At the Brunswick: A Colborne Hotel
The Building
Postcard of Brunswick House, Colborne
Postcard of Brunswick House, Colborne Details
The early years of the Brunswick Hotel are well documented in these photographs and map, and are really central to telling the story of this institution in Colborne. The Brunswick Hotel was located in the Simmons Block on King Street East and occupied three floors of one side of the block. The two horse drawn carriages parked out front and the number of people waiting attest to the busyness of the hotel. The carriages were from rival businesses - Yeoman's and Burleigh's. The Simmons Block was built in 1882.
Detail of Brunswick Hotel and stables, Insurance Plan (Goad Map) of the Town of Colborne, 1934 by Underwriters' Survey Bureau
Detail of Brunswick Hotel and stables, Insurance Plan (Goad Map) of the Town of Colborne, 1934 by Underwriters' Survey Bureau Details
This 1934 Goad insurance map shows the space that the Brunswick Hotel occupied in the Simmons building. The hotel, bar, dining room, and offices took up more than half the Simmons building space. The Brunswick Hotel's stables and drive shed were found around the corner on Maybee Lane. Access four Goad maps of Colborne with the link on the left of this page.
Photograph of Brunswick Hotel with South African War / Second Boer War banners, Cramahe Township, ca. 1902
Photograph of Brunswick Hotel with South African War / Second Boer War banners, Cramahe Township, ca. 1902 Details
This photo shows the Brunswick Hotel displaying banners that memorialize the South African War / Second Boer War (1899-1902). The names of several Cramahe men - Brown, Cockburn, Cameron and Willoughby - who died in battle appear on some of these banners. Other banners reference military actions - Paardeberg, Pretoria, and Belfast - that took place during those years.
Photograph of Brunswick Hotel, Colborne, Cramahe Township
Photograph of Brunswick Hotel, Colborne, Cramahe Township Details
Detail of above photograph, Brunswick Hotel and Keeler House, Colborne, Cramahe Township
Detail of above photograph, Brunswick Hotel and Keeler House, Colborne, Cramahe Township Details
This photo probably show a mix of individuals - townspeople, hotel residents, guests, and the hotel's bartender. Just slightly visible in the photo is a woman who appears on one of the hotel's third floor balconies. These heritage balconies are still a part of the building's facade. One side of the white painted soffit, the underside of the roof's overhang, remains in fairly good shape.
Arnold Warren's recollection of Colborne businesses during the 1920s included the Brunswick Hotel. He wrote that: "The last business on this block was the Brunswick Hotel, at one time called the Wolfraim Hotel after an owner. ... The hotel, at that time, was more residential than a haven for itinerants." His statement about people residing at Brunswick Hotel is interesting. Living in hotels in large cities was a fairly common practice during that time period so small town hotels must have also seen a demand for this service. Single men likely made up the bulk of this particular population.
Photograph of bike parade in front of Brunswick Hotel, Colborne, Cramahe Township
Photograph of bike parade in front of Brunswick Hotel, Colborne, Cramahe Township Details
This photo may also date to May 1945 when victory over Nazi Germany was declared. The vintage of the cars and the numerous British flags suggest that this might be the occasion of this fairly spontaneously looking parade.
Photograph of Billie Martin, Brunswick Hotel, Cramahe Township
Photograph of Billie Martin, Brunswick Hotel, Cramahe Township Details
This photograph may date to the 1940s. It shows that the Brunswick had a manufactured metal business sign and that the hotel partnered with an advertiser - Coca Cola - to identify itself. It is not known exactly when the Brunswick ceased operating as a hotel, but it may have ran as late as the mid 1960s.
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