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1882 - 1885
The North American Hotel was built by William Routley in 1882 on the site of the old Victoria Hotel. He began construction in September [the foundation was of stone excavated from the canal] and the hotel was nearing completion by January 1883 [FFG 16 Sept 1882; 2 : 27 Jan 1883 ;2]. The two storey brick building was to be 30 x 36 feet, with a 20 x 26 foot addition at the back [FFG 16 Sept 1882: 2]. By October the red and white brickwork was well underway and the roof was about to go on. Construction and plasterwork continued on into the New Year, and a liquor license was applied for from the Village council. The hotel was leased to Aaron and Henry Brooks [FFG 25 Nov 1882; 1].
“This elegant hotel is fitted up with all modern improvements, new furniture and everything requisite for the comfort and convenience of guests… it is conveniently situated near the Railway station, and the bar will be found stocked with the choicest liquors and cigars.” [VW 11 April 1884; 2]. The Brooks sold their lease in August 1884 [FFG 16 Aug 1884 ;2] to Joseph McLaughlin, who operated the hotel until the morning of December 27th 1885 when it burned to the ground. Nothing was left except part of the walls [FFG 2 Jan 1886: 2]. Routley sold the property and remaining buildings to Joseph McArthur in June 1886. “[McArthur] got the property cheap as the lot is a large one and there are stables, sheds, a stone foundation, and a great deal of bricks thereon” [FFG 18 June 1886; 6]. Construction began immediately on yet another hotel and continued over the summer.