Posts Tagged ‘hotel’

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The Rankin in Chatham Ontario

November 27, 2016

rankin

Venue: Rankin House/Hotel
City: Chatham Ontario Canada.
Address: 182 King Street West.
Existed: 1852-1999

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)

Sources:
* Robert S. Mitchell ( Kent Historical Society)
* Note source: http://images.ourontario.ca/Partners/CKPL/CKPL0026739141T.PDF
* Chatham Museum.

Links:
Spanky’s website here.
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Merril Hotel Chatham

September 23, 2012

Venue: Merrill Hotel
Location: Chatham Ontario.
Address: 2-4 King Street West.
Circa: 1989
Built: 1890’s.
Picture: Circa 1960’s

Musical History: During the 1980’s & 1990’s, the venue was on the decline. Becoming known as a seedy venue where bands & strippers would perform along side seedy activity. The building itself would undergo huge renovations making it a beautiful place by the 2000’s. It became a popular rock & blues bar “The Blind Dog” & The “Metro“. Eventually it would become a high class Motel known as the Retro Suites. Today (2012), It stands as a world class Motel that is unique with its many themed rooms.

Description: known historically as the Merrill Hotel, is located on the southwest corner of King Street and William Street in the City of Chatham, Municipality of Chatham-Kent. The property consists of a three-storey salmon-brick commercial building that has served as a hotel since its construction in the 1890s. The Merrill Hotel was opened on the site in the 1890s by Francis Towne Merrill. It was one of the first brick buildings to be constructed on the King and William block. The business was so successful that in 1903 it expanded, adding a “hallway and staircase” on the pie-shaped lot on the corner next to it (what is now 20-26 William Street South). For over a century the Merrill Hotel has provided hospitality to the Chatham community and its visitors, a tradition that continues as the structure now serves as the entrance to a boutique hotel, the Retro Suites.

Send your pics & info to:

Email us:
chatham_music_archive@hotmail.com

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Aberdeen Tavern Chatham 1995

December 27, 2011

Venue: The Aberdeen Tavern
Home: Chatham
Opened: unknown: Circa 1971.
Closed: Circa 1996.
Last owners: Ron L. (Al & George)
* Aberdeen reunion 2016 info here.

 

1970’s – Chatham was home to a strong music scene with bands performing at least six nights a week at the Aberdeen. Musicians from all over Ontario join the strong Union in this city. Times are good.  Country music rules the day & the Aberdeen is a bar highly respected in the music community. Touring acts from around the world played here when they crossed Ontario.

1980’s – Glam rock takes over. The bar grows rough edges but continues to thrive and becomes a legendary party venue on the touring scene.  It can be safely said that no bar may hold more good rock & roll stories than our little watering hole here in Chatham.

1990’s – Live entertainment dwindles down to just three nights a week. By the late 1990’s, the live music bar scene fades & Al & George decide to sell the venue & move. The Aberdeen becomes a storage warehouse for a local business. It still stands today (2011) in all its run down glory. The glory days are over, but the stories will never be forgotten. It was simply Chatham’s most legendary bar.

* The Aberdeens final “weekend” of live bands included Nerve, Never, Square Root Of Margaret & The Janet Theory/Foster Child.

aberdeen_1995_family

Mama, George & Al. Good Kind people!

If you have any pictures of the venue or Al & George, please send them to us so we can share them. Thanks.
Email us:
chatham_music_archive@hotmail.com

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Chatham Hotel 1934

May 7, 2010

Place: Chatham Hotel
Location: Fifth Street, Chatham Ontario
Opened: January 13, 1934

The Chatham Hotel was built shortly after the Famous William Pitt Hotel.
The Turf Room opens January 7th 1964. The room was host to bands from home and afar for many, many years.

Photo: 1935 (From Union Gas Archives)
Photo can also be found in the Public Library in the following book:
Images of Canada Chatham, by Jim and Lisa Gilbert.

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