Sunday, 26 October 2014

Elfros Hotel Fire

Greg Madsen photo. Source

An early morning fire on October 9, 2014 gutted Tequilas Hotel hotel in Elfros, a small community in east-central Saskatchewan. The owner Justin Thordarson told CTV News that the fire started around 4 a.m. No one was inside the hotel at the time. The RCMP and the provincial Office of the Fire Commissioner said the fire was not considered suspicious, but they were continuing to investigate to determine a cause. Thordarson said he is not sure whether he will rebuild the hotel.

Greg Madsen photo. Source

There had been an earlier hotel, the Golden West, in the early 1900s.   

Golden West Hotel, 1913 Source

Golden West Hotel, Elfros, c. 1912. Source: From Prairie Trails to the Yellowhead, 1983.

The hotel that burned in 2014 had been a fixture in the community since 1933. In the 1930s, Choy Tin Joe applied for a liquor license for the hotel in Elfros. In 1947, George Kirtzinger from Lashburn, Saskatchewan, and his uncle, Otto Lingle, bought the Elfros Hotel. George managed the hotel while Otto was away racing horses. In the fall of 1949, George married Edith Taylor. They moved to Cudworth to farm for two years and then back to Lashburn with their family of four children.

Tequilas Hotel, c. 2012, Google street view,.

Thordarson has owned the hotel, now called Tequilas, since 2007. After the fire, he was not sure whether he would rebuild the hotel.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hello, my name is Justin Thordarson, the owner of the Elfros hotel listed above at the time of its loss. I'm sorry to say that as of now I will not be rebuilding in Elfros, nor does it appear likely that anyone will in the close future. I took a great deal of pride in what I was able to do in Elfros during my time as its owner and my greatest sorrow is that it is lost for all to share. People take their small town hotels for granted but they shouldn't, they are something to cherish. Just remember if you're ever lost, if you ever need help or just a question answered. Call the local hotel, chances are you'll find what you need.

    1. That's too bad, Justin. Thank you for providing this update on my blog. You are so right - small-town hotels are community centres in their own way. Best wishes in your future endeavours.