Will be operated for duration by Ontario Farm Service; Expect 120 girls and staff there.
The Riverview Hotel property, situated on the water front in the village of Queenston, owned by Miss M. D. Dressel, was purchased by Mr. Blake Robertson, contractor and local citizen last week. Mr. Robertson now has extensive real estate holdings in the village.
The property will be leased by the Ontario Farm Service for the purpose of operating a "Farmerette" camp for the duration of the war, it was disclosed in a special interview with A. D. Armstrong, secretary of the Queenston Fruit Growers' Association and chairman of local camp's committee. Realizing the acute shortage of farm labor, Mr. Armstrong has been negotiating for some months to secure the property as a second camp site in the Queenston area, to meet the ever increasing demand of the fruit growers for more help. With this new camp in operation, it will mean that 120 girls, plus staffs, will be serving this area.
Jack Collins, local real estate agent, acted for the owners, Wm. McCallum for Mr. Robertson and A. D. Armstrong represented the Ontario Farm Service and Department of Agriculture. After a long series of conferences the deal was closed on January 30. Contractors will start at once to make necessary alterations.
The hotel was built by Daniel Wadsworth in 1853. It was under construction at the same time as Brock's Monument. It was operated as a hotel under the proprietorship of many different parties, including Jerry O'Leary, Hudson, Crowe, Upper, Grainger, Palmer.
Peter Dressel purchased the property in 1909 and at time of present sale was owned by his daughter, Miss Mary Dressel. Mr. Dressel and family came from Beamsville, Ont Another daughter married Mr. Chas. R. Kilkenny who taught at the local public school.
Mr. Kilkenny, born in Bradford, Ontario, came to teach school in the village in 1891 and taught school here for 27 years. His standard in the teaching profession ranked high in the public schools system of the province. He built a home in the village and has resided here continuously since retiring from the teaching profession. Since 1918 he has conducted a small retail business in the hotel property. His hobby has been painting and the excellent paintings on display vouch for his artistry.
Mr. Kilkenny knows much of the village early history and can relate many interesting and humorous incidents. He tells of his first day in Queenston and stopping at the hotel which was then operated by Jerry O'Leary and how that night, a cock fight was held in the attic of the hotel and that saw dust was put on the floor to protect the birds and possibly to "nullify the noise."
In the early days there were several licensed hotels in the village but finally "local option" was passed, but exact date is not given. However it is certain that in 1910 —Local Opion—was sustained in the township by a majority of 53.
And so "Time Marches On"—and now the old hostelry will lend a hand to help "win the war" — by housing "soldiers of the soil" who will be fighting the "Battle of Food" on the home front. The building will accommodate 60 girls and staff, comprising a director labour-secretary-nurse-director of recreation, cook and four assistants.