Tuesday, October 31, 2006

St. Vincent Hotels

Ballroom over the Northern Hotel in St. Vincent
There were three hotels in the St. Vincent of those days: the Thedore, the Ontario House, and the Northern Hotel. The Thedore was in the west end of town, on the main street. The Ontario House was owned and operated by the Ryan family. Mr. Ryan managed the hotel, but when he died, one of his daughters, Elly O'Connor, took over. The Northern Hotel was north of the railroad tracks that ran through town just south of what is now Highway 171, and it was owned by the Great Northern Railroad.

- From St. Vincent, by Barbara Bostrom [one of many Humboldt-St. Vincent Historical Essays...]

Hotels were another place where the bugs were thick. This time however, bed bugs were included. Ernest Turner recalls a hotel in St. Vincent in which he stayed one night. He said that after he turned the lights out he could hear strange hitting sounds. He said it sounded like the bedbugs were playing baseball on the ceiling. If you ran your finger down a wall you could squish a straight line of them.

It was hard for hotels to keep the mattresses clean when so many people who cared so little about cleanliness slept in them. At night the pillowcases were covered with lice. The only way to really get completely rid of them was to burn the mattresses and wash down the room and the bedstead with a kerosene-water-soap mixture.

- From The Farm Families Dilemma, by Andrea Hoglin