Old St. Andrews



Land Company Office, 1888



In 1888 excitement in the Town was raised to a fever pitch when it was revealed that American businessmen, led by Frank Cram, General Manager of the New Brunswick Railway and assisted by Sir Leonard Tilley, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, were negotiating to buy up huge tracts of land in and around the Town for the purposes of creating a land boom based on tourism. The original idea was Cram's. As the railway had been ailing, it was thought that increased traffic over the line would help pay for much needed upgrades. Cram enlisted as his lieutenant summer resident Robert Gardiner of Boston. Mr. Gardiner was connected with the Rand Avery Supply Company, which printed railway tickets and schedules. He brought with him other men also associated with the transporation business in New England, and the whole idea was to entice tourists tired of the crowded resorts in Maine a bit farther north into Canada. Success depended on providing decent no-change train service from Boston, Portland and Montreal (this last over the soon-to-be-completed Short Line from Montreal to McAdam). As a result, the Algonquin Hotel was constructed, a golf course was laid out, and when the Land Company was bought out by the CPR in 1903, town-wide renovations were made to the Land Company Holdings which included running water from Chamcook Lake, electricity and a bathing beach at Katy's Cove. In 1905 the Land Company defaulted on a loan to the CPR and the railway company took over the company and all its assets.

The building at the corner of Water and Princess Royal Streets was the Land Company's Office building, constructed in 1888. Later it became the property of the CPR and in 1904 was the town Post Office. The basement was the office of the Beacon Press between 1888 and 1919. In the older photograph, the Beacon Press sign can be seen on the side of the building, and the Post office sign in the front window.