Did you know the Arlington is old?
Very old? As in “quasicentenary plus a year”.
Yes, the Arlington Bar and Grill, formerly the Arlington Hotel, is celebrating its 126th anniversary this year.
Although it’s not BC’s oldest pub – the Six Mile Pub in Victoria was established in 1855 and is still in operation – it’s a long-standing local gem.
This photo from the Trail Historical Society shows an interior view of the Arlington circa 1908/1909 with AC (Cliff) Williamson and James Williamson (proprietor) at the bar.
“You can notice all the rich details like the brass finishes, the ornate woodwork, lots of spittoons, the tile, and the very large animals mounted on the walls,” notes archivist Addison Oberg, Trail Museum and Archives.
“The building itself was also a landmark, with a northeast-facing tower that was removed in the 1940s, and two additional stories, which were removed in 1987.”
Curiously, the Arlington tried to change its name in 1925 to Hotel Elma, but the name didn’t stick, Oberg adds.
“Like any good pub, the Arlington comes alive with the memories of Trail residents and continues to serve the community in its 126-year-old location.”
The Arlington Hotel was built by RT Daniel in 1896. Lieutenant Governor Edgar Dewdney declared the Arlington one of the finest hotels in the west.
Originally four stories with 45 rooms, the rounded corner of Spokane and Bay was topped with a tapered tower and flagpole. The ornate furnishings and fittings would have cost $10,000. According to an online inflation converter, $10,000 in 1896 is equivalent in purchasing power to $353,000 in today’s market.
The last century has seen many aesthetic and structural changes to the building, including: in 1926 the wooden cladding was stuccoed; and as Oberg noted, in the 1940s the conical tower was demolished; and in 1987 the top two floors were removed.
The hotel occupies an important corner of the city and has been the scene of many civic celebrations.
– with files from Waymarking.com
City of TrailLocal History