Old St. Andrews



Opening of the Argyll Hotel 1881



St. Andrews Bay Pilot, May 26, 1881
How the Queen's Birthday was Celebrated in Saint Andrews

On Tuesday last, the 24th inst., the sixty second anniversary of the birth of Her most gracious Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India, was right loyally observed by the residents of the Shiretown of Charlotte county. The weather was as fine as could be desired, "traditional Queen's weather," the sun shone with his most brilliant rays, all nature seemed to rejoice; from the effects of last weeks' rain the earth was decked with brightest green, the foliage of the trees was bursting into life and beauty. The water of Passamaquoddy Bay was as smooth as a mirror reflecting from its molten surface the resplendent blue of the heavens. The Dominion flag and the Union Jack floated proudly from a number of flag staffs in town, both alike loved and admired the former as the emblem of our Dominion, the latter as the representative of the glorious traditions of the mother land which are the common heritage of all loyal British subjects. Mr. Kennedy for the first time flew the Union Jack from the flagstaff on his new hotel.

The Argyll looked gay with its handsome new house flag of white bunting, on which in large red letters was the words "Argyll Hotel" flying from the staff on the tower, and from the roof the Dominion and the United States stars and stripes kissed the breeze, on terms of equality. At ten o'clock the steamer Chas. Houghton arrived at her wharf with a large party of excursionists from Calais and St. Stephen, accompanied by the Calais City Band under the leadership of Mr. Silverstone, the absence of bunting from the flag staffs on the steamer was generally commented on, the excursionists speedily disembarked, a number of them proceeded to the "Argyll," some to Kennedy's and the American House, a hotel recently opened under the management of Mrs. Murchie and Co., and others to the residences of their friends and acquaintances, while a large number promenaded the streets seeking the points of interest in the town, admiring its pleasant location, and surroundings. . . .

About 3 o'clock pm the U.S. Revenue Cutter "Woodbury" steamed up to the anchorage off the western bar where she came to. She made a fine display of bunting, and in honor of the day had the Union Jack at the fore; the compliment was noticed and appreciated by the residents of St. Andrews.

The great event of the day was the grand ball, in honor of the formal opening of the Argyll Hotel. It was held in the large and handsome dining room of the establishment, which was tastefully decorated. At the head of the room was the royal flag of England, on either side of which were draped the meteor flag of England and the star spangled banner, and suspended below were portraits of the Queen and of Albert the good; over the windows were small bannerettes, the music was furnished by Silverstone's Quadrille band. Dancing commenced about 9:30 o'clock, P. M., the guests entering the room forming a grand march. Seventy-five couples were present, amongst whom were fair representatives from St. Stephen, Milltown and Eastport with a large number of the fair daughters of St. Andrews, the toilets of the ladies were elegant and conceived in good taste, the dining room presented a beautiful scene, seldom is there assembled in one room a company of ladies so exceedingly beautiful as were those on the floors of the Argyll ball room, dancing was kept up with unflagging spirit until about 3 o'clock, a. m.

The supper table was in the billiard room, the appointments of the ladies were first-class and arranged very artistically, the viands embraced the usual delicacies furnished on such occasions. . . . [list of guests here] A large party of up river people held a social dance in Stevenson 's Hall, where dancing was kept up with much spirit until an earl hour, the music was furnished by the International band. The excursionists left for their homes at half past four o'clock Wednesday morning, no doubt delighted with the day's outing at Saint Andrews. The opening of the Argyll was under most favorable auspices, the sun shone upon it the first day, in the form of John Livingston, Editor in Chief of the Saint John Sun, who was the first guest to register his name in the Argyll book, we hope that during the summer the house will be taxed to its utmost capacity to provide accommodation for its patrons.

Mr. Herbert has made so far a very favorable impression as a host, and brings with him a fine reputation from Grand Falls where he was so popular a host of the hotel at that place, long may his flag wave over the Argyll.