The first Algonquin Hotel was built in 1889 and charged [fun fact] $3.00 to $5.00 per day. Eventually, guests started building their own summer “cottages” nearby. Sixty years ago, the St. Croix Courier [still publishing today] featured an article about a charity house tour of some of these cottages in St. Andrews. Here are excerpts with some misty Norma Desmond glimpses of the past:
“A tour of “the stately homes” of this summer resort by-the-sea will be held Tuesday, August 2, 1955, from 2-6 p.m. The tour will take in 14 houses and gardens. Many of these homes contain valuable antiques and painting by well known artists while others are famous for the original design and furnishings.
“The tour’s attractions:
“Les Goelands, [now Kingsbrae Garden Cafe & Gift Shop], built by the late Fred H. Markey in 1912 and remodelled in 1951 by the present owners.
“Next will be Kingsbrae [now sadly torn down]. Sir Donald Walker built this house in 1900.
“Topside is next on the program. This house was built in 1897 by Thomas R. Wheelock of Boston [now Kingsbrae Arms Relais & Chateaux].
“Pansy Patch, built over 40 years ago, features a carved fireplace with inscriptions.
“Bellenden, was built in 1897 by Rev. Robert Bowser of Boston. The house has been redecorated within the past year and the gardens are described as “beautiful.”
“Penryn [now Tara Manor] will complete the tour. Last year over 300 people viewed leading homes and gardens here.”
Note: Thanks to ongoing preservation efforts, many of the homes on tour back then can still be seen in St. Andrews. When visiting us, we can steer you along a house tour path that is so much a part of the history of this seaside resort.
And finally, we can’t pass up the opportunity to quote this “Summer People” comment about the man who built what is now Kingsbrae Arms, published by the Beacon in 1901:
“Mr. T. R. Wheelock, who has a delightfully situated summer residence here, has extensive business interests in China. When not giving them his personal attention, he makes his home in Boston. He is a man of bright, active disposition, a keen golfer, wheelman and yachtsman. His son Geoffrey and Gordon Wheelock have his love for outdoor sport, they are recognized as two of the steadiest golfers this side of the Atlantic.”
Well, there is it.