Massey Area Museum
Massey, Ontario

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Hugh Cummings Photography Collection - Then & Now




At the time that Massey became a town in 1904, there were three hotels in operation. These were the Clifton House, the Massey House and the Balmoral Hotel. Rooms went for the rate of $1.00 to $1.50.

The Balmoral Hotel was located where Leo Malleau has built his home. The hotel was first Run by E. Taylor. It was later taken over by Mr. Mowry. The building was one of the largest hotels It stood three stories high. The hotel was not fancy. It was used mainly by lumberjacks who would come down from the lumber camps and stay until they returned to work. The hotel burned to the ground in 1916. It is not known if the fire was set intentionally. At that time liquor was not available to any of the hotels in town.

The Massey House was located where the laundromat now stands. Unlike the Balmoral it was a brick building. The building was originally built to serve as the Massey hospital. It was only used as such for one year until the one and only resident doctor left town. After the hospital was converted to the Massey House, it's proprietors wee Mr. Spooner and Mr. Goldstein.

The first Clifton House was the most elegant hotel in town, the hotel being used by commerical travellers than by lumberjacks. Beside the hotel was a small stable . In 1928, a fire started in the barn, and the fire spread to the hotel. The fire fighting equipment was horse drawn and was slow arriving. Everyone was concentrating their efforts on the stable fire and the hotel fire wen t unoticed until it was much too late. The building burnt to the ground.

Mr. Ouellettte then purchase the Massey house and changed it into the second Clifton house. In 1938 this building caught fire and it was totally destroyed. A woman (Mrs. Sarah Maltaise, 66 of McKerrow)lost her life in that fire. After the fire the then owner bought the home of JJ.D. Wilson, on Imperial Street. Mr Wilson was one of the founders of the Dome Mine at Colbalt. The building had been built by Joe Errington, one of Massey's early mayors. The house was then converted into the Clifton house.


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