Terrace- Hotel, Motel History

Terrace, BC, Canada


Hotel built by J. K. Gordon (article from 1964 said 1911)

His full name was James Kelso Gordon, he arrived in Terrace in 1911.
The Gordon family moved back one last time to the US in 1937


Jan 28, 1931 it was reported Mr. J. K. Gordon sold the hotel to a Winnipeg man, Emil Willie
He was going to remain at the hotel until Mr. Willie's wife came to town, as she had a sick sister in Winnipeg.

July 10, 1931 they transferred Beer Licence #1852 from J. K. Gordon to Emil Willie, the new owner of the Terrace Hotel.

Terrace Hotel, legal description at that time:

  • Lots 12, 13 and 14, in Block 12, map 972, on Kalum Ave.

Emile had a long experience with the CNR hotels, restaurants and even worked on the CNR Prince Rupert train run.
So Mr. and Mrs. Willie knew the business, and area. He spent some time in Northern Ontario area as well.

His first improvement to the Terrace Hotel was to install electric lights in the spring of 1931.

Cedar Pole dragged down Kalum st.Imagine doing that today! Riley's Drug Store, and Terrace Hotel in Background.
Photo courtesy McRae Collection

Terrace Hotel is located SE corner of Kalum St on Greig Ave.2013 called the “Best Western Terrace Inn”


Terrace Hotel ca 1933 R. W. Riley's Drug Store on left side on corner of Kalum St. and Greig Ave.
(See 1972 link below for this picture) Click for R. W. Riley's Bio .


Terrace Hotel,Winter 1937.courtesy Grant Walker, Studio City CA


1945 directory shows E. Willie as the owner

Per article in 1964 below, Herman Willie was the owner.
and Kohut family below were not mentioned.

View of the hotel during the war years, last building on left


owned by Steve Kohut in the City Directory
Mike Kohut was an employee of the hotel
Michael “Mike” Kohut was their son.

Steve Kohut
b- Dec 20, 1891 Austria
d- Apr 11, 1981 Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver BC, age 89
buried in Forest Lawn in Burnaby
wife Anne “Nellie” Goshko


Owned by Steve, Mike, and Nellie Kohut


shown as Terrace Hotels (1948) in the 1948 City Directory
owner- Mr. and Mrs. P. Murie and Son
so obviously changed hands in 1948.

according to the article in 1964, they owned it until 1951

Peter Murie
b- Dec 29, 1901, in Lanarkshire, Scotland
d- July 3, 1982, Langley Memorial Hospital, Langley BC, age 80
Shown as a Hotel Owner when he died
He was a Rancher, age 22 when he got married in 1924
son of Peter Murie and Agnes Lang Thomson

He married Elizabeth Mildred Murchison,
Feb 9, 1924, at 825- 7th ave, Vancouver
b- ca 1907, Aldergrove BC
(age 17 when she married)
d- July 15, 1988, in Kamloops, BC, age 81
daughter of Alexander Murchison and Amelia Sarah Jackman
they had a son- Peter Murie Jr.

Murie family immigrated from Scotland to Vancouver, ca 1912
1968 Peter Murie (Sr or Jr ?) was out looking for Sasquatch, north of Garibaldi Mountains.


sold to Frank Wauthier per 1964 history article below
He bought it in 1951.
Art Harkin leased the coffee shop at that time

Frank E. Wauthier
b- ? in Belgium, I think, (maybe abt 1904, at Lille France)
d- aft 1971, In Germany, I think
I believe he married Gladys Esther Caroline “Carrie” McKeown
b- May 24, 1906, Brantford ON
d- Jan 5, 1971, Royal Inland Hospital, Kamloops BC
she lived in Vancouver when she died.
shown married when she died.
They had 3 children, Albert, Ruth and Victor

Frank E. Wauthier, might have been the car dealer with a garage in Aylsham SK, ca 1946.

Frank sold the hotel, June 1, 1955 to Augie Geeraert.


This would have been the view not long before it burnt down

The Original Terrace Hotel burned down, August 5, 1971,
and was rebuilt into the structure that stands today.

New Hotel was officially opened Aug 8, 1972
at a cost of 1.5 million

Owner and Manager at the time of the fire,
August “Augie” John Geeraert
b- July 25, 1919, near Rockyford Alberta
d- May 4, 2012, in Kelowna BC
son of Peter and Dymphia Geeraert.
wife- Lenora Harriet Grimble
b- Calgary Alberta
They were married Aug 12, 1947
25 year anniv. in 1972 when hotel reopened.

Bert Parker was the Assistant Manager

Terrace Hotel had the First Cabaret in Terrace

It has had at least 2 owners since Augie
Names I do not know

I found a history article on the Terrace Hotel written in 1964 by a Catherine M. Fraser-Spencer, after I researched all of the above of course!
Here is some of what she wrote.
Hospital was partly used as a hospital during a flu epidemic in 1915.
ca 1935 the R. W. Riley Drug Store was located between the Terrace Hotel, and Greig Ave
It was a 70 room hotel with a staff of 24, in 1964.
Owned by Augie at that time.
She then says Mr. and Mrs. Herman Willie from Winnipeg took over the hotel for a number of years.
The University of BC conducted classes in one of the rooms.
Mr. Willie retired in 1945, and sold to Mr. Peter Murie.
He ran it until 1951.
then sold to Frank Wauthier, whose name I had not seen yet.
I have added him in the list above now.
It was a 25 room hotel then, with pub and coffee shop.
June 1, 1955 he sold to Augie, so I was only missing one.
By 1956 he added a 26 room extension, all with baths.
Beer Parlour entrance was moved to Greig Ave with angle parking.
another 23 rooms was added, with 3 sample rooms
between 1956-1960 the cocktail lounge and dining room were added.
1961 the Beer Parlour entrance was moved back,
to Railway Ave and Kalum St., when they went to parallel parking on Greig.
1963 complete renovation brought a new cafe, lounge, dining room, and 70 bedrooms.

The Terrace Hotel Bar in the 60's and 70's had a reputation of fights every night.
“bucket of blood” and other terms I have heard.
You sat with your back to the wall I hear.
Never knew what was coming at you.
Only fight of my life was in the bar in the basement of the new hotel, in the mid 1980's.
Turned out this one sober fellow, who came in looking for a fight, didn't like us winning on the pool table.
One lens of my glasses was found the next day after it came out of their dish washer.
went back next day and looked for it, and there it was sparkling clean.
I guess that is what the guy with the pea brain lived for.

After BC Tel guys left the Skeena Bar, we all moved to the Terrace Hotel Pub in the basement.
We stayed there for quite a few years, until moving up to the lounge.
the new owners closed the bar, ca 2011-2012? and then everyone moved, to the Back Eddy Pub, where they still are, ca 2013.

Photo links below for the Terrace Hotel including one of it being built, dated 1912


It is not listed in the 1920 directory for Terrace, so it was built after that date.

It was actually built in 1921, and cost $200,000.00
It appears listed finally in the 1922 BC City Directory
owners McDougal and DuBard shown

I know Fred Dubord was the Owner ca 1923/1924
so they got the spelling of his name wrong.
Also McDougal should be Jack McDougall

June 1918 Fred was in Hazelton, from Prince George.
He was the Manager of the Edmonton Hide and Fur Company Ltd.
They had an office in Hazelton.

Jack McDougall
He was married, and had at least one daughter from what I can find.

looks like DuBord bought out J. McDougal in 1923
Aug 1923 his newspaper ad said “Under New Management”, and he had completed major renovations to the Tourist Hotel,
The Tourist (Terrace?) Club, and the Pool Room.
He added a bath on the ground floor, so we know it was at least 2 floors.
When it was sold in 1929 McDougall owned it again?
Feb 1928 he was back in town so I bet he bought it back then.

The 1922 directory says McDougall
owned the Terrace Club Ltd. as well,
as co-owner of the Tourist Hotel.


1923 Directory shows J. McDougall as owner of the Terrace Club Ltd. only

Ad for Terrace Club Ltd shows furnished rooms, pool tables, cigars and soft drinks, all located Opposite (GTP) Station. Ad says his name is J. McDougall, with 2 l's Feb 1923 McDougall took over the Durham Pool Hall at Usk so then I thought he ended up going there. But then in Sept 1924, I find he has moved to Francois Lake, and was charged and convicted to 6 months in Okalla. for selling whiskey. He was appealing the conviction.

Then July 1923 owner of the Terrace Club Ltd., changes to a Mr. William “Bill” “Billy” Vanderlip.

Oct 1923 the Terrace Club Ltd. changes ownership again to a Mr. Fred H. Aiken

To me the Terrace Club Ltd. was more of a pool hall operation with a few furnished rooms in it. They rented them by the day and week. Maybe this was the old Luso Hotel, (Apartment building?) on Greig Ave


March 15, 1924, Mrs. Howard Wilson took over possession of the Restaurant at the Tourist Hotel

Jan 1924 the Tourist Club Ltd. was under new Management Chris Lyman from Prince Rupert and Rawley L. Beecher of Terrace, took over from Mr. Dubord. Mr. Beecher had a chauffer licence in April 1923 May 1924 Chris Lyman moved his wife to Terrace as well

Then an article in June 1924, says Fred Dubord built a new house for himself, near the Tourist Hotel, which he owned, and sold the Tourist Club to Mr. Anderson and Mr. Westman who made a number of improvements in it


Then Feb 10, 1925, A. P. Chenette applied for a liquor licence at the Tourist Hotel He was shown as Manager and Lessee Location exactly the same as the Philbert Hotel Lots 1 and 2, Block 11, DL 369 so now I am 100% sure these 3 hotels were all one. Beer License #472

A. P. Chenette Alexander Philenio Chenette

found an Alexander Chenette b- abt 1895 in Canada, French Nationality Entered Vancouver Port from US in 1916, Think his father was in Prince Rupert at the time.

Can't find much on him at all, found an Alexander Chenette b- ca 1861 died Nov 20, 1937 in Vancouver, age 76 was this him? don't know for sure. Maybe this was his dad?

1925 directory says he was a farmer in Terrace 1926 directory doesn't list him


ca Aug 13, 1926 Chenette transferred the beer license to George Tessier of Terrace

ad dated Mar 1928 shows Tessier still the owner George Allan Tessier b- Ottawa ON, age 50 widower, when he got married the 2nd time (1912) d- ? son of George Tessier, and Elizabeth Chantal married Adelaide Bourne, Mar 8, 1912 in St. Andrew's Church hall, Prince Rupert b- Melbourne Australia, age 46 when she was married d- Nov 14, 1945 in Terrace, age 85 daughter of Frank Bourne and Whilemina McDonald Dec 1929, Adelaide was sailing to Australia for a visit. so pretty sure I have the right guy. when he married he was a millwright in Prince Rupert.

This Hotel changed names and owners more times than I can keep track of!


Then I find a small article Dec 11, 1929, that said J. McDougall sold his Tourist Hotel to L. Martin, a hotel man from Prince Rupert and he took control the end of the week.


1930 Terrace Directory, shows Mr. L. Martin was the owner of the Tourist Hotel. My first clue, that it was the same place as the Skeena Hotel as I originally thought. The Philbert Hotel. (see Louis Martin bio ) Then magically in the 1931 Directory, the Tourist Hotel disappears, and the Philbert Hotel name, under Louis Martin appears. We now know he changed the name. Where the name came from I don't know.

Located on Lots 1 and 2, Block 11, Plan 972, District Lot 369, Range 5, Coast District, Prince Rupert Land Registration District see Town Plan Link on left

Early Philbert Hotel Postcard, courtesy Grant Walker, CA

Philbert Hotel, side view, showing Cafe Entrance, with unknown man on horseback in front.
Postcard courtesy Darren Rieberger Postcard Collection

SE Corner Greig Ave and Atwood St.

ca 1929-1933

Hotel bought by Louis Martin ca 1929

Nov 23-Dec 2, 1933 the basement of the Philbert Hotel was flooded with 4ft of rain water, after a culvert plugged and from a broken reservoir.

Gordon Temple became the Next Owner of the Philbert Hotel

Link below for picture of the Philbert Hotel ca 1940's


Still called Philbert Hotel

owned by Hans Koch

The Philbert Hotel changed names and became the “Skeena Hotel”

Haven't been able to pin date down for the name change

1955 Skeena Hotel Letterhead

E.C. Sargent- Managing Director, L. F. Davy- Manager
Postcards above courtesy Darren Rieberger Postcard Collection

E. C. Sargent
Egill Christian Sargent
b- Dec 25, 1919, in Hazelton BC
d- Sept 14, 1968 Peachland BC, age 48
son of William Sidney Sargent- b- Burlington, Vermont, USA, and Barbara Sophia Sargent, nee Erickson, b- Sorisa, Norway
Mr. E. C. Sargent was a hotel keeper in 1962, in Salmon Arm BC
maried to Margaret Sarah Gale Sargent
b- May 12, 1921 in Hazelton BC
d- Aug 12, 2001 Shuswap Lake Hospital, age 80

L. F. Davy
Leslie Frederick Davy
aka: Fred Leslie Davy
b- Dec 9, 1910 on a farm Tsp 8-Range 28-W2 (lake of the River) in SK
d- Mar 20, 1983 in Squamish BC
1965 Bar manager at Boston Bar
son of William “Willie” Davy, b- Aug 1879 in Kiethley, Yorkshire, England
and Annie Davy nee ?, b- Oct 1877 in England
Parents immigrated in 1906 to SK
siblings- Alice Davy, Marie Davy, Jessee Davy, Alfred Davy and Harold Davy

ca 1965-1968

Owned by Chris Trkla until he sold it to a Nakusp man, Ralph Tedesco. Chris and his wife owned the Skeena for 3 years, ca 1965-1968 He owned the new Grand Hotel / Lord Nelson in Nelson at one time.

Poster from Walter Trkla, showing Josephine and Chris Trkla in Nelson.

Got a nice phone call and email from Walter Trkla, June 11, 2013, who added this info on Chris Trkla:

“Came across your site while searching for some information. I am not sure who was the owner of the Skeena Hotel when my father purchased it. I was at university at that time and did not come to Terrace until the renovation and additions were made to the hotel. I worked there with my parents before I started teaching at Skeena Secondary. My dad had a working partner (10%) George Eisner. He sold the hotel to Ralph Tedesco and George stayed on for a time.

My parents moved to Peachland where they purchased the Totem Inn Hotel and owned it for two years before retiring in Kelowna, and later to Kamloops where I was teaching. My father (who adopted me, was really my biological uncle since my biological father was killed in WWII. My father Chris (Kosta Trklja) was born in Austria-Hungary in 1903 and died at age 91 in Kamloops. After WWI and the breakup of Austria-Hungary the region where he was born became Yugoslavia.

As with most immigrants of that time he attempted to anglicize his name changing it to “Chris” and dropping the “j” in Trklja. If I had a dollar for every time I had to spell my last name I would richer than I am. He came to Canada in 1927. He did all kinds of work from dishwashing to farm work, to mining and union organization. He always unionized every hotel that he owned, and he had owned some 14 hotels in BC and NWT. He would fix them up and sell them. He was called the “Carpenter” by the BC Hotel Association. He was called for service in the Military but never went since the war ended and his age group did not get the call to go over to Europe. He and several friends made some money cutting telephone poles for the Alaska Highway in the 40's . With the money they earned they purchased the Empress Hotel on East Hastings in Vancouver. Some years earlier he was arrested for “riding the rods” and spent a week in jail at the corner of Main and Hastings. He saw that hotel through the bars on his window and said to himself that one day he would own it, and he did. In 1942 he married Josephine nee (Bajovic) who was born in Butte Montana and since they did not have any children they adopted me in 1953. He owned many hotels including two in Yellowknife. I was up there for a short time, and like most people who spend time in the North we loved it there and the people were an extension of our family. He went to Nelson because he loved that part of BC. He worked in Rossland and other mining towns and the beauty of Nelson took us back to the Kootenays.”

ca 1968- ?

Ralph Tedesco, bought the Skeena Hotel, June 1968. He owned the Leland Hotel in Nakusp for 7 years before this. Skeena shown it was built more than 40 years prior to this sale. At this time after many renovations It had 25 rooms, restaurant and the Bar. Wife- Peggy Tedesco daughter Sharon

Aug 1972

Owner Ben Swaddon drank a lot of beer in the Skeena when Ben owned it.


Last owner's Fred Kovits and his brother Norm Zloklikovits

They opened the Skeena Cold Beer and Wine Store Sept 14, 1991

ca 4 am Sept 10, 2008, Fire destroyed the old historic Skeena Hotel Legal address- 4529 Greig Ave All that was saved was the new beer and wine addition.

Postcard Donated by Darren Rieberger

aka: The Lakelse Hotel
aka: Inn of the West
aka: Coast Inn of the West
aka: Inn of the West (2013), (not a Coast Hotel anymore.)
aka: Days Inn

This is the hotel where I first went to drink.
When I came to Terrace I was too young to drink, Drinking age was 21 back then.
Hotel bars were separated by Women & Escorts and Men's sides, Usually a 4ft wall separated each area.
Single men were not allowed in the other section.
Women's section always had rug, and Men's section linoleum.
They even had separate doors to the outside.
Then at 6pm sharp you were booted out of the bar.
It would close for 1 hr, and reopen at 7pm. This was to force the drunks to go home for supper.
Well all the drunks did was move over to the “Lounge”, another completely separate section, that allowed everyone to sit, male and female.
Usually they even had music in there.
But prices were always higher to pay for the fancy environment.
The Skeena bar was the only one without a lounge, but it did have the separate areas and doors.
The Terrace Hotel had the Red D'Or Lounge. It was in the old hotel as well as the new one.
All bar tables had a red terry towel cover, with an elastic to hold it over a round table. Drinks get slopped, the cover was changed.
All glasses had a white ring about 1/2 in down from the top.
the beer was to be filled to that level, with foam (head) after that to the top, this way everyone knew they were getting what they paid for.
I think some bartenders were given bonuses if they got more beer out of a keg, than another guy.
Bragging right maybe?
Now there is no line, and prices are crazy high.

Lakelse Hotel
Block 3, DL 361
NE corner of Emerson St and Lakelse Ave
4620 Lakelse Ave
Built ca 1955


Ron Strumecki tells me he used to sling beer in the Lakelse in 1964.
Alf Davies ran the bar, and Stan Kerr was tapping the kegs.

March 1966

Charles Bennett and Gerry Main sold the Lakelse Hotel, Lazelle Shopping Center, and Park Ave Apartments to William Tratch, Ernie Tratch, and John Carlson

Feb 1967

They were doing some renovations valued at $19,000

May 1967

Owner and Manager, John Carlson
Grand opening of the “Totem Room” former Banquet room.


It had 64 rooms, dining and banquet rooms, lounge and nightly cabaret. CP Air had their office in the front.
Used to be a drive thru entrance for the Office, which now is the Beer and Wine store.

4828 Highway 16 Built with Non Union workers by the Gaglardi family in mid 1970's I think? there was a lot of local Union problems with it's construction.

2013 Hotel still there, with Dennys attached

4926 Highway 16 in business in 1972, on Highway 16 Located where Boston Pizza is today (2103) one mile from downtown Terrace had a cafe and dining room in 1972.

It was next door to the West End Store, now Copperside.

Early 1970's they turned this motel into a minimum security Government Correctional Institution

Kinsmen used to hold their meetings in here.

still in business in 2013 Jest west of the ambulance station 1972 had 22 rooms, Executive suite, plus 10 cabins

“Home of the Sportsman” on corner of Greig Ave and Clinton St. In business in 1972, 24 rooms and 5 apartments.

Building still exists (2013) now all apartments.

Jan 2021 I find out this was originally the Empire Hotel.

From Larry Meeks- Note there is no mention of the Empire Hotel built in early 1950’s by Dennis Meeks from Arborfield Saskatchewan. Business operated by Clarence Meeks,son of Dennis Meeks from 1953 to 1958. This was my father. We lived in the hotel. Built on Griesley street? (Clinton and Greig corner actually) Approximately 1 block from the Skeena Hotel. Dennis was my grandfather. Don’t know actual dates Thank you Larry Meeks, Nanaimo BC 4 Jan 2021

4450 Little Ave Monthly rooms available in 1972 2 blocks north of the Government Building in 1972

Then in Thornhill, across the river from Terrace


built by Augie Geeraert, construction started Nov 1978 Small Lounge, Neighbourhood Pub, Self Serve Salad Bar, in the dining room, and 35 rooms. It was to employ about 35 people. It was expected to be completed by Mar 1979.

Sold date unknown, and was owned by the George and Gail Munson family Hotel was sold in 2013, new owners unknown

George's Pub has wood carvings by John Weber, from Expo 86. There is 4 wall size carvings of logging scenes in the pub. worth a visit just for those. Dining room and cafe as well.

A hotel built behind the Weigh Scales. Built by Karl Motz from Terrace. I believe it is back in business (2013) Now area is called Skeena Landing and the hotel is called “The Lodge” owned by Glen Saunders now. Blackstones Restaurant is part of it.

Highway 16 In business in 1972, and pretty sure long time before that. the Pancake chalet was added ca June 1967 Mr. and Mrs Leon Goyette from Williams Lake, bought the 8 room Motel, and added the chalet. they had 9 children.

one of the newer motels in Thornhill

East of Terrace On Highway 16

There is numerous Motels in the area.

South side of the Old Skeena Bridge was

906 Queensway Dr. Located where the Tom Thornhill Monument stands today. The government expropriated the site, kicked out all the trailers, mine was one of them, and the new bridge was built thru that area. Where the cement pillar is on that side, was where my little trailer sat. June 1967 an ad says they added a 20 stall trailer court Stalls were $35.00/mo. when I moved my trailer in there, ca 1970/71, I think I was paying about $60/mo Oct 1972 the New Skeena bridge was being built there.

One of the Oldest Motels in the area. just North and West of the Old Skeena Bridge on Marsh Cres. Besides the Old Motel there was a trailer court. After the Riverside Park closed, I moved my trailer to this site from Riverside. Back of my trailer faced Riverside Ball Park. Mr and Mrs Bill Bennet owned this one. I know he was a Legion member as I seen him in the parade every year Kermodei Park today, 4328 Marsh Cres no motel, and individual lots. The Motel was located on the George Little Pre-Emption Homestead. Original Little Homestead. Little sold it after the war to the Davidson Family who built the Motel.

It was here when I came in 1969 became: ====Alpine House Motel==== (2103) 4326 Lakelse Ave 1972 they had 20 units and a restaurant next to Back Eddy Pub now. Next to the Back Eddy Pub, on west side, was the old Dog'N Suds drive-in. Greek Restaurant next to that, was the A&W Maggie Baxter, Terrace, sent me the correction on this one, with Thanks!

5510 Highway 16 in business in 1972, 2 miles west on Highway 16 Less than 550 yds from the Skeena and Kalum Rivers 2013 this is the Rainbow Inn Motel (Terrace) Ltd.

5522 Highway 16 W 2 miles west from Terrace in 1972 had 16 rooms. plus a camping area. Kalum Motel in 2013

5508 Highway 16 W in business in 1972, individual units.

4702 Lakelse Ave in 1972 next to Tillicum Theatre with the Butter Dell Restaurant this is now the Bear Country Inn (2013) corner of Sparkes st and Lakelse ave

5422 Highway 16 W another new one west of downtown Terrace Neighbourhood pub beside the motel now

5504 Highway 16 W. another one that has been on Highway 16 for a long time

Friend Mel Anderson tells me there was another motel at the foot of Kalum Hill, corner of Tuck and Kalum. Best he can find is it was the

ended up to be apartments rather than a motel in the end.

Additional info from Maggie Baxter Apr 2013 with thanks Cathy Fraser, a very colourful lady was the editor of the Ominca Herald for many years and had her press set up in what is now Don Diego's restaurant (and a few other places but if memory serves that was the last location). What I remember about her most was the bright red lipstick she wore.

Note- in 2016/2017, 3 more Hotels were built in Terrace / Thornhill area. 1 in Thornhill, completed in 2016, The Holiday Inn Express, and 2 in Terrace.

  • Last modified: 2021/01/05 15:55
  • by dlgent