Sunday, 16 August 2015

D.E.F. Hotels



1907. Source



The Empire Hotel was built on the corner of Railway and Main in 1908 by Andrew Lunn. It burned down in February 1927.



The American Hotel was built in 1904. It's name was changed to the Commercial Hotel in 1910 by owner Edwin Morgan. Mr. Swan Olsen, a farmer, built the Wascana Hotel in 1909. Olsen sold the hotel to Bill Wilson, a Scotsman also known as "Whisky Bill," in 1913. Wilson and his wife Margaret ran the Wascana Hotel until 1951.

Earl Grey


The Hotel Grey was built in 1906. It was destroyed by fire in 1924.


1913. Source



Sam Vigeant built the hotel in Elstow in 1908. Sam and his wife Florence came west from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec in 1885.They operated the hotel with the help of their son, Louis, who married one of the hotel employees, Bertha Lean, in 1911. The hotel was destroyed by fire on February 12, 1917. while under the ownership of the George W. Dunn family. When the fire broke out, the proprietors' 9-month-old son Frederick Dunn was asleep on the second floor. Anthony Leier of Allan, who was in Elstow for a curling bonspiel,  attempted to rescue the baby, but was unsuccessful. The building collapsed, and both Leier and the child lost their lives." Source Source: Memories Forever: Elstow and District, 1900-1983, p.8.




In 1909, Matthew and Gerry Herriges built the Englefeld Hotel, featuring a massive ornamental mirror in the tavern that had been shipped by train from Winnipeg. Tragedy struck in 1911 when diphtheria broke out in the hotel. Two of Matthew Herriges' children, Helen age 2 and Matthew Jr. age 11 died from the disease, as did a hotel employee, Maria Schmitz. Source: Fields of Prosperity: A History of Englefeld, 1903-1987.




1913. Source





Built around 1910, the Fielding Hotel burned down in 1922, along with most of the buildings on the town's main street.




Francis Hotel under construction, 1907. Source
New Francis Hotel, 1907. Source





1910. Source
1911. Source
John Klaholz came to Canada from Germany in the late 1800s. He and his wife Feona moved to Frobisher in 1900 and built the Imperial Hotel in 1903. The Klaholz family operated the hotel into the 1930s.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

A.B.C. Hotels







The first and only hotel in Asquith was built in 1906 by Andrew Lunn. Named the Arlington Hotel, it had a bar, a barber shop, and a laundry. Once the hotel was established, Lunn moved on to establish more hotels in Saskatchewan, including one at Rosthern. Miss Emma Brown who had worked for Lunn as a chambermaid become the owner of the Arlington Hotel after he left. Emma Brown operated the hotel for over 30 years. She died in 1956 at age 93.



Built in 1906, the Bladworth Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1933. The fire broke out in the old barroom. Tom Anderson, the hotel's proprietor, lost $1500 in cash as a result of the fire -- a lot of money to lose during the Depression.



Jerry MacRoberts built the City Hotel in Brownlee in 1909. It contained a bar, restaurant, bowling alley, and dance hall. In 1911, Jim Conner took over the hotel and operated it until the bar was closed in 1915 due to Prohibition. In 1916, Charlie Yock bought the hotel and ran it as a boarding house. The hotel burned down on June 30, 1929 along with many other businesses along Brownlee's main street.


The Carlyle Hotel and the Del Monte Hotel, 1908. Source

The Arlington Hotel (formerly the Carlyle Hotel), c1916. Source
The stone and brick Carlyle Hotel was built in 1901 by Ben Hollonquist. A year later, a syndicate composed of J & E Abercrombie, Porteous, and others built the Del Monte Hotel across the street from the Carlyle. In 1913, a third storey was added to the Carlyle Hotel. Its name was changed to the Empire Hotel, then to the Arlington Hotel in 1916 by owner James Anderson. Businesses which operated out of the Arlington were the town butcher shop, a harness shop and a hardware store.



Working on the balcony of the Avenmore Hotel, 1910. Source
Frank and Harry Crozier built the Avenmore Hotel in Carnduff in 1909. Harry and his wife Jessie operated this hotel for 40 years. They lived in the hotel with their daughters Irene and Laura and their son Lloyd.



Merchant's Hotel, Caron, c. 1912. Source








The Colonsay Hotel was built in 1910. In 1917 during Prohibition, the 22-room hotel was turned over - ironically - to the Saskatchewan Brewing Company by the owner, a Mr. Daley, who owed the company $3,300. Peter and Rosalina Pura bought the hotel from the brewing company for $3,000 in February 1920. the hotel was destroyed by fire in October of that same year. The Puras had insured the hotel at a value of $14,500, and were awarded $13,500. The insurance company appealed this payment, claiming that the total amount of insurance was greater than the actual value of the hotel at the time of the fire. The jury agreed, and the insurance companies were awarded $8,000.



Hotel Waldorf, Craik, 1914. Source

Craik Hotel, 1952. Source
The two-storey hotel in Craik was built in 1903. It was destroyed by fire 100 years later in 2003.



. Source
The Imperial Hotel at Cupar was built in 1906. After the provincial liquor laws allowed women into bars in 1961, the hotel proprietors Henry and Laura Erhart commissioned a mural for the bar from Plains Cree artist Sandford Fisher of the Gordon Reserve.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Raymore Hotel

The Raymore Hotel, 1911. Source

On an April day in 1908, Archibald G. MacLean set out on a long walk. MacLean had arrived from
Archie MacLean and family
Prince Edward Island a few years earlier and was working as a clerk in the Govan general store. Ambitious, he wanted more. When he heard that the Grand Trunk Railway line was being built from Melville to Saskatoon, he walked 46 kilometres from Govan to the site chosen by the GTR for the town to be called Raymore. MacLean acquired several lots, and set up business in a tent. By 1908, he had built a general store, and by 1911, he had constructed a three-storey hotel. To finance the hotel, MacLean set up the Raymore Trading Company with two partners, whom he later bought out, becoming the sole owner. MacLean also served as Raymore’s first postmaster, a position he held until 1950 when he retired. [Source: From Prairie Wool to Golden Grain: Raymore and District, 1904-1979.]

The lobby of the Raymore Hotel, 1913. Source: Raymore local history book, 1979.

The Raymore Hotel's bar, 1913. Source: Raymore local history book, 1979.

By 1916, according to the Canada census, William “Bill” Baker, age 55, and his wife Ida, age 48, were the owners of the Raymore Hotel. The Bakers ran the hotel with the help of two Chinese cooks, a waitress and a porter. Dances and fancy dress parades were held in the hotel, presided over by Bill Baker, smoking an ever-present cigar. 

Raymore, c. 1920. Source

When Prohibition hit, the Bakers quit the hotel business, selling the hotel to Mah Yuen and Ping Sam.The Chinese owners ran the hotel throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s. They sold soft drinks and ice cream, and featured the Raymore Moving Picture Show in the hotel every Friday and Saturday nights.

In 1935, the year the provincial government allowed the sale of beer by the glass in hotel bars, Mah Yuen and Ping Sam were unable to obtain a license to open a beer parlour at the Raymore Hotel. Chinese people were excluded because the law required that an applicant for a liquor license had to be a person who was entitled to vote. The Chinese in Saskatchewan did not receive the provincial franchise until 1947.

The Raymore Hotel was taken over by John “Jack” and Vivian “Vi” Morrow, formerly of Yorkton. “Raymore welcomes the new manager at the same time that they regret the departure of the genial Chinese gentlemen who for 16 years have been consistently good citizens of the village,” the newspaper reported.

From Prairie Wool to Golden Grain: Raymore and District, 1904-1979.
Jack was born in North Dakota in 1890, and came to Saskatchewan in 1908. He went overseas during the First World War, and was later hospitalized for three years, suffering from shell shock (now known as post-traumatic stress disorder). In 1925, Jack met Vi in Regina, where she worked as the manageress of the Hotel Saskatchewan coffee shop. They married in 1928. Violet Jane Roe, born in Manitoba, took her first hotel job at age 14, when she became a waitress at the Shaunavon Hotel. Two years later, she was employed by the Hotels Division of Canadian Pacific Railway. Vi worked for ten years at CP hotels in Banff Springs, Lake Louise, Saskatoon, and Regina. After her husband Jack died in 1957, Vi continued to operate the Raymore Hotel with the help of her son, Bob. Prior to her retirement in 1967, Vi was awarded a life membership in the Hotels Association of SK. She was the second woman to have spent 50 years in the hotel business. [Source: From Prairie Wool to Golden Grain: Raymore and District, 1904-1979.]

Shortly after Jack and Vi Morrow arrived in Raymore, they applied for a liquor license for the hotel. A local option vote was required by government liquor regulations, and the town vote was affirmative – by a narrow margin. A beer parlour was incorporated into the Raymore Hotel. Vi was never able to enter, or work in, the beer parlour until the 1960s, when provincial liquor laws finally permitted women to drink in bars – with escorts.

In 1937, a severe hail and wind storm tore the metal roofing off the Raymore Hotel, hurling it across Main Street. Heavy rain soaked the hotel rooms on the third floor, seriously damaging the interior which had recently been redecorated.

With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, the Morrows faced a new challenge at the Raymore Hotel. So many people left to join the war effort that it became impossible to find employees. Jack became the bartender and Vi became the cook. Their two oldest children, Jack Jr. and Imelda were enlisted to wait on tables, make beds, do the laundry twice a week, and myriad other chores. The youngest Morrow child, Bobby, had to stand on soft drink cases and wash dishes in the hotel kitchen. The family still managed to hold regular Saturday night dances at the hotel throughout the war years. These dances came to an end following the war, when the beer parlour was expanded due to an increase in business.
Raymore in the 1950s. H.D. McPhail photographer. Source

In 1956, fire broke out in the Raymore Hotel. Fourteen guests in the 33-room hotel had to be evacuated when flames were discovered at 9:00 in the morning. Some guests lost their belongings, but fortunately no one was injured. The Raymore Volunteer Fire Department managed to extinguish the blaze, but the third floor of the hotel had to be removed from the building as a result of the fire.

The Raymore Hotel in 2014. Joan Champ photo.
Raymore Hotel in 2012. Google Street View.

© Joan Champ, 2015

Monday, 29 December 2014

North Portal: "Roughs Come in from Dakota"

Grandview Hotel, North Portal, c. 1910 Source
The border town of North Portal was a wild and wooly place in the early 1900s, due in large measure to the sale of alcohol to residents of North Dakota, a “dry” state from 1889 to 1932. Sales of liquor flourished in North Portal from 1903 when it was founded, until 1915 when Saskatchewan implemented its own prohibition laws. Things picked up again during the Roaring Twenties when American rum runners used North Portal as a distribution centre for illegal liquor. The town boasted two hotels located only a few feet from the Canada-US border – the Union Hotel and the Grandview Hotel. It also gained notoriety as a town with a high crime rate for a community its size.

North Portal in the winter of 1911; Grandview Hotel on left. Source
Located on the Soo Line Railway, North Portal attracted many shady characters from south of the border. In 1906, for example, Corporal Hogg of the Royal North West Mounted Police (RNWMP) was called to one of the hotels in town to break up a disturbance. The hotel was full of cowboys led by a gun-toting “notorious bad man” named Monaghan, aka Cowboy Jack. Police records state that in the process of arresting Monaghan, the following property was damaged: “door broken; screen smashed up; chair broken; field jacket belonging to Corporal Hogg spoiled by being covered with blood; and the wall plastered with blood.” Monaghan, or Cowboy Jack, is reported to have remarked that if Hogg had not confiscated his gun, another death would have been recorded in Canadian history. Source

It was into this fray that Louis Kill and his family arrived in 1906. Kill, a German-born representative of the Standard Oil Company, had immigrated to Canada via Minnesota and South Dakota with his wife, Anna, and their children. By 1921, Louis Kill was reported to be “one of the most widely known citizens in southern Saskatchewan.” Source  

In 1907, after a year with the oil company, Kill decided to take over the Union Hotel in North Portal,
Union Hotel, c. 1910. Source
built in about 1900. Unfortunately, however, Kill’s application for a liquor license for the hotel was unsuccessful. During the hearing of the provincial liquor commissioners, the chief license commissioner stated that, while Louis Kill was, as far as he knew, “of good character,” he doubted whether he was a suitable person to manage a hotel in North Portal which was frequented by “a hard crowd.” In a newspaper story, “Roughs Come in from Dakota; Dry Americans Need Careful Handling at North Portal,” the chairman noted that there had been a good deal of trouble in North Portal. “It is right on the line of a prohibition state and people – the very worst element, I am told – come over the border for liquor,” he stated. “We would like to see a man who could handle these people.” The commissioners decided to deny Kill’s application and to hold an inquiry on local conditions at North Portal. Source

Undeterred, Louis Kill bought the hotel at Alameda, Saskatchewan, about 50 kilometres north of North Portal. He and his family operated the hotel for about three years. The 1911 Canada census shows Kill, age 54, and his wife Anna, age 50, as the hotel proprietors in Alameda. Their 23-year-old son Edward worked as the hotel’s bartender. Annie (25), Vincent (15), and Sylvester (13) as well as four domestics also lived in the hotel.

Opportunity knocked once more for the Kill family due to yet another violent incident in North Portal. In 1914, William Hetherington, owner of the three-storey Grandview Hotel, was convicted of manslaughter in death of Pat Murphy, alias Kelley, alias Denver Blackie. The crime had been committed during a drunken brawl in the bar of the hotel at the end of August. Source Shortly after Hetherington’s sentence to two years’ imprisonment, Louis Kill returned to North Portal and bought the Grandview Hotel.

Baseball game in North Portal, 1914, with Grandview Hotel in background. Source
In 1916, the year after Prohibition was implemented, the Canada census records Louis and Anna Kill living in the Grandview Hotel with their unmarried daughter Anna (30); their 1-year-old granddaughter Ethel; and sons Edward (38), who was no longer working as a bartender, but instead working at the local hardware store; Vincent (20), a clerk for the railway; and Sylvester (18). Also living in the hotel were two chambermaids.

By 1921, Louis Kill had retired from the hotel business.  In the early years, he had made considerable money at the Grandview Hotel. With the passing of bars in Saskatchewan due to Prohibition, however, hotels had become “white elephants.” The Kill family moved to Sacramento, California where daughter Frances and her husband Charles H. Hecht now lived.

Throughout the 1920s, the Grandview Hotel became the centre for illegal liquor trading as well as gambling, apparently attracting some notorious gangsters from Chicago, including Al Capone – incognito. Legend has it that some of the big-winning gamblers never left the Grandview. A sign beside the hotel once told of guests who disappeared after cleaning up at the gambling table, leaving their belongings – and their train tickets – untouched in their rooms. It is rumoured that they may have ended up at the bottom of the hotel’s 60-metre-deep well. Source: Winnipeg Free Press, April 8, 1989

© Joan Champ 2014