The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

July 19, 2006

July 19, 2006 - Hotels

Miller’s Tavern was the first hotel to be built in Springhill. It was owned and operated by James & Lucilla Miller and was located in Millers Corner. The date that the Miller’s Tavern was built is unknown but it was before 1863. It was a crude building but it sheltered many a traveler who came to buy or trade for coal.

The Farmers Hotel was built on Church St. next to where the old post office was. When the miners from the old country came to work in the mines in Springhill, they and their families spent their first night in the Farmer’s Hotel. After they were hired on the next day they were rented a company house for $3.00 a month. Later the hotel was owned by Silas McNutt and the name was changed to McNutt’s Hotel. At that time there were only six bedrooms but since the McNutts’ had six children and a hired girl that didn’t leave much room for guest. Later Mr. McNutt added a kitchen and two bedrooms overhead to accommodate his family.

The Niagara House was first run by Andrew Faulds. The original building was burned in one of the Main St. fires of 1895 and was rebuilt. It has had many owners over the years including James McPherson who died there. When the “big strike” (the twenty-two month strike) occurred this hotel was used to house the police. In October 1928, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Chapman arrived in Springhill they rented the hotel as a temporary shelter. People, thinking the hotel was in service, started arriving. The Chapman’s opened the hotel in November of that year. Mr. Chapman, who was a blacksmith by trade, gave up his business and ran the hotel for many years. This hotel became known as the Carleton Hotel and is still standing today although it is no longer a hotel it is now an apartment building.

An ad in the Springhill Newspaper in 1893 stated” Niagara Hotel – Special attention paid to commercial travelers. First class sample rooms on premises.”

The Scotia House was a boarding house or hotel built by the company. It was on the corner of Elgin and Queen Streets. This building was later owned by the Alicks.

The Royal Hotel was on the corner of Elgin Street and Main Street . It was run by B.B. McNutt. Since he belonged to many of the lodges in town, if any of the lodge members from out of town visited Springhill they stayed at the Royal Hotel. Peel Bros. Barber shop was located in the hotel. There were also sample rooms at the hotel. The livery business and the hotel were more or less affiliated and H.A.B. Glendenning of the Livery Stables and B.B. McNutt of the Royal Hotel installed a telephone directly to the Railway Station.

In the Springhill Record 1895-96 “A private telephone system has been placed from H.A.B. Glendenning’s residence on Victoria Street to the Royal Hotel and thence to the Cumberland Railway and Coal Company’s Station for the benefit of Glendenning and B.B. McNutt.

Another article in 1897 “A grand military banquet will be held on Friday evening at the Royal Hotel. The officers and men of the local Guard of Honor to Lord and Lady Aberdeen will be feted, and will attend the banquet in full uniform. A number of invited guest are expected, among whom are H.J. Logan, M.P.; A.E. Fraser, M.P.; Major Oxley and the Staff of the Battalion; also Mayor McKinnon and the Town Council, and the Aberdeen Executive Reception Committee. A grand program has been prepared of instrument and vocal music, and patriotic speeches, etc., will be delivered.”

In 1905 John Ritchie purchased the hotel. At that time many theatrical troupes would sometimes be stranded at the Royal Hotel for weeks at a time.

The Royal Hotel burned in 1932.