Hotels-Motels History

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

First Official “Hotel” in Estevan, The Kelly Hotel,

Kelly Hotel
E. R. Davis PhmB Photographer, Postcard #416

Located on Lot 46- #1216 5th St

Built in 1892, owned by Arthur Kelly, it was located facing 5th St, on SW corner of 12th Ave.
Kelly built his addition on south side of the Hotel for his general store in 1900, and then sold the Main Hotel to a Luke Roe and Thompson McLelland, from Melita MB, A couple years after that
Thompson McLelland owned the hotel in 1909 when it burned down. Feb 23, 1909 this Hotel, and the addition, along with Mrs. Scott's building, burnt to the ground. See my 12th ave page for that story and photos.
Mr. Arthur Kelly had a livery barn built, which was used as a Hotel, while the Kelly Hotel was built, so technically it was the “First Hotel”.
It was located west of the Davie's block, between 12th Ave and 13th Ave., on the north side of the street.

Here are some Newspaper articles on the construction of the Kelly Hotel.

Aug 20, 1892- Mr. Kelly proposes to erect a hotel costing, with the furniture, $10,000

Aug 24, 1892- The Stone for the Foundations are now being drawn on the ground. Mr. Kelly is busy sinking a well, cribbing as he goes.

Oct 11, 1892- the lathers are nearly finished. The Plasterers will rush things next week.

Oct 22, 1892. Graham and Hanbury doing the plastering, on the Kelly Hotel / House.

Nov 11, 1892- Kelly Hotel ready to open, Size- 40 x 100 ft., 3 stories.

Kelly Hotel and the livery barn, were built by Mr John Ellis, who came from Brandon in 1893.(see below)
They were all owned by Mr. Arthur Kelly. Who also came from Brandon in 1892.
He was one of the first settlers in this area.
Mr. Kelly owned a Hotel in Brandon, also called the Kelly Hotel, prior to this one.

Kelly Hotel was the first meeting place for the Estevan Legion.

Here is an article from Dec 8, 1892, and low and behold the Kelly House is built and a social is held in it.
So the date of Mr Ellis coming in 1893, is obviously wrong, and probably 1892, is the right date.

When he was digging his well, for the Hotel, he reached the coal seam at 25 feet.
So underneath the city of Estevan, lies a large coal seam.

Kelly Hotel also went by the name Queen's Hotel.
I found an article Aug 1899, saying the Queen's hotel in Estevan was granted it's license.
Sadly it says no more than that.
On a Tuesday before Apr 3, 1896, they had an oyster supper, for Major Phipps, the Dominion land agent, at the Queen's Hotel.
Yes Oysters, in Estevan in 1892!!! Unbelievable!
Actually 15 years ago, my sister in law said the best lobster tail she ever had was at a cafe in Estevan.
Go figure!!!

another article dated Feb. 1895 had a meeting for the Conservative Party, held at the Queen's Hotel.
Mr. Arthur Kelly was elected President.
Mr. Thomas Pierson, Secretary,
Mr. J. Ellis, Henry Yardley, and W. Walkem, elected Vice-Presidents,
M. H. King, treasurer,
Mr. Wilson, Stockwell, and Sweet, other members of executive Committee.

I found an article that says a Corina Culbert, nee Rivard, worked at the Kelly House when she was married in May of 1906.
Her husband Herb worked in the Kelly Livery Stables.

Arthur Kelly married Selena Cory
I have added a family bio on my web page here

Sept 1907
The Landlord of the Kelly House was Mr. Thompson McLelland.
b- ca 1865, age 39 in 1906, in ON, Canada
d- Jan 27, 1959 in Weyburn SK
1925 he became Mayor of Weyburn SK and has a Street named after him there.
In 1920 he owned 2 Hotels there and was running in an election as an Independent candidate, as an anti prohibitionist, opposing a C. M. Hamilton, Minister of Agriculture at the time.
McLelland also owned a farm and was running as a Grain Grower.
One of his hotels was the Soo Hotel, in Weyburn, which he owned from the day it was built.
He also owned race horses, and stables.

His wife, Matilda McLelland, nee Blanchfield.
b- June 20, 1873, in Oustic, ON, Canada
d- Jan 27, 1959, in Weyburn SK
both buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Weyburn.
She was daughter of John Blanchfield, and Bridget Welch

Camillia Blanch McLelland,
b- Apr 27, 1891, in Portage La Prairie, MB
Hazel McLelland,
b- Sept 1, 1892, in Portage La Prairie, MB
Myrtle Margueri McLelland,
b- Apr 25, 1895, in Burnside, MB
Isaac Edison McLelland,
b- Dec 3, 1896 in RM of Pembina, MB

1906 family living in Qu'Appelle SK

Aug 24, 1892 newspaper article, explains location of another Early Hotel in Estevan.
A Mr. McLean, from Headingly originally, built the First 2 Story Building in Estevan.
Located on 6th st, 4 lots from 12th ave. (doesn't say which direction) 20×38 ft,
With a Kitchen to be used as a Restaurant, and it's position opposite the train station, assures it a good trade.

Mr. McLean Mr. Murdock Mclean?
Murdock was an early teacher in Estevan, but not sure if this is the guy that owned the Hotel here.

It might have been this place on 6th st.
Lot 11- #1120 6th st.- Estevan Hotel, aka: Estevan Rooms, was located here in 1921- Adam Tisdale Prop.
But this was more than 4 lots East? the 4th lot would put it at #1134 6th st, if it was East of 12th, if West it would have been #1208 6th st.
But researching 6th st., it becomes clearer, I think in one respect, then confusing in another.
I show this 2 story Historical Building built for the Richard Perry Family, not Mr. McLean? I think the history books got this wrong. I think Mr. Perry came, and bought the building from Mr. McLean.
I am confident this was the First Hotel/restaurant on 6th st, in Estevan. If that 20 x 38 ft measurement fits, then I am right.

Lot 17- Block 13, #1208 6th st- Built for the Richard Perry Family, This is one of the oldest buildings in Estevan. It was built shortly after 1892, and one of the few frame houses still standing from that era, per Historical Walking Tour Booklet. I is a Historic Estevan Building.

International Hotel

Lot 46- #1216 5th St
It was built in place of the Kelly Hotel, by Harry Emerson McKenzie.

Nov 10, 1909 article
end of the article describes the lot for the International Hotel was bought for around $4,000.00.
Contractors McKenzie and Prevost involved.

The “International Hotel”, built in end of 1909, early 1910, by H. E, McKenzie

Owned in 1913/14 by brothers, Josaphat Prevost and Athanese Prevost

In 1921 William Henley shown as the owner of the International Hotel.
b- ca 1881 in England, immigrating in 1883.
Wife- Mary Henley, b- ca 1879 in Ireland.
They had one daughter Phylis Henley, age 9, born in SK.

1951 the International hotel was sold by Frank Lee, to brothers, William (Bill) Ropchan, from Unity, and Walter Ropchan from Vegreville AB

The International was owned by the Bill Ropchan family at the time of the fire, Mar 1973. SW corner 12th Ave and 5th St

A Mr. Frank Lee owned the International Hotel and the Empire Hotel in April 1951.
He lost his business licence to operate both hotels in April, and in July the city gave him his licence to operate the International Hotel. The Empire Hotel licence was on it's way also.

My mother writes she worked in the International Hotel after her time at the Empire Hotel, and up north in Bissett Manitoba, 150 miles north of Winnipeg, at the Hotel San Antonio there,
Operated by a Mr. and Mrs. Luke Roe, who operated a hotel in Estevan before this. (see Kelly Hotel above)
The San Antonio gold mine was there, on the shore of Rice Lake. She stayed there for 6 months, and left before freeze up.
Mrs. Luke Roe was a McDonald, one of the early Estevan families, that came from the Alameda area.

After Bissett, she started work in the International Hotel in Estevan.
Mary Pierson was the cook. According to my Mom's writings, she made a terrific Omelette.

Here she worked upstairs, making beds, and cleaning rooms. Then she was a waitress in the dining room.
Mr. Robert Coxford was the Manager at the time.

After this she quit and went working in the Chreighton Hospital at the time, on 5th st.
All of the above was in the early to mid 1930's.

Mystery Hotel?

The unknown building foundation, in left photo above, is not specifically mentioned in any history books that I can find.
It is shown as building “A” in right photo.
It isn't the Delight theatre, as it was next door to the east. Shown as “B” in right photo.

The stone foundation almost looks to me like it also extends further east, and that portion might have been the Delight theatre, but what was right on the corner,
where Parkway service building is today. It isn't Parkway's building, as this foundation extends out to the corner of the street and Ave.

The right photo above, is supposedly taken in 1906. Kelly Hotel is marked “C”

A possible match for this building, is The American Hotel, built by Victor Marquis in 1903,
b- Apr 9, 1866, in USA,
immigrated to Canada in 1900.
Located on north side of 5th st. East
The history book says, It was destroyed by fire in 1936.
The building of this hotel is mentioned in the first issue of the Estevan Mercury.
Interesting enough the Hospital burnt down in 1936, so it fits if this was next door, it would have also burnt down.
My aunt told me there was a cheap hotel on that corner, with white painted plywood. That fits the small picture above.
I am more positive this was The American Hotel.

Now hold on…
I just found a newspaper article, dated Aug 20, 1892,

This states, Just below Dr. Scott's property, and nearer the depot, on the corner of 5th st. and 12th ave.
Mr. Rielly, late of Brandon, has bought a site for his Hotel.
He has the material on its way, and proposes with the beginning of September, to be ready to receive guests.
His contract with the CPR, calls for a first class building. Now how he built it in a couple weeks is beyond me. Anyway this sounds like the International Hotel location to me.

Then to confuse the issue some more, another earlier newspaper article states, Victor Marquis who owned The Grand Union Hotel in Estevan
was completing the foundation of his “NEW” hotel.

Aug 10, 1905 article

Then an article from Jan 6, 1908, it states Mr. and Mrs. McLeod, of The Grand Union Hotel, left on the Soo for Toronto, for an operation.

Another says The Imperial Hotel in Estevan nearing completion.
Obviously a few of these burnt down.

Received an email Jan 13, 2010 from a Ron Fortier, doing research on Victor Marquis,
Victor married Lizzie Fortier (originally family name spelled Fortin), on Oct 26,1885,(per IGI)
in Old Town, Penobscot County, Maine, USA, who was a sister to Ron's Great Great Grandfather.
They came to Canada about 1900, after spending about 15 years at Rice Lake, Barron County, Wisconsin, USA
Ron tells me a Victor Marquis (Sr?)., (or his son Victor M. Marquis), died July 20 or 22, 1946, buried in Prince Albert SK Hill Cemetery.

1895 Barron County, Wisconsin, USA Census
V. Marquis, and 3 females living in town of Stanfold

1901 census in Estevan SK
Victor Marquis
b- Apr 9, 1866, in USA,
Occupation Farmer, French Nationality
wife- Lizzie Marquis (nee Fortier)
b- July 24, 1868, b- Quebec, Canada
(Father, Mother- Andre & M.Luce (nee Carrier) Fortin)
Daughter Josie Marquis, b- Dec 16, 1886, b- USA
Daughter Ida Marquis, b- Jan 18, 1888, b- USA
Victor M. Marquis, b- Mar 21, 1899, b- USA
and Harrold (probably Harold) A. Marquis- Mar 22, 1900, b- USA

1906 census in Estevan SK
show Victor age 40,
Lizzie, age 36,
Daughter, Josephine, age 19
Son, Victor, age 7
Son Harold, age 6
all born in USA, immigrating in 1900
no Ida now?

Family not in 1911 Canada Census, where did they go?
1911 census shows a Alphonse Marquis
b- Mar 1875 in Quebec, farm labourer,
Also Carmelle b- 1877, Quebec,
and his wife Berthe, farmers,
living near Prince Albert, relatives?

—- 1906 view
Aug 2009 view
Empress / Empire Hotel

Historic Estevan Building

Lot 1,2,3,4, block 20, #1138 5th st.-

Originally called The Empress Hotel, Name changed to the “Empire Hotel”,

Built by William M. Sandoff, Rancher and Horse Trader, in 1905.

First building in Estevan made from the red pressed bricks from the Eureka Coal and Brick Co. down by the river, off old Highway 18, at that time.

Originally the entrance was on the corner same as Davies Block. Workers had trouble with the rounded brinks on the entrance, so special help was brought in.
Entrance built by H. E. McKenzie,

Building was used as a barracks, during WWI 1914-1918, and as a Recruiting Office at that time

My mother worked here for Charlie Hoyt. Making Beds, and cleaning rooms.
She writes she was busy during the week, as it was mostly salesmen staying there, and they would go home for the weekends.
She still worked Saturday and Sunday, no days off or holidays with pay.
Her pay- $10.00 for a month. She got room and board at the hotel.
She waited on tables in the dining room. She was expected by Mrs. Hoyt to houseclean a room every day besides her other duties.
She didn't think this was fair, so she quit.

Sept 1907 the Landlord of the Empire Hotel was George Stewart.
It had just got electric lights installed.
Mr. Stewart was a member of the Masons, Dec 27, 1907 The Estevan Lodge of the A.F. and A.M. had a meeting in his Hotel.

Managed by Charlie Hoyt, in 1914,
P. Lemm, Snookie Harris, Frank Lee in 1951,
O. M. Runner was Manager in 1925,
Gerry H. Lennox, was Manager in 1955;
Russ Brown ca 1970,
Albert Klemetski, ca 1971,
who sold it to Nick Morsky, Sept 1971, and possibly more.

Jan 30, 1908 the Empire Hotel was sold to Mr. H. W. Shore of Glen Ewen, b- abt 1876, for $41,250.00 from Mr. George Stewart.
Mr. Stewart took over Mr. Shore's Imperial Hotel in Glen Ewen.

In 1921 the Government Reps, suggested the Empire Hotel be made into the Court House.

Nick Morsky changed the name to The Lignite Louie Hotel


Nick Morsky built The Derrick Motor Hotel at 125 - 4th St., East End of the City

Derrick Motor Hotel Postcard courtesy Grant Walker

A Licence was required to sell Liquor, and it was decided by a Commission, here is a list from June 34, 1914, showing these business names- Harris and Halparin, the Clarendon Hotel; P. Lemm, the Empress Hotel; Prevost Brothers, International Hotel; James Aphin Smith -Wholesale

12th Ave, taken looking south, from 6th St. ca 1914

Boarding House and Empire Hotel, on the left can be seen,
and Davies Block, International Hotel, Smith Block, Whitby hardware, and Old Stone church on the right, are all visible.

views above taken Aug 2009

First building on right, The Victoria Cafe.

built by Mr. Harry Hyman Gold. It had many owners, Mrs. Hagen, Lee Chee, Frank Jackson, Henry Woo, James Parkinson, Orville Olson, and Ed Grant.
It had a Rooming House in it under Mr Woo. (Notice the sign for rooms on the side)
Later became a grocery store under Eric Quist, 2nd hand store, under Dave Kennedy. Then Lea's Upholstery, and in 1980 an Electrolux dealer.

The boarding house on the left, had various owners. Built in 1903, and owned by Mr Gideon Matte Sr.
Front faced the train station,
It was later sold to John M. Bergstrom,
b- 1852- d- Jan 26, 1939
buried in Estevan City Cemetery,
Name was changed to the Bergstrom Hotel.
The Star Cafe was in this building.
I believe it was once owned by Mr. Elmaron Snider,
b- Oct 2, 1860- d- Aug 2, 1931
buried in Estevan City Cemetery.

Later I believe on that same SE corner, of 6th st and 12th Ave, there was the Windsor Hotel.
It also contained a grocery store.

2nd building on the right side was Estevan's 2nd newspaper, the Estevan Progress.
The building with the awning was D. L. Irvine's First Drug store, before he moved to 4th st. location

looking for Adam Edward Tisdale family info, I read, he and his wife, Sarah Hannah, nee Clark, operated the “Estevan Hotel” on 6th st. for 4 years.
Possibly the Windsor Hotel location?
The Tisdales came from the Macoun area.
Adam owned a coal mine 7 miles south of Estevan ca 1935-1948

The Clarendon Hotel

Located on 5th St. east of 12th Ave, North side.

Next to the Delight Theatre, The Westview School History book says this hotel went by the name of The Mital Hotel.
I have not seen mention of this name anywhere else.

view of this area, Aug 2009

After the First Clarendon Hotel burnt down in 1936, it became a business on the south side of 5th st.
Originally the Rex Cafe, bought by Jake Krivel, renamed Clarendon Hotel and Cafe.

sold by Krivel Jan 31, 1949 to Benjamin Zelcovitch and Paul Nessman, both from Estevan, and Menashe Mandel of Winnipeg (see below)
Benjamin Zelcovitch owned an interest in the Estevan Hardware store. Paul Nessman was the Assistant Manager of the Bank of Montreal

In early 1940's a Mr. Menashe Mandel came to Estevan to buy a hotel for $112,000.00
It was a hotel where the owner died, and his family were in an estate dispute.
Menashe came from Graceton SK, where he owned a grocery store for 22 years.
He got a phone call from a cousin in Estevan that told him about the sale of the Hotel.
After many years in Estevan he sold the hotel and moved to Regina, where he bought a hotel.
Later he moved to Winnipeg where he owned the Merchants Hotel, Pembina Hotel, and the Balmoral Motor Hotel.
Menashe Mandel was born ca 1900, in Galicia, part of Poland at the time, He came to Canada in Aug 1914. arriving in Melville, where he lived with an Uncle. Wife was Fanny (Fannie) Mandel, nee ?
daughter- Ruth Mandel, married Norman Bubis
daughter- Merle Mandel, married ? Minuk

now which Hotel was it?
as you can see above, It was the New Clarendon Hotel and Cafe.

Krivel came to Estevan in 1909, He was in the livery and feed business until 1914, when he bought the Clarendon Hotel and Cafe.
It was sold to Charles Parks of Winnipeg in 1928. Krivel bought it back again in Jan 1935. A month later the hotel burned down.

The New Clarendon Hotel and Cafe was built with extensive renovations in 1947.
Feb 1948 Jake Krivel died, Barney, Mickey, and Saul, his sons operated the hotel.

This was a Rooming House- The Talbot House
On north side of 5th st., between 12th and 13th Ave,
built by Joseph (Joe) Christopher Phillips, born in 1878 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England
This building later became:
The Temperance House,
The Cottage House,
and The (Phil) Dupuis House.

River Park Hotel

In 1935, the Northern Crown Bank building in Macoun was bought and moved to the River Park Pavilion site.
This is the building in the picture above.
It was operated by the widow of Thomas Green,
Mrs. Wanda Green, nee Kraft, Joe Kraft her brother, and George and William Green, her sons.
They added a Tourist Park, and Cabins.
The property was sold in 1957 to William O'Laney, and Bert Shipman.

Views from the old hwy 47, looking west.

1967 Estevan Parade, Uptown Motel in the background

Uptown Motel
1402 - 2nd Street
Picture taken during the 1967 July 1st parade
Built in mid 50's for the oil boom, still going strong, 2017,
It also was The Estevan SK bus depot until the bus service was shut down in 2017.

Super 6 Motel Highway 39 west of Estevan

Perfect Inns and Suites 134 - 2nd Avenue Just north of Highway 39

Other Hotels/ Motels from the past and today

Estevan Motel
905 4th St Estevan

Owned for years by the Emerson R. Nash family
Today a new wing with kitchettes is along 4th st. foreground of this picture.
My Aunt Dorothy Olson, and son Gerald, Lived in the house to the left in the picture above.

Town and Country Country Motor Inn
Rex cafe was located where it was.

Sunny Brook Motel
Location Unknown to me.

Circle 6 Motel
206 - 4th Street

Fai's Motel
Highway 39 East

Beefeater Motor Inn, now Days Inn
1305 9th Street, Actually on Souris Ave., also known as Hwy 47 N
Owned and operated by the Symons family, descendants of Hiram Symons.

Tower Inn
Now called Estevan Thriftlodge
1117 3rd Street

Swank Motel
built in 1954 by Val Construction, by Bob and Alice Caine.
I think this is now the Super 6?

Motel 6
88 King St.

Taken Aug 2009
Hotel in Estevan, opened in Feb 2009, east side of Kensington Ave., Across from King St. 68 rooms


  • Last modified: 2020/12/17 15:01
  • by dlgent