Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Captains Quarters Hotel St. John's

Photo of Imperial house, the Captains Quarters

Newfoundland was a self-governing British colony when the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways were laid down; the last province joined Confederation in 1949.

However, the historic Captain's Quarters Hotel in St. John's does have some railroad ties. In 1916, Sir Edward Bowring sold the property with two large houses to Harry Duff Reid, son of Robert G Reid of the Newfoundland Railway Company. H.D. Reid became president of the company two years later, and kept the property till 1927.

The hotels website notes that in 1885, when the CPR was completed, Sir Ambrose Shea, a Father of the original Confederation, which Newfoundland did not join, was renting the house.

The present owner, Marcel Etheridge, has restored the neo-classical style building to look as it would have in the mid-1800s. Of course, it now includes all the amenities of a modern hotel.

The Newfoundland Railway was narrow gauge. With Confederation came the agreement to tear up the rails in exchange for the promise of bringing the Trans-Canada Highway to St. John's.

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