“It’s been happening with depressing regularity over the years — another century-old small town hotel has been hit by fire.” — CBC News
It’s a trend that DanOCan.com has noticed. And, I have been making a special effort to take the time to photograph these classic prairie hotels knowing they are disappearing every year. Many of them are not exactly photogenic as they have been the victims of some truly horrible renovations over the years, but the history they hold inside their walls remains, regardless of how many layers of stucco have been added.
They can be found everywhere. Even in our largest cities, these turn-of-the-last-century throwbacks could be found. As an example, the now long-gone Cecil Hotel in Calgary, which many were happy to see demolished, stood as a reminder to an era when the railroad was king and the horseless carriage was on the brink of revolutionizing the west.
On Sunday, October 9, the Clarendon Hotel in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan became the latest historic prairie hotel to fall to the flames. We had a chance to photograph the hotel in July of 2013.
Below are a selection of photos I have taken of prairie hotels — and I will continue to make an effort to capture more of them as we pass through. Maybe even stop in for a bite to eat and have a drink and meet some of the locals who keep these watering holes alive.