“Don’t drive by, not every time. Stop for a second look. Look around. Take a breath. It’s later than you think.” These are the words of the late Cam Fuller (1963-2018), a long-time columnist for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, written shortly after a fire destroyed the hotel in Kyle on May 16, 2018. “There’s a lesson for me in the Kyle Hotel fire,” Fuller mused. Perhaps there is a lesson there for all of us. Source
On October 17, 1964, a bulldozer operated by a road construction crew unearthed the biggest thing ever to hit Kyle - rare fossils of a woolly mammoth determined to be about 12,000 years old. During the subsequent dig that fall, about 20,000 people, including archaeologists, newspaper reporters, and curious spectators flooded into the small town of approximately 500 people. It must have been great time for business at the Kyle Hotel. In 1981, “Wally” the Woolly Mammoth was erected across the street from the hotel as a roadside attraction to commemorate the find. The bones of the woolly mammoth are now housed at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina.
|"Wally" the Woolly Mammoth, across Railway Avenue from the former Kyle Hotel. Source|
Shortly before it burned down, the Kyle Hotel offered five two-bedroom suites, four modern rooms, and twelve semi-modern rooms – meaning they only had “the basics.” Catering mainly to hunters, the hotel featured a coin-operated laundry, movie rentals, and a walk-in fridge/freezer for game. In addition to beer and spirits, the hotel beverage room had a steak pit, takeout food from the Kyle Cafe, VLTs, and offsale.
|Fire destroys the Kyle Hotel, May 16, 2018. Source|
In memory of Cam Fuller, a man I never knew, but whose columns I read with relish, and whose writing I greatly respected.
©Joan Champ, 2019