Room at the Inn reveals the long-forgotten histories of British Columbia’s early hospitality industry, through the riveting stories of the men and women who built, ran, and frequented hotels, hostelries, resorts, and roadhouses in the southern Interior. From the Similkameen town of Keremeos to Spences Bridge at the confluence of the Thompson and Nicola Rivers, east to the Alberta border along the Trans-Canada Highway, and south to the Canada–US border, the history of these hotels mirrors the history of BC’s mining towns and boom-bust economy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as waves of prospectors, settlers, and eventually tourists shaped the culture of the province that we know today.
Of the forty historic hotels profiled in this book, all contributed to their communities in various ways. They provided more than just a roof over the heads of weary travellers; they were often the sites of live entertainment, places where community members could meet and socialize. Some even doubled as makeshift hospitals during wildfires and floods. Through colourful anecdotes, meticulous research, and fascinating archival photography, Room at the Inn transports readers to a bygone era and pays tribute to the pioneers, entrepreneurs, and hard-work men and women who built and operated these historic accommodations.