Old St. Andrews



The Need for a Summer Hotel



The Need for a Summer Hotel


Aug 9/1854
Visitors--Every steamer from Saint John, for the last three weeks, has brought a number of persons to St. Andrews. A more salubrious retreat the Province does not afford, and we are happy to add, that they express themselves delighted with the pure and bracing air, and the beautiful scenery of the place. Many of these ladies and gentlemen, although living within so short a distance (67 miles) had no idea of our healthy and pleasant Town and County, and we understood that notwithstanding their present visit, has in many cases resulted from the fear of the scourge which has visited the commercial emporium of the Province; they will for the future give St. Andrews the preference as a place of resort during the summer months. From the proverbial hospitality of its inhabitants, we feel warranted in saying, that no pains will be spared to make their stay as agreeable as could be desired. We embrace this opportunity of suggesting the propriety of a company being formed at once for the purpose of erecting a large hotel on an economical plan, furnish it in neat, plain manner, consulting comfort rather than style, for those who desire a healthy summer residence. Such an establishment, we believe, would prove a profitable speculation. Our present hotel accommodation is not sufficient for any great influx of visitors. Although it may be argued with much truth, that the hotels for many months of the year are not patronized, yet this is no reason why a spacious establishment should not be erected. When such a House is built our Town will offer attractions to the invalid and pleasure seeker seldom to be met with. The rural aspect given to our streets by the numerous trees in the gardens and sidewalks--the pure sea air and refreshing breezes that purify our atmosphere--the healthy appearance of our inhabitants--the beautiful drives in the neighborhood or splendid bay and river with its islands all contribute to render the place as desirable a summer residence as could be wished.


One of the most pleasant rides we know of in this section--is to take a trip in the cars on our Railroad in the morning. The air is bracing, the scenery romantic, hill and ale, mountain and lake are passed, and one can partake of a healthy breakfast, or if you choose, return in about one o’clock.


Aug 23/1854
Hotel Accommodation--We have heard several complaints "deep and loud," within the past week, of the want of adequate accommodation for strangers. The truth is, our Hotels are full, at present, a circumstance which rarely, if indeed it ever occurred before; and the influx of visitors during the past few weeks has been so great, that many were obliged to proceed further up the river and stop at Calais; St. Stephen and Milltown, owing to the want of houses where they could procure lodgings. This is conclusive evidence if proof were required of the necessity of erecting a spacious House of Entertainment, such as we advocated in a previous issue of the Standard--viz. a large hotel, on an economical plan, furnished in a neat and plain manner, adapted more for comfort and convenience than show or style. We in common with many believe that such an establishment would pay well, even if kept open but four months of the year, in the same manner as those at Niagara Falls, and other places of resort during the summer months of the year. There is capital enough in the Town to erect such a House, but the fact is the energy is lacking. Why not form a private Company at once, purchase a vacant lot or lots, and erect such a building as we have suggested with out officers, etc., to plant trees around . . . in front. The furniture for such a house need not be expensive;--then either rent it to, or engage a competent person to conduct the establishment who would spare neither pains nor expense to render the visit of his patrons agreeable. We are credibly informed that if such a House is opened here next season, it will be thronged with visitors. The plan is feasible--the money, land and other requirements can be obtained; and now comes the question: Who has the necessary energy and public spirit to commence the work?


June 9/1858
Hotels--We are informed that a large number of persons will visit St. Andrews about the latter part of July, provided they can be accommodated with suitable apartments. Coming from large cities they cannot expect a St. Nicholas, Rever, or a Donnegani--but they can be comfortably located. Persons having accommodations for private families will please inform us at an early date in order that we can furnish the information required.


Aug 22/1866
Ratepayers have agreed to be taxed for a deep water wharf. Praise for initiative of St. Stephen Branch railway. “Not only are we compelled to confess ourselves behind our neighbours for facilities for the arrival and departure of passengers from this place, but also the want of suitable hotel accommodations for travellers who may chose to tarry with us. Nature has favoured us with one of the most beautiful localities in the world: and could some modern “Ezekiel” call upon the four winds (we must first “raise the wind” among ourselves) and galvanize vitality into our people, there is reason yet to hope that for thrift and prosperity we would suffer no mean comparison with our republican neighbors.”


Aug 22/1866
LARGE HOTEL.--We are informed that the American Company which has purchased the Island of Campobello, purpose erecting a spacious hotel on the Island, to contain one hundred rooms, for the purpose of furnishing summer resort and bathing place for travellers. We do not know of any locality so favorably situated for such an enterprise, as SA--except [sic] from fog and with a most salubrious climate, good fishing and shooting and delightful drives. Why not erect such a building here. (Ed. A. W. Smith)


July 15/1868
Visitor states need for summer hotel.  Editor agrees. See photocopy.
A correspondent in another column, alludes to the advantage of erecting what he terms a large “summer hotel” in this town, for the accommodation of visitors desirous of enjoying sea bathing, and breathing the pure air of our salubrious climate, away from the din and dust of the busy marts of trade. It has often been remarked by pleasure seekers, and even our townsmen, that were a commodious hotel erected, and other conveniences provided, there would be a large influx of visitors here every year, which would afford sufficient patronage to the present hotels as well as one on a larger scale. We are informed that there are quite a number of strangers in town at present, and that others are expected.


COMMUNICATION. To the Editor of the Standard. Sir.--I was much pleased with my visit to your pretty, healthy, and quiet Town, and with the attention at my Hotel. The sea bathing is most invigorating. I have returned to the dust and heat of the City, renewed in health, and can apply myself to business with a vigor which I did not expect after so short an absence. Thus far so good, but with your permission I respectfully throw out a few suggestions from an American stand point, and with a view to benefit your town or city. I do not know which appellation to give it, as I am not aware whether it is incorporated or not.
            I believe, Sir, that if some of my enterprising and energetic countrymen, would visit your place, and expend some of their spare capital in the erection of a Summer Hotel of sufficient proportions to contain three or four hundred visitors, and obtain a thorough American host to run it, I feel quite sure, that it would be well patronized, as several of our people from this and other cities of the Union, would prefer a healthy little town like St. Andrews to the din and bustle of a City of which they have abundance at home. You cannot conceive how delightful and agreeable it is for one shut up in a crowded city, to breathe the pure fresh air, enjoy a few days fishing on the salt water, drink delicious cream, and have abundance of native strawberries, all for a mere trifle. I am so pleased with my sojourn in your locality, that my humble efforts will be used to induce my friends to take a trip there, and (pardon me) rusticate for a few weeks. Perhaps I may succeed in inducing a speculative friend to erect a Hotel. There is spare ground enough, and I suppose it can be purchased at a reasonable rate. Excuse the liberty a stranger has taken, and one who intends again to be
            A visitor
            July 10, 1868


Aug 12/1868
“If some enterprising men of capital would come here, they would find land sufficient at
a low rate, to erect a large hotel and bathing establishments which would be as remunerative as could be desired; of if they desired sites for shipyards . . .”


Aug 26/1868
600 excursionists from Woodstock by train; Belle Brown with more, to see Bazaar and Regatta.


Sept 2/1868
A large hotel wanted. See photocopy.
From St. John Globe:
SA was not always quiet, and many of its present inhabitants still remember its ancient commercial glory, and relate with pride their recollections of the enterprise of its merchants, of its beautiful and capacious by and harbour crowded with shipping from all parts of the world, receiving and discharging freights,--all pouring a stream of wealth into the lap of a happy and prosperous people. But those days have departed, perhaps not forever--we would fain hope not--though it seems almost a pity to destroy by any noisy bustle of trade so much natural beauty, stillness and repose. Although there are no wealthy people in SA, neither are there any poor inhabitants, and an alms seeker is a thing unknown in the place. In proportion to the means of the people, they are more enterprising and liberal than those of larger and mere pretending places, while their hospitality is proverbial; and it is a noteworthy fact that the town is entirely free from debt. Perhaps some will say that this is an evidence of want of enterprise. It may be so; but how many communities and individuals long to be in the same condition.
            The place is now and has been deficient in hotel accommodation. There are several houses of entertainment, but they are all behind the age, although their proprietors do the best they can with the means at their disposal to make their patrons comfortable. With a large and well managed hotel, and combined and well-directed efforts on the part of the people, St. Andrews might be made as popular as Newport, Saratoga, or any of the famous watering places in the United States. No place on the continent of American possesses as many attractions to those desiring a cool retreat as St. Andrews. Its beautiful situation, facilities for sea bathing, boating, fishing, and driving, its easy access to Saint John, the cities of the United States, and by railway to the interior of the country; the fine lake, river and mountain scenery, with the healthfulness of the climate, all combine to make it one of the most desirable summer retreats that the heart of the worn out man of business of the weary invalid could wish for.
            Speaking of mountain scenery, we believe that the view to be had from the summit of Chamcook Mountain, about three miles from SA, and of easy access, cannot be exceeded anywhere. The White Mountains may be higher, the Alps may possess more historical interest, and from their dangerousness be more attractive to the intrepid and foolhardy adventurer, but none of theses can give the visitor a more varied and more beautiful prospect than that to be had from Chamcook Mountain. Far down below in a Southerly direction lies Passamaquoddy Bay, with its hundred islands; still farther out as far as the eye can ready is the Bay of Fundy, with the larger islands of Grand Manan and Campobello, and the dangerous “Wolves:” to the eastward the entrance of the Magaguadavic appears quite close, and afar beyond Point Lepreau can be seen jutting boldly out into the Bay of Fundy. To the Westward are the forests of Maine, with the towns of Eastport and Pembroke, and the little villages of Robbinston and Perry. Looking north, the three Chamcook Lakes first catch the eye, stretching up a distance of five or six miles, surrounded by an apparently dense forest. The lower of these is quite large, and the Southerly shore is for some distance skirted by the St. Andrews and Woodstock Railway. Beyond this the woods of New Brunswick, covering undulating round, are visible until the vision is obstructed by the horizon. This mountain must have been visited by many people at one time and another. Although its sides are clothed with a growth of fine spreading elms, maples and evergreens, the summit bears but little vegetation, and the naked rock is carved and cut with the initials or names in full of thousands of visitors. Some attached their places of residence. Some are cut in bold and deep characters, and some so slightly as to be almost effaced by the slow changes that time has worked upon the surface of the rock. A few freshly cut names mark some recent visit. Others almost completely hidden in grey moss, show the work of some hand now in all likelihood still in death, but then guided by a mind filled with emotions, and feeling of admiration like our own. Man may come and go, and pass into eternity, but still nature is here young, fresh and beautiful, and as it invited the admiration of past and present races of men, so will it excite similar emotions in men to come in future ages, and those mountains, lakes and rivers, bays, islands and inlets will exist when the multitudes that lived and moved upon them and were made glad by their appearance, have passed away to give an account of the uses made out of the means provided for their comfort and enjoyment on earth.


Sept 9/1868
“We are obliged to hold over a second article on the building of a large hotel in this place. We noticed on Monday last, that considerable progress is being made with what is termed over the line as “a big Hotel” at Eastport. The people there are wide awake to the interests of their town, and have formed a company to supply a want in that community, which is worthy of being copied here. A gentleman of wealth who is sojourning here with his family, to avoid the heat and bustle of a Western City, informed us, that of the advantages of our pure air, salubrious climate, sea bathing and cheap living, were only made known at the Westward, with of course accommodation for tourists, hundred of families would visit St. Andrews during summer. We will endeavour to set forth these advantages, and at the same time urge our townsmen to unite in erecting a commodious summer residence for visitors. Land, lumber and workmen can be had.”


Aug 11/1869
There are a number of strangers in town from the United States, Canada, and various parts of this province, some of them on business and others seeking recreation and pleasure, and to recruit their health. They express themselves delighted with the scenery, climate and country drives. They say that a large Hotel, and good private Boarding House would be well patronized during the summer months, and that the want of them prevents visitors coming here. The houses we have are well kept, but for tourist who wish to visit the place they are not sufficiently commodious. We know of some families who would come here, if they could obtain private lodgings for a short time.


March 2/1870
Call for summer hotel by “Observer,” and ref to state of affairs in Mount Desert. See photocopy. Also ref. to new hotels in Fred and Saint John.


Mr. Editor: I saw a notice some time since, that the large Hotel in Eastport has been leased, is being fitted up and will be opened about the first of April. What is to prevent St. Andrews from having a Hotel of sufficient attraction and accommodation for summer visitors? Nature has done everything for this place; it has delightful walks and drives, the scenery is beautiful, with bays and lakes teeming with fish. What more is required to attract visitors here--nothing, except some house of sufficient capacity to accommodate them; and it lies with the people of St. Andrews to say whether they will have four or five hundred visitors to spend the summer and their money here, as it is well known that pleasure seekers spend money freely; or will they go on in the same old way and let one after another of their advantages slip by, and then grumble at hard times and the cars on the Railway not running? If not, then let them see to their interests, and not let other towns go ahead of them. Let the world see that St. Andrews is not dead--let it see that we have live men in it yet.
            Look at Mount Desert Isle, in Maine; it has twelve hotels with a prospect of more. Eight or ten have been built within five years, while we with so many attractions have not built one. There are enough small hotels for the travelling public, but we want a good, large nice one, of modern style--one to be proud of, and in a few years, more would be built by private parties. Let us wake up to our true interests.


Jan 18/1871
(first notice of future Argyll hotel)
New Hotel--A meeting of the inhabitants was held in Russell’s Hall, on Saturday evening, for the purpose of taking into the consideration the building of a large summer hotel in this place. . . . Several persons addressed the Chair, giving their views as to the propriety of erecting a large hotel for summer visitors and others who may enjoy sea bathing and recruiting their health. . . .”


For the Standard—
Mr. Editor:--It pleases me very much to see the improvements made and in prospect for St. Andrews. There are not many prettier localities to reside in or healthier places in the Province. The facilities for trade with the upper country, the Islands and the United States are not surpassed by any place in the Province; an open harbor at all seasons, a railway running into the country nearly one hundred miles, with branches connecting us with SS, Woodstock, Richmond, and Houlton, Maine; also connecting us by “Western Extension” with Fredericton and St. John. There is a train running on Western Extension between this province and the State of Maine which in a year or more ill connect us with Bangor, Maine. Then we have steamboat connection with Calais, St. Stephen and Eastport. At the last named place we can take the International Lien of Steamers for Portland and Boston, as soon as the season opens, and also steamboat communication with Saint John byway of St. George and other ports.
            The scenery of our harbor, the surrounding country and Island, is delightful. For boating, fishing or driving this place is not surpassed by any in the country; the lakes and bays are teeming with fish of very species.
            There are many persons who wish to take advantage of our pleasant and healthy climate, but are deprived of the privilege by lack of sufficient hotel accommodation; but I hope that the movement to erect a Summer Hotel may not be defeated by dissensions as to where it may be located. It will not make much difference at which end of the town we build, or if in the middle, as long as we get it built. There will be plenty of visitors if we only have the accommodation for them.