PR- Hotel History

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

Hotel History in Prince Rupert

Alaska Hotel
Comox Ave.
In business 1910-11

Allied Hotel Co. Ltd.
701 W 3rd

Anchor Inn
Newer Hotel in Rupert

Austrian Hotel
alt- Austrian Boarding House and Pool Room
915 1st Ave.
1st ave between 8th and 9th st.
In business 1910-11
1913- owner Isador Siezkouski

Avenue Hotel
Fulton and 8th st
In business 1910-1911

Bay-View Hotel
aka Bayview Hotel
311 1st Ave W
1913- Mrs. George Emmons, Owner
1920- U. Suga, Owner, He was also a boat builder on Cow Bay
Ushiyo? Suga
b- Jan 1871 in Japan
immigrated in 1907
wife- Sio Suga
b- June 1877 in Japan
immigrated in 1907
2 sons in 1911
both born in BC

Belmont Hotel
725 W 3rd, ca 1955

Central Hotel (sign on side)
aka: Hotel Central (sign on front)
1st Ave. corner 7th st.
burnt to the ground in 1947

1913- Comfortable Hotel, First Class Dining Room
1913- Owner Peter Black
Peter Black also owned Prince Rupert Coal Co.
1922- Peter Black, Prop, 130 rooms at that time
b- ca 1867
d- Dec 23, 1926 in Prince Rupert, age 59

1927- Capt. J. Alfred Swanson, Prop.
John Alfred Swanson
b- ca 1884
d- June 5, 1938 in Prince Rupert, age 54

1928- Swanson and Besner owners.,
L. Martin was the Manager
Mar 1930- Fry interests in the Central Hotel, were bought out
by C. R. Biggart, the first baker in New Hazelton,
and Andrew McDonald

Charles Robert Biggart
b- Apr 17, 1878 Bayfield ON
d- May 22, 1951 in St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver BC. age 73
buried in Shelton WA
son of John Biggart and Agnes Falconer
married Myrtle Ruby Wilson

Calumet Hotel
In business in 1908

Central Hotel
sign said Hotel Central
815 1st ave
1st ave corner 7th Ave

Mrs C. E. Black, ca 1940

1930- Swanson & Besner, owners
L. Martin, Manager

Burnt down in 1947

Cetinje Hotel
1st ave, between 8th and 9th st
1910-11- N. Martinovitch, Prop.

Commercial Hotel
901 W 1
W 1 corner 8th st
1928- J. C. McLennan, Owner

James C. McLennan
b- Nov 1876, in England
1911 shown as a Retail Grocery Merchant in Prince Rupert
Immigrated in 1908

Crest Hotel
Newer hotel in the city

Dominion Hotel
855 1st ave, W.
8th st near 2nd ave

712 w 3rd, ca 1955

In business 1910-11
1913- Mrs Mamie McKay, Prop.

Empress Hotel
724-728 Third Ave
Empress Hotel Company
1913- Vernon D. Casley and John Y. Rochester, Owners
1913- European Plan- 50 cents to $1
Private Telephones in each room
Hot and Cold running Water
Pool Room, Bar, and Barber Shop
John Y. Rochester lived in Vancouver
1927- Mrs Anna M. Ross, Prop.

Fulton Hotel
6th and Fulton
In business 1910-11

Grand Hotel
815 1st ave W
1st Ave and 7th st
In business 1910-11
1913- George Broderius, Owner
b- ca-1870
d- Nov 24, 1936 in Prince Rupert, age 66

Grand View Hotel
alt- Grandview Hotel
1st Ave between 8th and 9th st
In business 1910-11

Highliner Plaza Hotel
Newer hotel in Rupert, tallest?

Hotel Calumet
ca 1910

Hotel Cariboo
In business in 1908

Hotel Fraser House
714 Fraser, ca 1955

Hotel Premier
alt- Premier Hotel

2nd Ave. corner 6th St.
Premier Hotel Company Ltd.- Proprietors.
June 1909 a 50 room wing was added to the hotel
plus smoking rooms, billiard rooms, and offices on the ground floor.

1910-11- J. E. Gilmore- Manager

James Eugene Gilmore
b- June 28, 1866, Searsport, (Boston) MA, age 41 in 1907
d- Apr 26, 1952 in Victoria BC, age 85
Immigrated in 1883
Retired General Manager of a Whaling Station when he died.
married Emily Florence West, Nov 27, 1907, in Vancouver BC
b- Nov 1882, Australia, age 26 in 1907
Immigrated in 1903
daughter of James & Elizabeth West
both living in Port Essington in 1907
His Occupation was a Navigator

1913- F. W. Henning- Manager
Frederick William Henning
b- Jan 1887, Chicago, IL, USA, age 37 in 1925
shown as Hotel Office Clerk in 1911 in Rupert
Immigrated in 1908
shown as a Merchant in Prince Rupert in 1925
son of Frederick Jacob Henning and Catherine (Kathryn) nee Menderfeld, (Wenderfeld?)
married Mary Agnes Birkett, Dec 1, 1910 in Prince Rupert BC
b- in England, age 21 in 1910
d- bef 1925
daughter of Thomas Birkett and ? Wilson?
widower, married Alice Jane Riley, Jan 5, 1925, in Vancouver BC
b- Vancouver BC, age 27 in 1925
daughter of Robert Riley and Alice Bonar

Hotel Prince Rupert
now Prince Rupert Hotel
located corner of 2nd ave and 6th st.
opened mid June 1914

Prince Rupert Hotel the GTP Hotel site, 2nd ave
F. Button photo #464
That hole is now the Rupert Mall!
on right side of the RP hotel, is the St James Hotel, 3 story with an attic
postcard courtesy Grant Walker, CA

Hotel Prince Rupert, McRae Bros Photo
Left side- down 2nd ave,
Stork Block,
Pool Room,
“The Branch” or “Knott's Bakery”
Budweiser sign? missing an r?
Talbot House, furnished rooms, see below

5 stories high, built of solid brick
cost $185,000.00 to build.

J. C. K. Sealy was part owner of the hotel
Sealy also owned almost 1/2 of Hazelton at this time.
John Arthur Clark King Sealy was his full name
Known as one of the best hotel men in the Interior.

Hotel Officers
President- George W. Morrow
Vice-President- Harry B. N. Rochester
Secretary-Treasurer- Kenneth Munro
Managers- Mr. Moore and Mr. Harry B. N. Rochester
Mrs. Perkins- Housekeeper

Architect - H. J. Randall, Hutchinson Building, in 1913
He was formerly from Vancouver.

Original Architect was F. M. Rattenbury, in Victoria,
Original plans called for a 10 story Central Block hotel,
with plans for 2 annexes of 6 Stories each to be added later.
It was to have over 600 rooms.
It was to have a lounging room 58 x 62ft.
A Palm Room, 104 x 42 ft, a Dining Room 104 x 52 ft.
and a lobby 52 x 62 ft.
plus numerous drawing rooms and parlors.
it was to be built fireproof.
estimated cost was 1 million dollars.

1918- the newspapers shows Kenneth Munro as the Proprietor.

The Hotel Prince Rupert burnt to the ground in a 1977 fire.
1978 it was replaced by the Prince Rupert Hotel on the same site.

George Washington Morrow
b- July 24, 1867 in Souris, PEI
d- June 16, 1949, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver, age 81.
son of Frederick Morrow and Isabella Campbell
both born in PEI, Father a Merchant, Lot 45, Kings, PEI.
married Laura Jean Stewart
b- ca 1869 in PEI
son- Arthur Stewart Morrow
b- Jan 21, 1899 in Vancouver, BC
d- Feb 22, 1976, Vancouver, age 77
daughter- Frederica Isabell Morrow
b- ca 1901 in Port Essington, BC
daughter- Zelda Grace Morrow
b- ca 1903 in Port Essington, BC
son- John Moore Morrow
b- ca 1905 in Prince Rupert, BC
son- Robert Morrow
b- ca 1907 in BC
daughter- Mary Morrow
b- ca 1911 in BC
1917- G. W. Morrow, visited Hazelton with his 2 sons.
ca 1922- President of the National Biscuit Company in Vancouver in 1923
National Biscuit Co became Nabisco.
In 1923 travelled to the Interior
with his wife and youngest daughter Mary Morrow,
Had business interests in Hazelton and Telkwa

Harry Brock Napier Rochester
b- Jan 1970 in ON or ?
b- Oct 13, 1868 in ON, which I think is correct
shown age 3 in 1871 census which adds up as well.
b- 1865 on his headstone, (don't think this is correct?)
his hometown is shown as the Dominion Capital, so b- in Ottawa?.
d- Aug 2, 1937, on his headstone (also think this is wrong?)
I think he died July 29, 1937 in Victoria, age 60, b- ca 1868
buried in Fairview Cemetery, in Prince Rupert
shown as an Operator in Ottawa in 1901
1911 living in Rupert
shown as Manager of this hotel in 1931
Came to Rupert 20 years before he was married, ca 1907.
He spent the winter of 1911 in the east.
He was Manager of the Steamer Inlander“ May 1912,
owned by R. Cunningham in Port Essington.
In charge of Dominion Telegraph and Dominion Express Offices
for many years, until he became General Manager of the Hotel.
In 1927 he was one of the largest shareholders in the hotel.
1927- Chairman of the School Board,
1927- Director of the Prince Rupert General Hospital.
S. D. Johnstone was his best man.
son of the late John Rochester, b- Ottawa ON
and Elizabeth Ann Bevitt, b- St. Catherines ON
His father was a MP for Carleton Co, ON at one time. 1881 for sure
shown as a Lumberman in 1871
married Agnes Ann Donaldson, Feb 1, 1927 in United Church Manse, Pr. Rupert
She taught school in the Booth Memorial School when she married.
daughter of the late Robert Donaldson and Mrs. Jennett A. Brown of Port Essington

He had a daughter Janet Bevitt Rochester, married a John Richards
(see below)
son- Harry James Rochester
both children are deceased.

sister- Suse Rochester, b- in ON age 20 in 1871
brother- John E. Rochester- b- ca 1847, in ON, age 14 in 1871
sister- Elizabeth Ann “Lizzie” Rochester, b- in ON age 20 in 1881
brother Charles D. E. Rochester, b- in ON age 18 in 1881

We have a mystery in Terrace, with a bottle found, with the Rochester name on it.
I know this Harry Rochester above, had a ranch, in the Lakelse Valley area, in Aug. 1931.
Mr. E. Hoffman was in charge of the ranch for him.
It was sold to a Mr. Fisher in June 1935
His daughter Janet owned a quarter section out where the railroad bridge goes to Kitimat (out Queensway road to Remo)
She probably inherited the ranch
I have one source that remembers J. C. K. Sealey and Rochester had a bottling works somewhere, but it didn't work out, or last.

John Arthur Clark King Sealy Bio

Hotel Stockholm
1910, 2nd ave, near 6th st.
Stockholm Cafe in there, see Archives Page 4 for a distant picture

Houston Hotel and Cafe
835 2nd Ave.
1913- William Talbot, Alfred Gendron, George E. St. Clair, owners

Inn on the Harbour
Newer hotel in Rupert

King George Hotel
2nd ave and 8th st
In business 1910-11 and in 1931

Klondyke (alt- Klondike) Hotel
722 Fulton
7th and Fulton
In business 1910-11
1913- Vincinzo Reda, Owner

Vincinzo Reda
b- ca 1857
d- May 23, 1940, in Prince Rupert, age 83

Knox Hotel
New Knox Hotel
950 First Ave West

now Ocean View Hotel

1920- Knox Hotel Company Ltd spent $50,000

Named after John Knox, a Mining Prospector that defied GTP, and bought a claim and built a cabin in this area.

1908- Andrew Cummings, Manager
1910-1911- Owners Artaud and Besner
1913- Owners Besner and Besner
1913- European Plan, Excellent Cuisine
only hotel that had hot and cold water in every room in 1913

1940- N. M. Brasell, Owner

Olier (“Oliver” “Ollie” “Ole”) Besner
b- May 14, 1881, Soulanges Co. Quebec
d- June 29, 1952, St. Paul's Hospital, Vancouver BC, age 71
son of Ferdinand Besner and Ozéline Pharand
both born in Quebec
His dad lived in Dawson YT, died age 77
in Home for the aged in Coquitlam BC
1891 whole family in Quebec, father a farmer.
Ole was educated in Public Schools
Went to Dawson in 1899 as a miner.
Came to BC in 1907, 1908 in another source.
Member of Prince Rupert Board of Trade
1922- Ole was President Northern Liquor Company Ltd.
1922- Owner of Besner Apartments.
Besner Block next to City Hall was built in 1928 and owned by Ole
Aug 1925 he was the first to drive a car from Vancouver to New Hazelton
He shipped his Packard Sedan to Vancouver where he started his trip.
He took his family on the trip with him.
1928- Manager Director in Conson Exporters
He was a well known Land Developer in Rupert, and he also owned land in Terrace.
He was a member of the Catholic Church in Prince Rupert.
In 1916 he donated land, to the Terrace Catholic Church,
land which today is on west end of the Skeena Mall property.
In 1930 He donated another 5 acres, near the original, to the Catholic Church.
In 1932 he organized a Rupert Syndicate to mine gold in the Liard area.
ca 1922 He owned Climax claims in the Trout Creek area.
By 1935 he was living in Vancouver for years.
Ole Besner had some bootlegging notoriety, in the newspaper in the early 1920's.
He was shown as Oliver Besner in the papers. (see below)

Ole married Fanny Cecile Artaud, nee Blondeau
b- Sept 14, 1871 in Lyon France
d- Feb 14, 1919 in Prince Rupert BC, age 48
she is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Prince Rupert
She actually built and owned the Old and New Knox Hotel.
Both came from the Klondike in 1908 to Rupert.

widower, Ole married Rosina Roberge, nee Gamache, Jan 29, 1920 in Prince Rupert
b- Mar 7, 1882, Manchester, NH, USA, age 37 a widow when married
d- Dec 20, 1963 in Vancouver, age 81
Rosina had 2 daughters, Elaine Roberge and Agnes Roberge

Moby Dick Hotel
Newer Hotel in Rupert

National Hotel
6th ave and Fulton
In business by 1910-11

New Royal Hotel
701 W 3rd Ave., ca 1955

Mrs Rose Zarelli, nee Bastoni, Owner, ca 1940

Ocean View Hotel Co. Ltd.
950 W 1st West

This was the New Knox Hotel originally (see above)
built in 1908
2016 this old hotel offers a small bar and a real good restaurant
I don't usually support a new business, but this is an exception.
If it is over 100 years old it deserves a visit just for that.

Old Empress Hotel
716 W 3rd Ave. ca 1955

Louis Ross, owner, ca 1940

Pacific Inn Hotel
Newer hotel in Rupert

Prince Rupert Inn & Annex
(aka:Grand Trunk Pacific Hotel)
First Ave and Centre St.
Located directly above where the wharf and train station was.

George A. Sweet -Manager
b- Mar 28, 1876 Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA
d- ?
1911- shown as Hotel Manager in Prince Rupert
Educated in Chicago, IL, USA
started his career in Chicago in 1889
Came to BC in 1908
son of Lewis and Elizabeth Sweet
married Kathryn Anna Fleming,
b- Sept 1885, Chicago, USA
d- ?
son- George “Aubrey” Sweet
b- Aug 1905 in USA
son- James Gillis Sweet
b- ca 1905 in USA
daughter- Marion Kathryn Sweet
b- ca 1915 in BC
son- George Francis Sweet
b- Dec 5, 1916 in Prince Rupert, BC
d- Sept 15, 1998, Caldwell, Canyon Co, Idaho, USA
He was married

Grand Trunk Pacific Hotel
Credit: Canada. Dept. of Mines and Resources / Library and Archives Canada / PA-021456

Grand Trunk Pacific Hotel,
large 3 peak roof front, dark building
Center St can be seen in front, with the small gauge rail line, ran from the wharf up the hill to 3rd ave.
Building in the middle front with the hip roof, will be visible in other photos on this site,
At one time used as a Temp First City Hall.
Credit: H.N. Topley / Library and Archives Canada /

Feb 5, 1907- Tenders were asked for and estimated cost was $50,000.
It was to be 4 stories in height at that time.
Specs and drawings were at office of F. M. Rattenbury in Victoria.
Tenders were to be sent to The Union Supply and Contracting Company in Victoria.
The Company paid for board and lodging at Rupert, of anyone sending in a Tender for construction.

Aug 8, 1909 the Prince Rupert Inn and Prince Rupert Annex
2 new Grand Trunk Hotels were officially opened.
G. A. Sweet from Chicago was the Manager

Mar 1914- M. Albert, of Prince Rupert,
was planning on building a 3 story hotel in Prince Rupert
100 x 100 ft at 5th Ave and Fulton St.
A Prince Rupert architect was used.
1916 this hotel was underway.
July 1914- M. Albert and George A. Sweet
applied for a license to build a hotel
in a central location, it was to have at least 100 rooms
Mitchell Albert
See my Albert & McCaffery page for his bio

Queens Hotel

112 6th st
In business by 1910-11
1913- George Papadopulos, owner

later became the St. James Hotel

Regent Hotel 633 W 2nd, ca 1955

Royal Hotel
701 3rd Ave.
corner 3rd ave and 6th st
The only Steam heated Hotel in the city in 1913
1913- Stewart A. Corley & Charles E. Burgess, owners

1920- S. A. Conley owner

Stewart Allan Corley
b- July 30, 1884, in ON, age 35 in 1919
d- Nov 25, 1961, in North Burnaby BC, age 77
Miner in Rupert in 1919
son of William John Corley and Lottie nee ?
married Christiana Johnson, Jan 1, 1919 in Prince Rupert
b- Iceland, age 18 in 1919

1927- Diamanti Zarelli, Prop.
Diamanti Zarelli
b- Jan 13, 1878 in Italy
d- Dec 6, 1967 in Vancouver BC, age 89
son of Natale Zarelli and Rose Bastoni
He was Hotel Manager of the Royal Hotel in Vancouver
married to Rosina Perri

Savoy Hotel
614 Fraser St.
Fraser St., corner 5th st.

ca 1940- Carl Zarelli owner

316 5th st, ca 1955

owned by Alex J. Prudhomme
he purchased 2 lots on 5th st and Borden Ave.
and was going to build a reinforced concrete hotel there.
Fire destroyed the Savoy Hotel in late 1989.
1927- Alex J. Prudhomme, Prop.

Alexander James “Alex” Prudhomme
b- July 15, 1867 in Ottawa ON (1869 in one source)
d- Mar 18, 1956, Coquitlam BC, age 88
1901 he was in Dawson City, Yukon
1905-1909 he was in Alaska
1940 he was living in Telkwa as a retired Hotel Keeper
1940 shown as divorced
Prudhomme Lake named after this man
son of Alex Prudhomme and Jane Johnson
married Bridget Theresa Killeen, June 2, 1890, Ottawa ON
had 4 sons, 2 daughters
had another spouse, 4 more sons and 2 daughters

brother- Thomas Prudhomme
b- Cantlay, Quebec
d- Nov 1918, Idaho
brother- Rev Father Prudhomme
in South Gloucester in 1918
1940 at St Patrick's Parish, Ottawa ON
brother- Jack Prudhomme, of Templeton,
brother- Lieut. Charles Prudhomme
sister- Mrs. Sandy McClereoao,
of Wilson's corners in 1918
d- early Nov 1918
sister- Mrs, B. Blata, of Ottawa
sister- Mrs J. Horan, of Templeton
sister- Mrs M. Foley, or caotley ?,
sister- Mrs T. Olltlssl, of Metcalfe

W. R. Garey- Owner and Manager in 1921
William R. Garey
b- ca 1863, age 58 in 1921, in USA
Immigrated in 1910
wife- Helen Garey
b- ca 1867, age 54 in 1921, in USA
Grand Son- Raymond L. Garey
b- ca 1915 in USA

Seal Cove Hotel
J. Quayle chef- 1921
Boarding House for Prince Rupert Lumber Co

Servian Hotel
622 Fraser St.
Fraser and 5th
In business by 1910-11
owned by Nicholas “Nick” Gurvich Sr.,
see my Rupert Court House page, for more info

Skandia Hotel
613 8th ave W.
8th ave & Tatlow st
In business by 1910-11

Tatlow St. in Rupert and Tatlow Rd in Smithers, Mount Tatlow, and other places in Vancouver, all named after

Captain Robert Garnett Tatlow
b- Sept 6, 1855 in Scarva Ireland
d- Apr 11, 1910 at Jubilee Hospital, Victoria BC, age 55
Finance Minister and Agriculture, for 6 years, in Richard McBride's, BC Government
His wife Elizabeth Mary Cambie,
who was the eldest daughter of Henry John Cambie, in Vancouver.
He had 5 children.
He was one of the founders of BC Tel.

St. Elmo Hotel
836 W 2nd Ave, ca 1955

1920- Thomas A. Roy owner

Thomas A. Roy
b- abt 1866, USA, age 55 in 1921, immigrated in 1876
shown married in 1921 census, but no wife shown

St. James Hotel
112 6th st
1920- George James, Owner

Right next door to the Rupert Inn, toward the water
Originally this was the Queen's Hotel

St. John Hotel
1st ave near Centre
In business by 1910-11

Talbot House
830 W. 2nd Ave.

2nd ave between 7th and 8th st., near 8th st
In business by 1910-11
1910- ? Williams, Owner
1913- Mrs E. E. LaTrace, Owner
They offered furnished Rooms
Located just down the street from the Hotel Prince Rupert

Victoria Hotel
1st ave between 8th and 9th st
In business by 1910-11

Washington Hotel
In business in 1908 and 1912

Windsor Hotel
901 1st Ave. corner 8th St.
1913- William H. Wright, Owner

York Hotel
721 W 3rd

July 1913- Architect J. H. Randall Awarded the contract to build a hotel in Prince Rupert,
to Charles L. Williams, of Prince Rupert.
on behalf of the Premier Hotel Company.
It was brick veneer with stone facing for the first story.
reinforced concrete beams over all the first floor openings.
site- 50ft x 100ft., 5 stories in height, which fits the Hotel Prince Rupert above.
It was to have 80 rooms, Terrazzo tile in the bar and lobby floors.
Hot and cold running water, Telephone,
and other up to date fixtures were added.
Each floor had 4 bathrooms.
It had fir trim throughout.
They installed a Steam Plant in the basement for heat.
cost was $50,000.

July 1914- Frank Clapp was to build a 60 room fire proof hotel to be built on 3rd ave.

July 1914- J. H. Randall Architect in Prince Rupert designed a 4 story hotel to be built on a 50 x 100 lot. solid reinforced concrete walls

Bootlegging/ Prohibition Charges
It seems some of the men running the hotels here in the 1920's
were not exactly doing it according to the laws of the time.
6 men were charged and sentenced
for Prohibition Violations, or Bootlegging in my terms.
Ole Besner, George A. Sweet, Charles Olsen, D. Zarelli, John R. Miller, and Kenneth MacKay were the men, charged and sentenced, to various number of months of hard labour, at Oakalla.
They were released on bail ca Sept 25, 1920
suddenly Sept 29, all men were released on a $400 fine, and Mr. Mackay was released totally free. all this due to a small technical error in the charges.
Sounds like a “Friendly Judge” and a good Lawyer were involved.

Ext Links

Birth of a City Book

Knoxville Hotel picture


  • Last modified: 2018/02/20 16:05
  • by dlgent