Monday, 16 September 2013

Kindersley's Seymour Hotel


The Prairie Trail Hotel, formerly the Seymour Hotel, in Kindersley, 2007.  Joan Champ photo

In October of 1909, when town lots went up for sale in Kindersley, the Canadian Northern Railway realized sales of over $60,000 – the most expensive of which was a lot on the corner of Railway and Main that sold for $1,200 the lot for the Seymour Hotel. Source  Construction began on the hotel that year, and by the spring of 1910 there was a fine looking, three-storey wooden structure standing on the street corner.
The Seymour Hotel on the left, Kindersley, 1910 Source

Charles C. Rogers, the former proprietor of the King Edward Hotel in Saskatoon, bought the Seymour Hotel in 1913 for $85,000 – an increase of $25,000 over the price paid for the hotel ten months earlier. Source  The Canada Census for 1916 shows that 60-year-old Charles and his 49-year-old wife, his daughter (age 26), his son Eska (age 33) and his daughter-in-law (age 27) were living in Kindersley's Seymour Hotel. Five years earlier, they had all been living in the King Edward Hotel in Saskatoon. The Seymour Hotel staff in 1916 included a bookkeeper, a chambermaid, a restaurant keeper, a cook, and three waitresses. Fourteen guests were staying at the hotel when the census was taken. Two years later in October 1918, Eska E. Rogers died, possibly from the terrible Spanish Flu that raged through the world that year. His father Charles died in 1923.

The Seymour Hotel in the 1920s Source

In 1944, William Dobni purchased the Seymour Hotel. Originally from Austria, Dobni came to Canada in 1909 and by 1916 was living in Kindersley. William operated the hotel along with his wife Anna and their six sons until his death in 1955. After his death, Anna and her sons continued to run the hotel until 1975 when they sold the business. One of his sons, James Dobni, served on the Kindersely town council for many years, including as mayor for a time. Source  

Main Street, Kindersely, in the 1940s. Hotel on left Source

Kindersley in 1953 with the Seymour Hotel on the left Source

Marvin and Pearl Gilbertson bought the hotel in Kindersley, now called the Prairie Trail Hotel. The Gilbertsons, originally from Saskatoon, had owned the hotel in Meath Park before moving to Kindersely. In 1981, they moved to Swift Current where they bought their third hotel, the Imperial. Source

Demolition of the hotel, March 2011 Source
By 2011, the old Seymour Hotel known as the Prairie Trail Hotel was Kindersley's oldest building. That year, a public health recommendation led to its demolition. The building, no longer deemed safe, had been closed for a couple of years. Source


© Joan Champ, 2013

13 comments:

  1. I enjoy your interesting and educational stories on the historic hotels of small town Saskatchewan. The photographs, both archival and your digital shots, bring history alive. I'm glad I found your blog and have 'tweeted' to my friends list. I've also added your blog to my favourites. I'm doing a similar thing here in British Columbia - researching and writing about the historic hotels of British Columbia. Thank-you for your stories so far and I look forward to your future articles.
    Cheers from Vancouver Island.

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    1. Thanks so much, Glen! I would be interested in reading your work on BC's historic hotels. I'm not sure I would necessarily classify Saskatchewan's old, rural hotels as "historic." That word implies a certain level of importance or even greatness that I'm not sure they possess! I find them so interesting, nevertheless.

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  2. As a granddaughter of William Dobni, it was a very interesting article.
    Thanks
    Lisa J. Elliott (Dobin)

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  3. Thanks Lisa! I appreciate your interest.

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    1. Joan....can you believe I spelled my own name wrong on that post (should be Dobni). Pretty much every family member has let me know...lol. Would you mind correcting it?? Thanks.

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  4. Sorry Lisa, I can edit my posts but not the comments :(

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    1. I worked at the Prairie Trail in 96/97. Moved to Kindersley from PEI. Stayed a year, went to Edmonton then back to he Island.

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  5. Great post! My family actually lives a couple minutes' walk up Main St. Always good to take in some Canadiana

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  6. Sherry Syrjanen MacIntyre16 June 2015 at 22:16

    Sad to hear it was torn down, I lived in Kindersley in the 70,s and 80,s. Spent some time in the old hotel, great place to live, raise kids and find life long friends!

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    1. Thanks for checking out my blog, Sherry! I'm glad it brought back some memories for you.

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  7. Good Ol' Pigeon Trough. Many great nights there.

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  8. i wish i had a dollar for every time i drove past that old hotel!!!

    art anderson

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  9. Hello Joan, While I do not have a direct, personal link to the Seymour Hotel, my aunt lived there with her father's sister, Annette Christina McKay and her husband, James Edmund Stevens. Our family story has it that they owned the hotel (1930's I think) but not sure if that was fact or fiction. I am currently writing a family history and would love to use some photos of the hotel in my book ... do I need to obtain permission to copy and paste the ones you have posted? Thanks. Ed in Nova Scotia

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