Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Stalwarts at the Sturgeon Point Hotel

The illustration of the Sturgeon Point Hotel, about 1881, for the travel poster found in Manitoba
Used with permission of the Sturgeon Point Association

The Stalwarts were a faction within the Republican party and had been in favour of President Ulysses S. Grant serving a third term.  However they did support the nomination of James A Garfield, who went on to be President of the United States.  The following article appears in the July 1st, 1881, edition of the Canadian Post:

Rochester Stalwarts at Sturgeon Point Hotel
For a couple of weeks a pleasant company of “Stalwarts” from Rochester, numbering nearly a score, have been spending a holiday at Sturgeon Point Hotel, and a capital time they have had.  They are a decided advance in dimensions on the lean, typical Yankee, being fine large men, most of them handsome too.  They left for home yesterday morning by the early train.  Before leaving they held a meeting in the office of the Sturgeon Point Hotel, when it was unanimously resolved: “That their heartiest thanks were due to Capt. Crawford, of the steamer Norseman, for his untiring efforts to make their trip across Lake Ontario, and their brief stay in Port Hope agreeable; also resolve that the cordial reception tendered them by the mayor, collector, editors, capitalists and other good citizens of Port Hope was highly appreciated, and the same would be cordially reciprocated whenever any or all of the gentlemen should favour Rochester with a visit.  Especially they thank the editor of the Port Hope Guide for his picturesque descriptions of the party; again resolve that Sturgeon Point Hotel and its accommodations, the well wooded park of one hundred acres around it, containing two springs of remarkably cool water, and the beautiful Sturgeon Lake in front, they hope to enjoy many times in the futures, but should this hope never be realized, they would at any rate always remember them with the keenest pleasure and would entertain toward Commodore Crandell, the genial owner of the hotel park, and toward his son, F. Crandell, the manager, feelings of the liveliest gratitude for their vigilant assiduity in ministering to the comfort of their guests.  Furthermore, that the would never fail to advise any of their friends who might be looking out for a cool, picturesque retreat for the summer, where the charges are reasonable, and where there purses would not be incessantly assailed by a hoard of greedy lackeys, by all means come to Sturgeon Point.  Signed,
Col. Brackett, Ex-Mayor of Rochester
L.M. Newton, Collector of Customs
J.E. Morey, Prop. Union and Advertiser
A.G. Wheeler, Police Justice
D.J. Hunt, Postmaster
Wm. Mudgett, Banker
Dean Stuart, Judge
D.S. Benjamin, Professor
J.H. Howe, Carpet Merchant
E.A. Frost, County Clerk
H.S. Hebard, Prop., Hebard Marble Works
W.C. Ellis, Lawyer
R.F. Takkman, County Clerk
A. McWhorter, Keeper of State Penetentiary
D. Richmond, Civil Engineer

It is a fascinating list of who was who in Rochester... but it does beg who was minding the shop while the boys were all out of town.  The poster of the hotel that was found in Manitoba dates to this period of time.  It lists the costs of coming from Rochester:

Then this appears in the Canadian Post on 8 July 1881:

Mr. Morey of the Rochester Union and Advertiser, one of the “stalwarts” lately at the Sturgeon Point Hotel, has written an interesting account of his trip and sojourn at the Point, from which we make this extract:- “The train took the party to Lindsay, forty miles from Port Hope, where a steamer was in readiness to convey them to Sturgeon lake, a beautiful stretch of water some fifteen miles long, it bold shores being diversified by every variety of beautiful scenery.  The party landed at Sturgeon Point hotel, that being its destination.  The hotel stands upon a bluff overlooking the lake, in the midst of a fine tract of one hundred acres of primitive oak forest, which form the outlying grounds for this beautiful summer resort.  Two large living springs of pure cold water are at hand to slake the thirst of the pleasure-seeker.  The hotel is the property of Com. Crandell, and his don Fremont, conducts the same in a manner entirely satisfactory to their guests.  The Rochester party remained at Sturgeon Point and vicinity six days, spending time in fishing, sailing and other amusements.  The maskinonge and black bass were plenty, and many were captured.  The hotel proprietors did much to make their guests happy.  The hotel was supplied with all that could be desired.  The hosts gave the party two steamboat excursions to exhibit the scenery of the locality.  One was made to Pigeon lake, about fifteen miles distant, where the day was spent very pleasantly."

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