Archive for the ‘King’s Hotel’ Tag

Klondike Hotel – Carrall Street

Here’s the Blarney Stone (today’s name) as it was 99 years ago, by then called the Klondike Hotel and run by John Corrella (who seemed to be called Carralli in 1905, and while still in the building, was a tailor). In 1912 when the picture was taken it was already nearly 25 years old, having been built in 1889 as the Town and Robinson Block. We have featured a number of buildings designed by C O Wickenden – almost all of them now gone. This is one of the rare survivors, built by McGhie and McLuckie at two storeys, matching the other three buildings on the block (The AbramsGlory Hotel and Ferguson Blocks). (For some strange reason there’s a suggestion it was originally four storeys – there’s no evidence that it was ever bigger or any different from the building we see today).

Town and Robinson were almost certainly Henry Town and Isaac Robinson; both from England, and in Isaac’s case, as far as we can tell, never a Canadian resident. They developed several other properties including hotels on both Abbott and Water Street. The Daily World tells us Isaac Robinson was also a director of the Vancouver City Land Company, while Henry Town was of Arkley House, High Barnet. Both men were involved in a syndicate called the Vancouver Land Securities Corporation. Henry, who made his money in South Africa from diamonds, was married to the sister of prominent Vancouver realtors and developers the Rand Brothers, (from Nova Scotia) and towards the end of the 19th Century moved to the city.

In 1889 the insurance map identifies it as having a vacant unit in the north half, and a crockery store to the south. Later it clearly incorporated the Klondike Hotel (visible in the 1913 picture) although in 1901 the Klondike is shown (both on maps and in the directory) as being in the Abrams Block to the south. In 1901 the Town and Robinson building was called the King’s Hotel – by 1978 that name had moved back to the Abrams Block to the south. So basically the Klondike and Kings Hotel names appear to switch between the two adjacent buildings over the years. We don’t know if that actually happened, or the directory staff used the hotel bars to refresh themselves at the expense of accuracy.

Over the years the tenants changed many times. In 1895 Mrs Sarah Gorman, a nurse, lived in the building and Creamer and Langley operated a plumbing supply business. Once it became the Klondike (almost always listed in the directory as the Klondyke), it stayed under that name for many years. By 1925 Angelo Pallazzo had a tobacco store in the ground floor, and by 1930 it was the New Cafe. By 1935 it had become the Government Liquor Store – said to be the first in the city. More recently it has been an Irish pub, and has been established a lot longer than many of the other bars and restaurants that have joined it in more recent years.

Image source City of Vancouver Archives CVA 359-36

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Abrams Block/Tremont Hotel – Carrall Street

Here’s another Carrall Street building, to the immediate south of the Glory Hotel. These days it’s called the Abrams Block, but for a short period of its life it was known as the Tremont Hotel. We’re not sure who built it or designed it, but almost certainly it wasn’t John Abrams who now has his name on the building. There were two Abrams brothers with an interest in Vancouver when the city was created in 1886, James and John. Both were both born in Ontario to a Scottish mother and New Yorker father. James was initially a tanner who ended up running a general store in Nanaimo, although he owned property in Vancouver and had partnered with ‘Mr McLean’ in a business which saw $18,000 of losses when it was burned down in the 1886 fire, a few months after it was established. John, the older brother, was also in Nanaimo where he worked as a labourer in 1881. In the 1887 street directory he’s in Vancouver running Abrams and Co on Carrall Street, a furniture dealer, and a year later he’s running the Tremont Hotel.

Tremont 1887The Hotel, was also on Carrall (although the directory calls it Carroll) and in 1887 was being run by C R Cartier. Actually it was C L Cartier – the L stood for Louis and he ran the Tremont House Hotel with his brother, Homisdas, while Homisdas also working as a watchmaker and jeweler. In 1888 John Abrams appears to be running the Tremont Hotel, and then in 1889 in a confusing move Mrs SE Manual has the Tremont Hotel at 14 Carrall (although W J Manual is listed as proprietor) and Scott and Clancey are also listed as the proprietors of the Tremont Hotel at 16 Carrall Street. John Abrams once again has a furniture and crockery store this time on Cordova Street but he also has a clothing house as Abrams & McLean at 14 Carrall Street, and a year later he’s running the Alhambra Hotel.

The Tremont Hotel had actually existed before the fire. Like every other building, it burned to the ground, and four days later a rough lumber substitute had been erected to allow the shocked citizens to legally get a drink. Not long after a more permanent brick structure was built – although generally thought to date to 1887 at least one of Major Matthew’s interviewees thought it was the first brick building up after the fire (as did John Abrams Daily World obituary in 1893).  George Gordon recalled the owner of the original Tremont Hotel to be an old sea captain, Captain Clements, who married a Mrs Farron. Captain Clements ran the Tremont bar (easily confused with the hotel) on Alexander Street in the late 1880s.

By 1893 the Tremont appears to have morphed into the Freemont, and then later the Kings Hotel and finally the Spinning Wheel Cabaret. When our image was taken in 1978 it had seen better days. The single room occupancy rooms were closed in 2002 – there were 27 rooms sharing one bathroom. After nearly ten years a Merrick Architecture designed restoration saw a significant seismic upgrade and the rebirth of the building as rental live/work units and office space over the relocated Irish Heather pub.

Image source (1886) City of Vancouver Archives SGN 123

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Posted August 18, 2012 by ChangingCity in East End, Still Standing

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