A Hotel Remembers: Part 2 of 3

The next decade from 1865 to 1875 saw our country become a Dominion and the gold mines become a community of over five hundred people. There would be some ninety dwellings, boarding houses, hotels, stores, freight coaches going twice daily from the station to the mines, a telegraph line strung from the station along trees to a small telegraph office in the mines. A big hall was built and on its opening night there were two hundred and fourteen couples on its floor. A school and church were surrounded by mining crushers and mills mortaring the gold. So many were the mine claims and people on them that the mining office gave up trying to keep track of them all.

It’s 1880. There’s been a meeting in Kennetcook and this district is going to join South Rawdon in becoming the District of South Rawdon-Uniacke. We will now be part of the newly-formed Municipality of East Hants. Our first County Councilor will be Richard’s brother, John. John McLearn has a small general store across the street from the hotel as well as a store in the mines. He is also the post master.

Remember the little baby born under my roof? Well, this spring she is going to teach at the first school in East Uniacke.
Ida will teach for a year then she will go to North Sydney where her brother Robie is working. They are both telegraphers for the Cable Company.

1884 – They have built a new railway station, this time on my side of the street. This station will have living quarters built into it. I’ve changed hands a couple of times. Mr. W. Clemments and then D. McPhail – both involved in the mines and have been having a bit of trouble with dishonest speculators and this causes court cases and the big companies move out. I’ve often listened to the pacing footsteps in the darkness of night of those who worry about the gamble they have taken in the light of day. These people follow the elusive pot of gold. Their world is different from mine. They dig deep into the earth but not so their roots. Their dwellings are put up on their claims and when the payloads go down, they move on to other strikes. They are a light-hearted and friendly people and when they go away, I miss them.

From 1890 to the turn of the century I will have two very different types of people as owners. Mr. W. Mason, a man of the district, dies while owning the hotel. His executors have full authority and they give his estate to his daughter Alice, who lived on Norman Street in Mount Uniacke. It wasn’t long before $400.00 found its way into the estate and I found myself in the hands of Mr. James Trider. Mr. Trider wanted to be known as an Innkeeper. Because he was now the owner of a hotel near gold mining claims and the times were of the Klondike Days 1898, he must have had a lopsided sense of humour for he had a big sign made and put up that announced to everyone that I was now the Klondike Hotel. Mr. Trider had yet to realize that had I ever had any Klondike Days they had been a long time before Mr. Trider had come here. I didn’t wear that sign with any sense of pride.

1902 – Well, it’s the turn of the century and two things happen this year. Mr. Trider has sold the hotel to Mr. W. Glassey. Then one day I welcome home Ida again. She is now Mrs. Alfred E. Robinson, but sorrow had come to Ida for her husband had died leaving her with young children. She has courage and faith and she is going to be Mount Uniacke’s new railway station agent. She will live in, and bring up her children, in that station. (She was the mother of Mrs. George B. Cole, who is a resident of this community.)