Queen St. – west side, south of the Humber river

  • By 1840, when local merchant and postmaster Samuel Sterne had completed his inn, Bolton had 15 or 16 buildings, two blacksmiths, two shoemakers, a tailor, a cooper, a tanner and a distiller 1.  One of these buildings, built from logs, was his home; a second, also log, was his store which also housed the post office 2
  • Samuel Sterne’s two-storey inn, (also referred to as a hotel) was built with mud bricks 3.  There were sheds and stables at the rear (see map)
  • The inn was known for its bar and for about 10 years, Samuel operated a distillery in a stone building across the river 4
  • After Samuel’s untimely death in 1850, his widow Ann Sterne took over his businesses and closed the bar
  • The 1851 census records the hotel structure as a ‘Temperance Inn’ which suggests that Ann held different views than her late husband about alcohol and she no served alcohol in the inn
  • Ann’s son-in-law Thomas C. Starrett managed the inn in the mid-1860s 5 after which William Hassard was hired as innkeeper 6
  • For a short period of time, the inn was known as ‘Hassards’.  William died in 1872, age 36, leaving his wife Mary Ann and four young children 7
  • In 1873, John Corliss purchased the inn from William Sterne 8.  He re-named it the ‘Railway Hotel,’ a nod to the Toronto & Grey Bruce Railway line which started passenger service to Bolton in 1871 9

And the building?

  • The hotel stables burned down in 1872 shortly after William Hassard’s death 10
  • The hotel burned down in 1880 11
  • In 1881, the Doig Block, consisting of three brick commercial units, was built on the site.  The Doig Block still stands
  1. Esther Heyes, The Story of Albion, published by  The Bolton Enterprise, 1968 edition, p.237
  2. Census Records 1851, Albion Township, details the type of buildings
  3. Mud bricks were formed from the abundant local clay and left to dry in the sun.  They were not as durable as kilned brick
  4. Perkins Bull Hotel and Tavern Licences, Boxes 32-34, Region of Peel Archives.  Hickman Street was once called Distillery Street
  5. Thomas Starrett was married to the Sterne’s daughter Dorothea and was licenced in 1866-1867
  6. Census Records 1871, Albion Township
  7. Perkins Bull ibid.
  8. Abstract Index to Deeds, BOL77, Blk. 4, Lot 14. Peel Archives
  9. Wikipedia, Charles McIlwraite
  10. Perkins Bull ibid. Boxes 32-34
  11. Perkins Bull ibid. Boxes 32-34