Today is the birthday of Conrad George Oland (March 13, 1851-December 12, 1917). He was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, and was the son of Susannah Oland, who founded what today is Moosehead Breweries. It was known by several names before 1947, such as S. Oland & Sons Brewery, the Turtle Grove Brewery, and the Army & Navy Brewery. His mother trained both him and his younger brother to brew beer, but after her death it was his younger brother that took over the brewery. In 1917, their brewery was near the famous Halifax Explosion, and windows were shattered and walls collapsed, and Conrad died from shock during the explosion, along with six additional employees.
And this account of his parents Susannah and John is from the Canadian Encyclopedia:
By 1867, the Oland family had moved to Dartmouth. Struggling financially, Susannah supplemented what little money John earned by making beer in the shed at the back of their Dartmouth property, using an old family recipe. Her October brown ale proved to be so popular with the local inhabitants that a family friend, Captain Francis Walter DeWinton (1835–1901), suggested brewing on a larger scale. DeWinton, along with two other investors, provided the funds to start a commercial brewery. Because they began the business in the Turtle Grove area of Dartmouth — a Mi’kmaq community — the brewery was named Turtle Grove Brewery.The company was incorporated on 1 October 1867. On paper, John Oland was manager of the business, but in reality, Susannah oversaw virtually every aspect of its day-to-day operations. By many accounts, she supervised the brewing process, which was undertaken with the help of her three sons.
The new commercial brewery was situated on a 12.5-acre plot with 300 feet of frontage on Halifax Harbour. Halifax was ideal for a budding brewer because of the pronounced military and naval presence. Beer had long been part of the life in the armed forces. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), the Duke of Marlborough, commander of the British forces, proclaimed: “No soldier can fight unless he is properly fed on beef and beer.” British authorities accepted Marlborough’s statement as gospel, and in the years that followed, British soldiers were given enough “beer money” to purchase five pints of beer a day. This, along with the fact that the overwhelming majority of the civilian population in Dartmouth and Halifax could trace its ancestry to the beer-drinking cultures of England, Scotland, and Ireland, gave an immediate incentive to anyone like Susannah Oland looking to capitalize on their knowledge of the art of brewing.
Taking advantage of DeWinton’s connections (he was military secretary to the Marquess of Lorne, the governor general of Canada), the brewery quickly grew to be the third-largest business operating in Dartmouth. Tragedy struck in October 1870, however, when John died in a riding accident. To make matters worse, DeWinton was transferred to Gibraltar and the other two partners sold their interests to a manager, George Fraser, who had formerly been employed at a competing brewery. Undaunted, Susannah Oland and her sons continued working at the brewery, which had been renamed the Army and Navy Brewery in honor of its principal patrons.
In 1877, after receiving an inheritance from a relative in England, Susannah Oland bought out Fraser and dissolved the partnership. She began operating the brewery under the name S. Oland, Sons and Company and trained her sons to be brewmasters. She worked at the brewery for the remainder of her life