Old St. Andrews



The Algonquin - Closes for Season, 1889




St. Andrews Beacon, Sept 19, 1889
Summer Season Summarily Suspended
The Algonquin Hotel doors locked for Nine Long Months

On Tuesday last, Mr. Jones swung to the great front doors of the big summer caravansary, turned the key in the lock and departed for St. John, leaving the house to the mice and the rats, and the autumn breezes, which whistle mournfully around its broad piazza and deserted lawn, as if sighing for those merry spirits which have departed it.

We shall miss Mr. Jones's bright and cheery presence: we shall miss the tuneful strains of the orchestra; we shall miss the jolly maidens who made the house ring with their merry laughter, and the parlor floor tremble with their nimble feet, as they tripped through quadrille, and germain, and waltz; we shall miss the youth with flannel suit and silken sash, who played tennis, and flirted with the girls the whole livelong day and half way through the night; we shall miss the little children and their innocent prattle; we shall miss the dudish waiter, with his three-storey-and-a-mansard-roof collar, gold eye-glasses, immaculate shirt front, claw hammer coat, and patrician airs. Yes and Tipperary shall miss him, too. All these things we shall miss, and many more, but we shall not be like those who sorrow without hope, for we have abundant faith they at they will return another year to gladden our hearts, enliven our streets, and fill our pockets.

Closing a summer hotel means something more than simply discharging the help, and locking up the doors. There is a vast deal to be done before the key can be turned. Carpets have to be lifted and rolled up carefully; rugs taken from the rooms and stowed away; blankets folded and stored where mice or moths cannot reach them; mattresses and bolsters and pillows carefully arranged; window-blinds taken down so that they may not become faded; chamber ware neatly packed; furniture covered up; glassware and silver ware and dishes put into close cupboards; table linen and napkins and towels folded and put away; machinery oiled, and a vast amount of other work to be done, which nobody but a hotel-keeper would ever think of.

For over a fortnight this work had been going quietly on at the Algonquin. As fast as a room became vacant, everything was carefully packed away, and sprinkled with motheline, to protect it from the moths. A week before the hotel doors were closed, the parlor carpet was lifted, and the room filled with the piazza and hall chairs. The lawn tennis court was stripped and the nettings housed on Thursday last. The dining room and kitchen were not touched until the last guest had gone. Everything has been done most systematically, so that when another season comes around, very little time or trouble will be necessary to place the house in habitable shape again. The season has been a most successful one for the hotel and the indications are that next season it will be even more successful, provided additional accommodation is furnished for guests.