Venue: Rankin House/Hotel
City: Chatham Ontario Canada.
Address: 182 King Street West.
Rankin History Notes:
* It was one of the oldest buildings in Chatham.
* Most of the Social, political & business life in the 19th century revolved around the Rankin Hotel & It’s bar.
* The Rankin Hotel was built in 1852 by Colonel Arthur Rankin (Born in Montreal, 1816).
* The Colonel was the first private owner of Bob-Lo Island, having in 1874 used his connections and bought the whole island from the Government for $40.
* 1861 – Colonel Rankin sold the building to the Bank of Upper Canada for $10,000. The Bank then sold it.
* It was turned into a hotel in 1862, retaining the name Rankin.
* The Rankin Hotel was known as the finest hotel in Western Canada (As our area was called then).
* Juring this early era, it was strictly a male preserve.
* The Rankin was the first stop for travellers, for decades.
* In 1875, iron balconies on the second floor were built, and on festive occasions bands would play.
* In 1903, John Pleasance bought the rankin from William Peck for $14, 500. (Note, previously, the Rankin has passed ownership through many many hands.) The family ran it for more than 60 years.
* In 1906, there were 13 licensed hotels in Chatham, but prohibition was in the near future.
* Circa 1970/80’s, it was common for bands to perform while strippers did their act. This no longer happens due to cost. Dj’s are hired to simply hit play on pre-recorded music.
* Became Spanky’s in the late 1990’s. The building had burnt to the ground in 1999. A new building was built, and it carried on as Spanky’s, an adult entertainment venue.
(Note: it is still going as of 2016, the time of this entry)
* Robert S. Mitchell ( Kent Historical Society)
* Note source: http://images.ourontario.ca/Partners/CKPL/CKPL0026739141T.PDF
* Chatham Museum.
Spanky’s website here.