Old St. Andrews



Captain William Herbert



William Herbert, Hotelier


St. Croix Courier
Nov 25/1880
Mr. Herbert of the Grand Falls Hotel will open the Argyll next spring.  “With suitable accommodations St. Andrews should attract a large number of visitors from the Dominions and United States during the summer season.”


St. Croix Courier
May 19/1881
The Argyll Hotel
Standing alone on an eminence at the foot of the town, near the railway station and steamboat landing, and commanding a magnificent view of the bay and its islands, of the town with its quaint and picturesque houses, of the inner harbour and navy island, of the St. Croix and the American shore, and of the mountains of Chamcook and Bocabec, this fine structure is one of the first objects on which the eye rests when approaching the town from any direction. Our reporter had the pleasure of being shown through the building one evening last week by the genial and gentlemanly proprietor, Captain Herbert. On entering he found himself in the large and handsome hall, which is finished with hard pine floor, and tinted walls and at night, is illuminated by light from twelve lamps, supported on two elegant chandeliers. Off the hall are the office, gentleman’s sitting room, coat and bath rooms, and two side halls, one leading to the commodious private apartments of Captain Herbert, the other to the kitchen and pantries. The dining room is also connected to the main hall by folding doors. We may safely say that his is one of the finest rooms of its kind in the Province.  It is 54 feet long by 44 feet wide, with a ceiling 24 feet high. It is finished with a floor of southern pine, black ash wainscoting, and tinted walls, which are ornamented with several fine works of art. From the ceiling depends two chandeliers, similar to those in the hall, while to the walls are affixed six brackets, each containing a lamp. In the rear of the dining room is a billiard room, which will be furnished with two tables. The kitchen is large and conveniently arranged. It contains three sinks, a force pump to supply water to the sinks, and to the bath rooms upstairs, and one of Walker, Pratt and Co., wrought iron French cooking ranges, which is heated by two fires and in which are a broiler, two large ovens, and a reservoir capable of holding 100 gallons of water. A door opens from the kitchen into a pantry, 16 by 28 feet, in which are placed a large stove, bins containing flour, sugar, etc., and closets and drawers for the crockery and glassware. Passing again into the main hall, our reporter was ushered up a broad hall of southern pine, with banisters of black walnut and found himself on the second flat. Here are the ladies parlours, luxuriantly furnished, bath rooms and bed chambers. On the third flat are a number of large and neatly furnished rooms. In all there are 62 apartments ready for occupants, 39 of which have already been engaged. Orders for others are continually being received. Indeed, so encouraging has been the patronage accorded to Capt. Herbert that it has been decided to erect a south east wing immediately. three flag staffs have been erected on the roof, from which will float the flags of Great Britain, of Canada, and of the United States.
            In the immediate vicinity stands a large stable which is under the charge of Mr. W. E. Mallory, whose well known ability to supply first-class turnouts to those requiring them need not be enlarged on here.
            The hotel will be formally opened on the 24th of the present month. At 1 o’clock the magnates of the N. B. and C. R. R. will be served with dinner, and in the evening a ball, which promises to be one of the grandest social events ever witnessed in the shire town, will be held. Supper will be served at high twelve. A brass bank will furnish the music. No efforts will be spared to make it a success in every way. Guests coming from a distance and wishing to remain until next day, will find ample accommodation at the hotel.
            In concluding this notice, we would say that we know of no more pleasant place than St. Andrews in which to spend the summer months. What could be more enjoyable than to wander over the gravely beaches and occasionally to plunge into the cool and health-giving waters; to recline on a green knoll, under the shade of one of the neighbouring trees, and read a page of a favorite author, or watch the white-winged boats as they flit to and fro over the blue waters; to embark and drink idly over the waves, or sail with swift keel on voyages of exploration along the coasts of the bay, or to the islands of the river in which dwell historic reminiscences of DeMonts and his crew of hardly Frenchmen; to cast a line into the depths and bring forth its treasures of mackerel and haddock and cod; to shou8lder gun and walk to the Narrows for ducks, or along the beaches for sand pipers and plover; to drive over the broad streets of the town . . . .


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. The Calais band formed on the wharf and marched up town, regaling the ears of the citizens with strains of choicest music.
            At noon a firing party composed of the members of No. 6 Battery of N. B. G. A. under command of Lieut. W.W. Whitlock, fired a royal salute from the guns at Fort Tilley. [where was this?] At the request of the Lieut. The Calais City Band were in attendance who after the salute was fired played the British National Anthem, when three rousing cheers were given for the Queen and for the Calais Band, whom Lieut. Whitlock thanked for so kindly and promptly responding to his request to play for the Battery. The firing party then fell into marching order and headed by the Band marched to their quarters; while coming down Water St. the band rendered in fine style “Marching through Georgia.”
            Meanwhile a second excursion party who came down the river in a schooner towed by the tug William Hinds and accompanied by the International Band of Calais under the leadership of Gordon Barnard, arrived at the wharf. This Band with their bright scarlet nodding plumes, made a fine show as they marched up the street; they halted in front of Kennedy’s where, to the delight of those promenading the streets, they played several airs. Mr. Barnard’s performance on the Cornet was much admired. The old Shiretown was almost taken by storm, and it was a new and pleasant feature to see our American cousins coming to aid in the celebration of our queen’s Birthday. In addition to the large number of arrival by steamer, several parties from up river drove into town by private conveyances.
            The streets of the town during the day presented a very animated appearance, covered as they were with promenaders. The livery stable did a good business, and were taxed to their full capacity to provide turnouts for those wishing to amuse themselves by doing the many beautiful drives in the vicinity of the town.
            The very best order and good feeling prevailed throughout the day, and nothing occurred to mar the general enjoyment. 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 SS, Milltown and Eastport with a large number of the fair daughters of Sa, 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 St. 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.


May 4/1882
Capt. Herbert improving bathrooms at Argyll. “He is fitting up bath rooms on the second and third flats supplied with hot and cold water, the porters room is being converted into a gents lavatory, with basins and faucets of the most approved patterns. . . . Outside, the unsightly W. C.’s are to be removed from their present position and placed at the north-east end of the main wing.” [the W. C.’s—are they water closets, that is, outhouses?] Grand Ball to open Hotel on May 24


St. Croix Courier
May 11/1882
Capt Herbert will open the Argyll May 24 with ball at $2.50 a ticket. A rumour is afloat that the NBR Company is about to purchase the NB and C Railroad and thus have a through line from Quebec to St. Andrews and St. Stephen. We believe there is no truth to this rumour.


Sept 14/1882
Argyll to close end of Sept. Good business has encouraged Capt. Herbert to hope to get a wing built for the next season.


June 7/1882
Argyll Hotel now open and thoroughly renovated. New furniture, carpets. “A very large platform has been erected adjoining the eastern end of the main building, which can be used as a promenade, or for dancing.”
            “Captain Herbert has also introduced, at great expense, a large steam heated carving table. Judging by the large stock of canned goods, the number of barrels of biscuit and other edibles, of which the storeroom is filled, the Captain expects a large number of guests.”


Oct 11/1883
We understand that Captain Herbert is so please with his success this season, that he intends purchasing the building, and grounds from the Railway Company.


July 8/1886
Since B. R. Stevenson returned to St. Andrews this year, buying R. Robinson’s house on Frederick, he must have been renting to boarders before this, as the visitor’s to his house suggests in the visitor’s column.
Capt. Herbert of Argyll has purchased four acres of Commons land for a summer home.


St. Croix Courier
July 15/1886
Captain Herbert of the Argyll Hotel has purchased four acres of land on the Commons at St. Andrews from S. Ray, and a right of way thereto, from Elliott Hume, which opens into the St. john road nearly opposite to Mr. Blakeney’s gate. The situation is one of the most desirable of the many eligible sites in the vicinity of the town of St. Andrews. The captain intends to erect a cottage thereon, work on it to be commenced shortly. The price paid for the land was fifty dollars per acre.


Sept 15/1887
The Argyll Hotel has changed hands, having been purchased from the [Argyll Hotel] Co. by Captain Herbert.


March 15/1888
Capt. Herbert gone to States to start up a joint stock company for purpose of enlarging and improving Argyll.


June 28/1888
Detailed description of Argyll’s interior.
On approaching the ‘Argyll’ the first thing that attracted our attention, was its outside adornment, consisting of anew coat of paint, color: on the main body of the building, a light shade of Greek grey, the mansard, straw-color, and the trimmings a rich gold olive. On entering the main doorway, evidence presented itself on every hand of the very thorough work done in the interior, the floors of the spacious hall, noble dining room and gents parlor, had been carefully scraped and oiled until they shone like glass, the walls and ceilings newly colored, and the woodwork painted. Accompanied by the proprietor, Captain Herbert, we ascended the stairway, which is of such easy grade as to make walking up stairs a pleasure, until we landed on the fourth flat, which, when we last visited it, was an unfinished attic, merely studded off, where now we found 12 spacious bedrooms, with ceilings fourteen feet high. Five of the rooms are connected one with the other by inside doors, so that when required they may be used en-suite to accommodate a family party. A door from each room leads into a roomy hall which is lighted through a large dormer window on the roof. Looking out of the windows of the rooms on the north east side the eye feasts on a birds view of St. Andrews or Passamaquoddy Bay, a second Bay of Naples, taking in Chamcook narrows and harbor, Minister’s Island, big and little Hardwood islands, one of which in days long past, was used as a quarantine station, and beneath whose sod lie the ashes on a large number of the sons and daughters of Ireland, who fled form the Emerald Isle during the famine that scourged the unfortunate bounty during the years of 1847 and 1848. . . . These rooms are furnished alike: the carpets two ply, woollen, ingrain colors, the bedsteads, dressing tables, wash stands, bureaus and clothes presses are of ash with walnut trimming, of neat design and finish, and were furnished by the firm of J and D Howe, furniture manufacturers of St. John. The bedsteads are fitted with the celebrated wire wove mattresses, while the bed linen is of the purest white, and finest texture obtainable. In a work these rooms are, in our opinion, the most desirable in the house, and like all the other, are first class in their appointments. We may here state, that each of the seventy-five odd rooms in the house is fitted with electric bells, and from each hallway and corridor there is telephonic connection with the office. We are pleased to state of the authority of Capt. Herbert, that the application for rooms so far this season, are in advance of previous ones, and anticipating a rush of summer visitors this year, he is prepared to meet such an emergency. . . . The grounds around the house have been very much improved, provision has been made for a lawn tennis court, and base ball players, while the underbrush in the woods lying in front of the hotel, has been cut out and the rods, swamped with the intention ultimately of making a park which will rival in natural and artistic beauty anything of the kind on the continent. In conclusion we have only to add, that Capt. Herbert will during he present as he has done in past season, provide a band of musicians for the entertainment of his guests, and that he will do all that can reasonably be expected of mortal man to do, in an effort to make his guests comfortable and happy.


St. Croix Courier
May 30/1889
Capt. Herbert has been offered a large sum for a strip of land adjoining his hotel, containing about five acres but he intends laying it off in building lots, and selling them separately.


July 11/1889
Captain Herbert, of the Argyll hotel, proposes to divide up some of his surplus territory into building lots. He will have between thirty and forth good building lots.


Oct 10/1889
The handsomest horse in town is being driven by Captain Herbert of the Argyll hotel. It is dark bay Morgan colt, with black points, and can show a fine pair of heels to most of the horses around town.


Oct 24, 1889
Capt. Herbert, of the Argyll hotel, will have quite a respectable park of his own next summer if he is enabled to carry out all the plans that he has in contemplation. For several days past he has had a crew of men, with oxen and horses, cutting down trees, and removing stumps and stones from his property in front of the hotel. He expects to have the whole of his twelve acres clear when next summer arrives, and at the rate he is progressing now there is no reason why he should not have it done. The captain is a hustler, and mo mistake.


Aug. 14/1890
Herbert has erected bath house at Indian Point.


May 21/1891
Death of Captain Herbert
In the death of Capt. W. H. Herbert, proprietor of the Argyll hotel, which occurred on Monday afternoon after an illness extending over a few weeks, St. Andrews has sustained a very heavy loss. Capt Herbert was a native of Wiscasset, Maine, and was 57 years of age. He was thrice married, but leaves no issue, his third wife surviving him. In early life he followed the sea, and for a number of years was a successful shi- captain. After abandoning sailor life, he went into the hotel business. He conducted the Grand Falls hotel for a period, and also the Junction House at McAdam Junction. Two [ten] years ago, when the Argyll was opened, Capt. Herbert became lessee; in that capacity he operated the hotel successfully for a number of years. He subsequently purchased the property, and year by year since then he has been developing and improving it. He was an ardent believer in the future of SA, and his hopefulness, good nature and genial presence made him welcome everywhere. Generous to fault, honest and straightforward in all his dealings, he was esteemed by all who knew him. In his domestic relation she was unusually happy. He was an excellent hose, and as landlord of the Argyll did much towards popularizing St. Andrews as a summer resort. We shall ever miss his kindly smile, his encouraging word and his honest, hearty grasp of the hand. The remains of the deceased were taken by train to “Richmond, Maine, on Tuesday for interment. We understand that arrangements have been made whereby the hotel will be operated this year.


Robert S. Gardiner and wife have come from Boston to visit Mrs. Herbert.