Chatham's Albert House

If one could go back through time to the turn of the century, a visit to the Albert House would be interesting.

Situated on the southwest corner of Henderson and Duke Streets where the McCarthy Motors property is now, it was a large three-storey hotel with a lookout on top. It was advertised as "the most pleasantly situated hotel in Chatham, directly facing the Theatre and the beautiful Elm Park. Recently re-modelled, refurnished and repainted throughout. In luxury, comfort and views, second to no other house in the town. Hacks to and from all trains and boats. Terms $1.50 and $2.00 per day."

Allan Mann was the proprietor. In the summer of 1905 he made extensive improvements to his hotel. He added a wing to the southerly side and a third storey to the main building. This gave the hotel ten extra bedrooms (making a total of 21), a bathroom and a lavatory on the top floor. The work was done by James Mowatt.

The Albert House had a ball room called "The Palms" and there are people on the Miramichi today who remember dancing there to a beautiful orchestra, with Arthur Goodyear at the piano and Willard MacDonald playing the violin.

Official Re-Opening

The Commercial of October 31, 1905 gives an account of the Thanksgiving Day re-opening following renovations. Upward of 180 guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner--so much so that the menu is worth reprinting. On this occasion the music was by the McEachern-Stapleton orchestra.

The account reads "The walls of the office, halls and dining room are beautifully decorated with scenes from Mr. Mann's brush. A view of the harbour, winter scenes, a view of the north side of the river, flowers, horses, etc. are among the paintings.

"A billiard and pool room is connected with the hotel.

"The lookout on the roof affords a grand view of the town."

- MENU -
(Albert House Official Opening)
Oxtail - Vegetable
Boiled Salmon - Baked Bass
Sugar Cured Ham
Leg of Mutton - Caper Sauce
Turkey - Celery Sauce
Ox Tongue
Beef - Brown Gravy
Turkey - Chestnut Dressing
Cranberry Sauce
Goose, Sage Dressing, Brown Gravy
Mashed Potatoes, Mashed Turnips,
Corn and Peas
Brant, Currant Jelly
Duck, Apple Sauce
Spanish Olives, Tomatoes, Celery,
Chow Chow, Mixed Pickles, Beets
Worcester Sauce, Tomato Catsup
English Plum Pudding, Brandy Sauce
Lemon Pie, Mince Pie, Apple Pie,
Washington Pie and Cream Pie.
Pineapple, Peaches, Pears, Rasp-
berries and Strawberries.
Oranges, Grapes, Bananas, Apples
and Ice Cream
Tea, Coffee and Cocoa

The Park Hotel

On the opposite corner where the Post Office is now stood the Park Hotel, so called because of its location near Elm Park. It was previously called the Minto Hotel and was run by Ambrose Hay. In 1906 he sold it to J. D. Lahay and took over the running of the Depot Hotel near the station.

In the 1930's J. D. Lahay's wife Kit ran the Park Hotel and also operated a candy store.

The last proprietess was Mrs. Peter Lynch who was noted for her generosity to the poor.

The hotel was demolished shortly before the new Post Office was built in 1956.

(Acknowledgements: Charles Whitty and Miss Dora Johnston.)

(Northumberland News, June 3, 1981)

Copyright © Lois F. Martin, 1985. All rights reserved.