The Western Wholesale Building (co-ordinates 54.27210 -8.47970) is an impressive three storey building featuring random coursed local limestone with brick dressings, with 8 windows facing onto Wine Street and 3 windows facing onto Adelaide Street, and Overhanging eaves with cupola, three stone pilastered doorcases with entablatures.
This fine building, which is currently occupied by McCanny & Co Solicitors, was, in it’s heyday, the offices of The Pollexfen Shipping Line, owned by William Pollexfen, the grandfather of William Butler Yeats (on his mothers side).
During the 1880’s, the Pollexfen’s and the Middleton’s were the largest shipping enterprise in Sligo Town, and Mr Pollexfen would regularly train his telescope from the glassed-in crow’s nest, on the roof of the building, to watch his ships sailing in and out of Sligo Harbour.
During the 1860s, the The Pollexfen Shipping Line began to use steam powered ships to cater for the ever-increasing numbers of emigrants, as Sligo was seeing the highest emigration figures since the great Famine. In 1864 as many as 400 per week sailed for America and Canada.
Now turn slightly to the right and look diagonally across the road junction, where you will see the Bus Eireann bus garage.
This garage stands on the site of the former Sligo Saw Mill’s which was one of the finest mills in the British Kingdom.
This firm was established in the 1850’s by the prominent local businessman Mr Peter O’Connor, who being a devout Roman Catholic, donated the chimes, clock, bells and high altar to The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Looking slightly right again, you will see a large gate guarding the entrance to the former site of Egan’s Mineral Water Company which was a thriving and successful mineral water manufactory and general bottling facility.
Egan’s Mineral Waters also had branches in Dublin and Ballina.
We are now in Wine Street, which got its name because many of the basements of the business premises in this street were vaulted so as to store wines which was imported by Bulteels.