April 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Hotel Windsor and Liquor Stores in Drummondville

L’Hôtel Windsor et les débits d’alcool à Drummondville

Yolande Allard – Drummond Historical Society

Drummond History Society. In Quebec, under Canada Temperance Act 1885, called Scott’s Law, a liquor retail license shall not be issued except for medical or religious purposes. In Drummond County, a referendum recalled the said law in 1892. However, the Drummondville Municipal Council, under pressure from the clergy, limited the number of hotels allowed on the territory to four and set an annual fee. $200. An operating license.

Ephrem Archambault, proprietor of the Windsor Hotel. (Drummond Historical Society, Yolande Allard Fund; P17)

In addition, it prohibits the sale of spirits on Sundays and holidays, except upon presentation of a certificate signed by a doctor and countersigned by the parish priest of Saint-Frédéric or an Anglican pastor. At all times, minors and certified drunks are forced to stay away. Finally, closing time for bars is set at 23:00.

Four hotels commissioned by the City Council are located in Heriot Street. The oldest, Hotel Boisvert, also known as the Drummondville Hotel, faces the rue Loring on the north side. The other three were built on the south side, namely Grand Central, Cockburn Street, American House, opposite St George’s Anglican Church, and Albion, across the railway.

To quench their thirst, honest citizens could get their supplies from a Ferland beer bottler on rue Dorian or at the liquor counter of Turcotte’s general store on the corner of Heriot and Du Bridge in the lower part of town.

Ephraim Archambault thought he had a good business opportunity in 1895 when he began building a hotel at the intersection of Lindsay and Cockburn streets. Named after Windsor, the brick building is three stories tall; The floor area is approximately 2,500 square feet. A bar or tavern welcomes merrymakers on the ground floor.

The competition is fierce and hotel employee Ephraim is no match. Also, less than five years after the inauguration, he leased Windsor to Octave Bourque, who ended the lease a year later. Then, a man named Vincent d’Acton Vale tried to hold the torch, without success. Neither Bourque nor Vincent could make it profitable. Ephrem found it necessary to sell it to Lacasse & Gendreau, who reassigned it to him a few months later in April 1909. In the end, even though he was an alderman himself, the municipal council refused him permission to operate…

Grand Central Hotel, Herriot Street, Drummondville, circa 1920. (Drummond Historical Society, Postcard Collection; C3-3.1D1)

Providence finally appeared in November 1910 in the form of the Sisters of Charity of Nicolet, who agreed to rent out their hotel to be converted into a hospital. The term of the lease is four years and five months, with an annual rent of $550.50. When the lease expires, the sisters will move into a larger building previously used for teaching purposes. The hotel-hospital was later sold to the notary Edmond Rousseau de Saint-Jeffirin. It will later be converted into a multi-unit house.

JN Turcotte General Store, Herriot Street, Drummondville, 1890. (Drummond Historical Society, Regional Collection; IC-2.4E3)

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