Old St. Andrews



Death of Robert S. Gardiner



March 16/1899
Death of Mr. Robert S. Gardiner
A Man Who was Active in Promoting St. Andrews as a Summer Resort
The news of the death of Mr. Robert S. Gardiner of Boston, which was received here on Thursday, occasioned a painful shock. For fully twenty years Mr. Gardiner had been intimately associated with the life of St. Andrews, so that the people had begun to regard him as one of themselves.
            Mr. Gardiner's first connection with St. Andrews was as a summer visitor and dates back to the seventies. He and his family became so much attached to the place as a summer home that their visits were as regular as the flight of the swallows. They roomed at the Argyll hotel, until the construction of the Algonquin in 1889, when they made that hotel their summer refuge. Subsequently, Mr. Gardiner erected a beautiful cottage on the crest of the hill overlooking Katy's Cove. There he and his family spent several delightful seasons the first break in their happiness occurring last year, when Mrs. Gardiner died after a lingering illness.
            It was while he was a guest at the Argyll hotel, that Mr. Gardiner, together with Mr. F. W. Cram, then manager of the New Brunswick Railway, conceived the idea of developing St. Andrews as a summer resort. To think with them was to act. As a result of the joint endeavours of the two gentlemen, (who were able to associate with them an number of American capitalists) the Algonquin Hotel company, the St. Andrews Land Company and the Chamcook Water Company were formed. In the summer of 1888 the Land Company acquired control of the plot of ground to the south of the railway tract. By the expenditure of a considerable sum of money this was converted into a very pretty natural park, and a sample summer cottage erected therein. The company also purchased all the most desirable lots that they could obtain, their purchases giving the town quite a boom. The brick building, now occupied by The Beacon, was likewise constructed by the company. While the Land Company was thus employed, the Hotel Company was not idle. The magnificent Algonquin,--the handsomest summer hotel in eastern Canada,--was erected by them and in 1889 was thrown open to the public. These projects, which involved the expenditure of many thousands of dollars, owe their origin almost entirely to the energy and business shrewdness of the two gentlemen we have named. When Mr. Cram severed his connection with the railway, he was not able to devote so much of his time as he had formerly done to the promotion of St. Andrews interests, but Mr. Gardiner's interest never faltered. His hand figured very largely in the construction of the addition to the Algonquin a few years ago. The establishment of a golf links here was Mr. Gardiner's idea. As a result of his endeavours, the present links at Joe's Point, which is acknowledge to be the most beautifully situated in America, was laid out. At his own cost, he erected a club-house and presented it to the Golf Club. He also contributed some very costly prizes for golf competitions.
            A year or two ago, Mr. Gardiner with Mr. D. B. Claffin, of Boston, acquired the Sampson property, near the Algonquin hotel. On this land there is a natural spring, the waters of which are said to possess valuable medicinal properties. It was the intention of Mr. Gardiner to make this spring one of the attractions of the place. The first steps toward that end were taken last year, when the wall was stoned up with granite. It was intended that this season further improvements should be made.
            The Argyll hotel property was purchased by Mr. Gardiner several years ago. It was said at the time that he had a mammoth hotel scheme in view, but it never matured, the property still remaining in an undeveloped state. Had he lived, it is not unlikely that he would have carried his project into effect within a year or two.
            Three daughters survive Mr. Gardiner's death,--Mrs. Frederick Todd, of Baltimore; Mrs. Wm. T. :Payne, of Yokohama, Japan, and Miss Dora Gardiner.


From the Boston Transcript, March 8:
Robert S. Gardiner, president of the Rand Avery Supply Company, died of apoplexy early this morning, in his suite at Haddon Hall. The stroke came without warning, as up to the time of his death he had been a man of apparently perfect health. Yesterday evening he was at Winchester where he delivered a lecture on China and Japan, a subject in which he was greatly interested, before the Calumet Club. At the close of the lecture he returned immediately to his suite in Haddon Hall, where he was at present living alone, as the daughter usually with him is just now absent. He death occurred at about one o'clock and was instantaneous.
            Mr. Gardiner was born in Troy, N. Y., in 1842, and was educated in the schools of Hamilton, Ont. In 1857 he went to work as a press feeder on the Daily Traveller, of Troy, where he remained until the breaking out of the civil war, through which he served with distinction, being at the close of the war a member of the staff of General Devebs. After receiving his discharge he went to New York, where he went to work as a salesman with Sanford, Harroum and Co., at one time one of the only two firms in the country printing railroad tickets. He was most successful in his work, and in 1873 he came to Boston as the manager of the railroad department of the old firm of Rand, Avery and Co. In 1883 he formed the present Rand Avery Supply Company, purchasing the plant of the old concern. He acted as the vice-president and general manager of the company up to the time of his death Mr. Avery, a few years ago, when he became its president.
            Mr. Gardiner was a man of the most sunny and genial nature, and was always approachable, in spite of the complicated nature of his business interests and the great demands made on his time by them. He was an extensive traveller; he had made a trip round the world, and he had visited China and Japan a number of time. He wrote a book on the latter country, and was considered an authority of subject relating to both empires. He was an original member of the Master Printer's Club, and a member of the Algonquin Club. [Book called “Japan as We Saw It,” Rand-Avery, 1892]
            Boston Post. The sudden and untimely death of Robert S. Gardiner removes a valued citizen who was not only actively engaged in the interests of he community, but a shining example of what American enterprise and industry can accomplish. by his own effort he brought himself to a competence, and with all his many business cares found time to undertake literary work and enjoy the privileges of travel. No man in Boston was better posted on China and Japan, and his books and lectures on these subjects were standards of authority. The Boston colony with yearly assembles at Sa, NB, where Mr. Gardiner had a cottage, will sadly miss his genial presence.
            Mr. Gardiner’s funeral: Boston Globe. the funeral of Robert S. Gardiner, at the time of his death president of the Rand Avery Supply company, was held at noon today (March 10), in the Arlington street church. the religious exercises, scriptural selections and prayer were of the simplest and most touching nature, and were conducted by Rev. John Cuckson, the pastor. The attendance of personal family and business friends, and representatives of railroad interests was large. The arrangements for the funeral were conducted by Mr. F. E. choate, treasurer of the company, of which Mr. Gardiner was president, and the ushers at the church were foremen in the company’s service.
            . . . Mr. Cuckson, at the close of his prayer, gave a brief eulogy. he said in part: “It was no small thing for our friend, in the common and ordinary ways, as we might express it, to meet every obligation and to resist every inroad on his honor and integrity. His course through life was one of strength, influence and faithfulness., the difficulties of leading a worthy life were not smoothed away for him; he simply overcame them. We know, but may not dwell upon what he was in the home life and the home circle—as father, husband, friend. they will look to and will receive that comfort and consolation which alone the Father of all mercies can bestow.” the pallbearers were Lucius Tuttle, Pres. of the Bangor and Maine Railroad, Edward A Taft, Manager of the Bangor and New York. Despatch company Nelson E. Weeks, vice-president Rand-Avery Supply company and A. D. S. Bell. The interment was in Newton cemetery.


SA feels more than a passing interest in the painfully sudden death of Robert S. Gardiner in Boston. For nearly two decades, Mr. Gardiner has been identified with St. Andrews first as a summer visitor, and second, as one of the chief promoters of abroad scheme to develop the town as a summer resort. Whatever progress St. Andrews has made as a summer retreat is due in large measure to the enterprise and business shrewdness of Mr. Gardiner and those he associated with him. He entered upon the work with a great deal of enthusiasm, and though his expectations had not been realized to the extent he had hoped for at the beginning, yet he never lost faith in the ultimate success of his project. the Algonquin Hotel, so long as it lasts, will stand as a magnificent monument to his energy and appreciation of “SA as one of the choicest location for summer resort on the Atlantic coast. Other monuments there are, but it is not necessary here to name them. what influence his untimely death will have upon the summer interests of the town it is difficult to determine at the present time, but that it will seriously affect them there can be little doubt.


March 23, 1899
Concerning Mr Robert S. Gardiner’s recent death it appears that as early as eleven o’clock on the night of the 7th, Mr. Gardiner was alarmed by a pressure in his head. He called in a physician who endeavoured but in vain to relieve him. Three other physicians were summoned, but they cold not prevent his death, which occurred between 2 and 3 o’clock the following morning. Miss Dora Gardiner aw away from home at the time for her father’s death. Mss. Payne of Yohohama, Japan, his second daughter, wrote to friends that she intended spending the summer with her father. It is though that she was on the Pacific when the death occurred.


The Late Mr Gardiner’s Adventurous Life
A member of the Calumet Club of Winchester before which he gave a smoke-talk Tuesday night, says that to him Mr. Gardiner seemed to be making an unusual effort several times during his address, that only by nerve force did he appear to bring himself to his full power of speech. The address he made was 90 min in length, but was so absorbing that the held all the club members closely to the end.
            Some of the experiences he described, on his “through the gorges and rapids of the Yang-tse,” were thrilling. On one occasion he waited seven days in his junk beneath of the walls of Chinese city in which no white man was supposed to have set foot, to meet a mandarin, who promised from day to day to admit him. Finally he learned it was a hopeless task. The next foreigner who attempted to enter was murdered.
            On one occasion he had to deal with 90 coolies who mutinied on his junk to get at 100,000 “cash”—($60 in silver). He shot the leader and this cooled them off effectively.
            On another occasion a Chinese mob was crowding in on him in a very threatening fashion. His interpreter was thoroughly frightened. But Mr. Gardiner, with presence of mind , pullout his passport. The red seal on it looked so much like the national flag that the natives thought they were dealing with an official, and fell back.
            Mr. Gardiner had an intimate knowledge of Chinese etiquette, as eh showed when one Mandarin invited him into his house by the back door. He promptly stood on ceremony and again when he was invited to sit down without the three preliminary bows.
            Mr. Gardiner though the missionaries were of great value in extending our trade, but though the results in the way of conversion were not satisfactory.—Boston Record.