Old St. Andrews



The Algonquin Hotel



It is difficult to underestimate the importance of the Algonquin Hotel in the history of St. Andrews. With the exception of Kennedy's Hotel, it is the longest-running accommodations business in St. Andrews, and an historical business which brings many visitors to Town. Few know that it was built by Americans to take advantage of the booming accommodations business in Bar Harbour and other Maine resorts in the 1870s. The St. Andrews Land Company constructed the hotel in 1888 as part of a general tourist development scheme, which was to include cottages with running water and electricity, a golf course and speedy train service from Boston, New York and Montreal.Tourism had come to Passamaquoddy Bay a decade before but the Land Company hoped to take things to a higher level. Underlying the tourist development scheme was the plan to help the ailing New Brunswick Railway with increased traffic over its lines. However, the Land Company ran into financial difficulties. The CPR agreed to float a loan but in 1902 it defaulted and the assets of both Hotel and Land Company were transferred to the big railway company. This was a good thing in a way, as the CPR had deep pockets. Under Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, then President of the Company, the Hotel, golf course, Katy's Cove and other Land Company properties were greatly improved, and the Town became a fashionable hangout for CPR notables. In 1910 and 1912 two large concrete wings were added. The Hotel burned in 1914 but was rebuilt in its current shape immediately. The Algonquin has been the lynch-pin in the tourist business of St. Andrews. It has been the summer home of many famous and influential visitors as the below links will illustrate. Although the Hotel was purchased by the Province of New Brunswick in 1973, I do not extend my history that far. My book covers that ground. I include here many smaller items that could not be put in the book in such fine detail. They give a sense I think of the daily life of the Hotel, which has been colorful and varied.