Shanks, Morris

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
Horse racing and hotel

Morris Shank

Mr. Shank had much to do with the development of the Pine Hills section before he bought the upper hotel in Berne. He also owned a horse he called Dixie, they brought a horse down from Canada gloats Mr. Shank, “but they didn’t have a chance against my Dixie.”

His face tanned up to where his cap rims the top of his head, Mr. Shank looks as if he’d spent a lifetime in his hotel.

“ I didn’t have any more idea of staying than you do now,” he told his interviewer.

Before Shanks the innkeeper, there was Shank the builder, Sixty-one homes stand in Albany today, the results of his activities. There are 14 in Arbor Hill alone, and nearly 28 more scattered through the Pine Hills section.

As far back as he can remember, Morris Shank has been a horse fancier, he’s 52 now and very emphatic when he tells you.

I’ve been in the hotel business eight years, but I never took a smoke, a drink, and never took a treat with a customer.

On the site of the Berne Hotel, other inns have stood for more than a century. The last burned down in 1915 and the present Berne Hotel was erected.

House trading not horse-trading brought horseman Shank to Berne. “ I swapped a house for this place and never though I’d live here, but I’ve grown more used to it with time. Now I wouldn’t leave it.

First horse he ever owned was Black Diamond, obtained from the old Warren Brothers Dairy, for whom Mr. Shank at one time peddled a milk route.