As we celebrate the 140 anniversary of the building of our home and bed and breakfast, Albert House Inn, we thought it would be fun to show some of the events that took place during the time of construction between the years 1875 and 1876.
The beginning of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway was a ceremony of turning the sod which took place on the left bank of the Kamistiquia River in the townsite of Fort William, Ontario about four miles from the river’s mouth. It would be another 10 years before this great project reached completion.
The Supreme Court of Canada is created in Ottawa. The Court originally sat in the Railway Committee Room in the Parliament Buildings but in 1882 it was relocated to a newly renovated building at the entrance of Parliament that had been used as a carriage house. It was only in 1949 that the Court was relocated to the Courthouse where they preside today, only a short walk from Albert House Inn.
In the American west, Pinkerton agents, hunting Jesse James, firebombed his mother’s house, killed his 13-year-old half-brother and seriously injured his mother.
General George A. Custer with some 250 men in his 7th Cavalry were massacred by the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the battle of The Little Big Horn in Montana.
Wyatt Earp moved to Dodge City, Kansas and remained until 1879 when he moved to Tombstone where the famous (or infamous) Gunfight at the OK Corral took place. The days of the Wild West were still flourishing.
The 1st recorded hockey game took place in Montreal at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Canada. Organized by James Creighton, who also captained one of the teams, the game was between two nine-member teams, using a wooden ‘puck’.
The founding of Calgary. The first North West Mounted Police detachment arrived in September 1875 and built a fort at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. The detachment’s commander, Captain Brisebois, named the fort after himself. In 1876 at the suggestion of Colonel James MacLeod the name was changed to Calgary after Calgary on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.
And in Ottawa, by 1876, the structures of Parliament Hill were finished, along with the surrounding fence and gates. However, the grounds had yet to be properly designed and the Governor General, the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, sent chief architect Thomas Seaton Scott (the original builder and resident of our inn) to New York City to meet with Calvert Vaux and view Central Park. Vaux completed a layout for the landscape of Parliament Hill, including the present day driveways, terraces, and main lawn, while Scott created the more informal grounds to the sides of and behind the buildings.
I really enjoy looking back at some of the things that were going on when our home was being built 140 years ago. Think about the vast differences between Thomas Seaton Scott and his working on such a civilized project as the design for the grounds of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and the lives lived by Wyatt Earp and his contempories, the violent deaths of General Custer and his cavalry and the outlaws still robbing banks and trains in the American West (it’s pretty obvious I am great fan of the old west). It’s hard to believe it all happened over the same years.
So next time you stay at our bed and breakfast inn, as well as appreciating the heritage of Albert House, maybe you too will have some romantic, fanciful thoughts about the old days 140 years ago.