waited for the train to roll into town so they could rent books about the trades from the train library. Maybe you know that they read by lamplight and become some of the first tradesman recognized in the town of Williams Lake.

A few of their most well known builds in town are Walk Rite Shoes, The Gecko Tree Cafe (formally known as the Famous Cafe seen below).

One of the Borkowski’s is known a little bit better to us. Mr. Joe Borkowski, his wife Mary and kids Wayne and Judy constructed and lived in the Potato House from 1941 to 1956. Built in 1941, this little house is believed to be the first structure built by the Borkowski brothers in what later became known as the “Borkowski Block”. The surrounding block of buildings built around the Maple Leave Hotel (now Caribou Ski) that rests beside The Potato House.

Although the Quintella family bought and garnered the community name “The Potato House” in 1956, the Borkowski family left many wonderful artifacts for us to discover in the early 2000’s during our renovation.

Mary, Judy and Wayne Borkowski – 1943

Flo – Mary’s Sister – Mary, Wayne and Judy Borkowski

Mary, Wayne and Judy

Wayne and Judy

Judy, and Wayne Borkowski

Mary, Wayne and Judy

Wayne and Judy
Mary Wayne and Judy Borkowski with Flo

Wayne and Judy
Wayne and Judy

Thank you

Tara Valpy for Photo Documentation

For any more information regarding the Borkowski family, please contact