The inn that’s never out

David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
4
18
#21
scotto
05-14-2014, 12:26 PM
David has asked for built date for the Brant Inn, I have gone through many of the books on the subject and a clear date doesn't come up.
I have attached some parts of few books on the subject, however it is difficult to separate the history writings of the Brant Hotel and the Brant Inn, so I have added both here;

COLEMAN, A.B.
From; Burlington, The Growing Years by Dorothy Turcotte
(condensed, unrelated history skipped)
Alfred B. Coleman was born in Woolwich, England in 1865, and came to Canada with his parents when he was still a boy. The family settled first in Hamilton, then came to Burlington.
In 1899, he purchased the Brant House property and built a huge modern hotel on the site. This was called the Brant Hotel, and immediately became the holiday resort of choice for many Canadians and Americans. Steamers came from Hamilton to dock in front of the hotel in Brant's Pond, bringing crowds of guests for picnics and day trips.

As soon as the hotel was completed, the Coleman family moved to Toronto where A.B. was involved in several major building projects. In 1909, the family moved back to Burlington, taking up residence in the Annex, a building next to the hotel which had been built around the original Brant home. Around this time, Coleman purchased a small piece of property across the road on the lakefront and built a wooden building which he called his "country club" This was meant as a place for men folk to gather to drink, smoke, play cards or billiards and otherwise socialize.
Meanwhile, A.B. began to develop the nearby Indian Point property at the mouth of Waghuata Creek, as the Indians called it, or Indian Creek as' we know it now First he made the Point accessible by building a road and a footbridge, then he laid out a six-hole golf course. Next he built several large bungalows which he rented to wealthy patrons. This later became an exclusive residential district, with attractive stone gates at each of the two entrances. However, A.B. retained ownership of the houses until his death in 1939. At that time, the estate sold the homes and gave the roads to the town of Burlington. For a long time, the streets were unnamed, but in 1951 members of the Coleman family chose names such as Algonquin, Iroquois, Indian and Mohawk for the streets.
When the federal government expropriated the Brant Hotel as a military hospital in 1917, Coleman turned his attention to his "country club" He expanded it into a first class hotel with fine dining and dancing. While Coleman was always interested in building, he was not interested in management. The Brant Hotel had always been managed by others; so was the Brant Inn. In 1937, the managers were Murray Anderson and Clifford Kendall. When A.B. Coleman died in 1938, this team purchased the Brant Inn and turned it into one of the most famous night spots in North America.
________________________________________

Here is a bit more information on Coleman’s work.

“A. B. Coleman, general contractor and lumber dealer, is an energetic, progressive, and rising man who has done much for Burlington. He commenced business as a contractor at eighteen years of age. A few years later he bought out the old planing mill on Ontario Street, which he operated successfully until his business demanded larger premises. In the winter of 1895 he built the large new mill on Ontario Street, which was, unfortunately, destroyed by fire on June 21st, 1898. In the winter of 1899 lie commenced to promote the Hotel Brant, and after a year of persevering effort succeeded in obtaining the necessary capital. The hotel was built the following year, and opened on July 2nd. Mr. Coleman has built a great many houses in Burlington, both for himself and others, as well as the greater part of the Beach. He has executed many large contracts in Ontario, and during the past summer has been engaged -on some large buildings in Toronto, Durham, Fort Erie and Low.”

http://canada.yodelout.com/burlingtons-up-to-date-planing-mill-and-lumber-yard/
 

David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
4
18
#22
scotto
05-14-2014, 12:33 PM
From;
Remember The Brant Inn
By Dorothy Turcotte
In 1892, the Brant House property was sold to A.B Coleman, a well-known local builder. An item in the Hamilton Spectator on July 28th of that year read "Since Proprietor Coleman took possession, the house has been rebuilt and refurbished, the grounds newly laid out, pavillions and cottages erected, and other improvements made."
Coleman was a long-time resident of Burlington. In 1887 he built the red brick house at 470 Nelson Avenue, and in 1893, he constructed and moved to the unusual "Gingerbread House" at 1375 Ontario Street. He was a man with a heart full of dreams, and when he took over the Brant complex, it underwent a transformation.
Early in 1900, workmen were busy building an entirely new hotel on the Brant property, next to the original house. Bricks were brought across the ice on the Bay from the brickyard in Hamilton to construct a four-storey building that would accommodate 300 guests in pampered luxury. According to initial advertising, the hotel was fire-proof, with elevator, electric lights, hot air furnaces, bells for summoning service people and plumbing that "is open, sanitary and modern." Room rates began at $2.50 a day.
The dining room was a magnificent salon with beamed ceiling and verandahs on either side. Gardens on the premises provided fresh fruit and vegetables for the menu.
The huge ballroom featured a fine hardwood floor that was excellent for dancing. Orchestras were engaged to play for regular dancing and concerts.
From the ballroom, hotel guests could saunter onto the famous Roof Garden to view Lake Ontario, Burlington Bay, and the escarp¬ment rising to the north. From time to time, the Roof Garden was also the location for vaudeville acts and other performances. During the hotel's opening week, for example, the Roof Garden featured the Flammere Sisters who were billed as character change artists, Zartini, the juggler; and Alf Holt, "the Human Mockingbird."
Monday, July 2nd, 1900 was Opening Day at the new Brant Hotel. The building was open to the public who came in crowds to have a look. All were amazed that Mr Coleman (almost always referred to as A.B.) could have created such a marvellous hotel in such a short time. He had plenty of help from his family. His brother James was a carpenter, while C.F. was a painter, so creation of the building was a family affair. C.F Coleman was also well-known in Burlington for he was one of its first mayors, and had one of the first telephones. His number was 5. The Coleman children used to chuckle because the number of the railway station was 222.
Although A.B. was a master at planning and creating buildings, he was not interested in running the hotel himself. He hired the team of Wachenhusen and Boggs as managers.
Soon after the completion of the hotel, the Coleman family moved to Toronto where A.B. took on more large construction. Meanwhile, the Hotel Brant could not help but succeed. Strate¬gically located, it offered recreational facilities that both Canadians and Americans were coming to appreciate in the new century. Furthermore, it was much more accessible than the Muskokas and other Ontario resort areas.
An advertising brochure of the time provides a map showing how easily the Brant Hotel could be reached from places like New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. The elite did come from these far places, for the hotel register contained signatures of members of the Mellon and Dupont families, as well as celebrities such as William Jennings Bryan. Unfortunately, the register was lost many years ago in a fire at Indian Point.
At the time, no accessible resort surpassed the Brant Hotel.
The Coleman family returned to live in the original Brant House in 1909 At this time, A.B. began to expand his Burlington complex by putting a six-hole golf course on Indian Point which was separated from the rest of the property by Big Gut, as the mouth of Indian Creek was called. The golf course was reached by a foot bridge.
Twenty-five Tudor-style bungalows were also built on the Point and offered for rent by the season. These comfortable houses each contained from five to 12 rooms. They were equipped with fireplaces and all modern conveniences for the use of family groups. Bungalows rented for from $100 to $500 which included electricity, hot water, ice and janitor services. Bungalow guests could provide their own meals, or could arrange to have them at the hotel. For those who chose to "eat in", supplies were delivered to the door each day.
In 1910, the hotel itself underwent changes. Hot and cold running water and telephones were installed in every room, and the entire building was redecorated. At this time, furnaces were installed to provide steam heat so that the previously seasonal hotel would operate all year. A little track ran from the back entrance of the hotel to the railway station across the road. When guests got off the train, their luggage was loaded onto little cars which took it to the hotel so that it could be waiting when they reached their rooms….

The railroad that is being refered to here is the ‘Hamilton and Northwestern (H&NW. here is a page on that building.
http://www.buildingstories.co/report.php?ListType=bheritage_data&ID=3324
 

David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
4
18
#23
scotto
05-14-2014, 12:26 PM
David has asked for built date for the Brant Inn, I have gone through many of the books on the subject and a clear date doesn't come up.
I have attached some parts of few books on the subject, however it is difficult to separate the history writings of the Brant Hotel and the Brant Inn, so I have added both here;

COLEMAN, A.B.
From; Burlington, The Growing Years by Dorothy Turcotte
(condensed, unrelated history skipped)
Alfred B. Coleman was born in Woolwich, England in 1865, and came to Canada with his parents when he was still a boy. The family settled first in Hamilton, then came to Burlington.
In 1899, he purchased the Brant House property and built a huge modern hotel on the site. This was called the Brant Hotel, and immediately became the holiday resort of choice for many Canadians and Americans. Steamers came from Hamilton to dock in front of the hotel in Brant's Pond, bringing crowds of guests for picnics and day trips.

As soon as the hotel was completed, the Coleman family moved to Toronto where A.B. was involved in several major building projects. In 1909, the family moved back to Burlington, taking up residence in the Annex, a building next to the hotel which had been built around the original Brant home. Around this time, Coleman purchased a small piece of property across the road on the lakefront and built a wooden building which he called his "country club" This was meant as a place for men folk to gather to drink, smoke, play cards or billiards and otherwise socialize.
Meanwhile, A.B. began to develop the nearby Indian Point property at the mouth of Waghuata Creek, as the Indians called it, or Indian Creek as' we know it now First he made the Point accessible by building a road and a footbridge, then he laid out a six-hole golf course. Next he built several large bungalows which he rented to wealthy patrons. This later became an exclusive residential district, with attractive stone gates at each of the two entrances. However, A.B. retained ownership of the houses until his death in 1939. At that time, the estate sold the homes and gave the roads to the town of Burlington. For a long time, the streets were unnamed, but in 1951 members of the Coleman family chose names such as Algonquin, Iroquois, Indian and Mohawk for the streets.
When the federal government expropriated the Brant Hotel as a military hospital in 1917, Coleman turned his attention to his "country club" He expanded it into a first class hotel with fine dining and dancing….”

Here is a picture of doctors and nurses at the Brant Military Hospital In 1920.
http://vitacollections.ca/burlingtonhistoricalsociety/65129/data?n=132
 

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David O'Reilly

Registered User
Dec 15, 2012
482
4
18
#24
scotto
05-14-2014, 12:26 PM
David has asked for built date for the Brant Inn, I have gone through many of the books on the subject and a clear date doesn't come up.
I have attached some parts of few books on the subject, however it is difficult to separate the history writings of the Brant Hotel and the Brant Inn, so I have added both here;

COLEMAN, A.B.
From; Burlington, The Growing Years by Dorothy Turcotte
(condensed, unrelated history skipped)
Alfred B. Coleman was born in Woolwich, England in 1865, and came to Canada with his parents when he was still a boy. The family settled first in Hamilton, then came to Burlington.
In 1899, he purchased the Brant House property and built a huge modern hotel on the site. This was called the Brant Hotel, and immediately became the holiday resort of choice for many Canadians and Americans. Steamers came from Hamilton to dock in front of the hotel in Brant's Pond, bringing crowds of guests for picnics and day trips.

As soon as the hotel was completed, the Coleman family moved to Toronto where A.B. was involved in several major building projects. In 1909, the family moved back to Burlington, taking up residence in the Annex, a building next to the hotel which had been built around the original Brant home. Around this time, Coleman purchased a small piece of property across the road on the lakefront and built a wooden building which he called his "country club" This was meant as a place for men folk to gather to drink, smoke, play cards or billiards and otherwise socialize.
Meanwhile, A.B. began to develop the nearby Indian Point property at the mouth of Waghuata Creek, as the Indians called it, or Indian Creek as' we know it now First he made the Point accessible by building a road and a footbridge, then he laid out a six-hole golf course. Next he built several large bungalows which he rented to wealthy patrons. This later became an exclusive residential district, with attractive stone gates at each of the two entrances. However, A.B. retained ownership of the houses until his death in 1939. At that time, the estate sold the homes and gave the roads to the town of Burlington. For a long time, the streets were unnamed, but in 1951 members of the Coleman family chose names such as Algonquin, Iroquois, Indian and Mohawk for the streets.
When the federal government expropriated the Brant Hotel as a military hospital in 1917, Coleman turned his attention to his "country club" He expanded it into a first class hotel with fine dining and dancing. While Coleman was always interested in building, he was not interested in management. The Brant Hotel had always been managed by others; so was the Brant Inn. In 1937, the managers were Murray Anderson and Clifford Kendall. When A.B. Coleman died in 1938, this team purchased the Brant Inn and turned it into one of the most famous night spots in North America.
________________________________________


This Burlington Gazette article has some information on the Brant Hotel, its conversion to the Brant Military Hospital, and the Brant Inn.

http://www.burlingtongazette.ca/can...to-a-hospital-for-injured-returning-veterans/
 

scotto

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Feb 15, 2004
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The Beach Strip
#25
The Hamilton Spectator
Brian Henley

Refurbished Brant Inn had postwar heyday

"Murray Anderson and Clifford
Kendall, doughty impresarios of
the Brant Inn, certainly
provided the patrons of this
lovely dancing place with a
pleasant thrill Saturday night
when the Inn opened once more
after the winter layoff.
Completely redecorated from
bow to stern, the Lido Deck, the
cabaret, and the summer
dancing room presented a truly
nautical picture for the throng
which was present for opening
night"
The Hamilton Spectator, March 7, 1938.

Burlington

While the late-winter winds of March 1938 were still blowing around the north end of the Beach Strip near Indian Point, the sounds of big-band music and energetic dancing to the music were about to begin again at the Brant Inn.


Since New Year's Eve of 1927, a dynamic young man named Murray Anderson had been part of the Brant Inn scene. Hired to run the dance concession, Anderson became the person responsible for bringing first-class big bands and other entertainers to the popular night spot by the shores of Lake Ontario.
By 1934, Anderson, in partnership with Hamilton accountant Cliff Kendall and Cec Roberts of the well known Roberts Restaurant, leased and ran the Brant Inn. Four years later, Anderson and Kendall bought it.

The transformation of the former Indian Room into the Lido Deck for the opening of the 1938 season was a major investment on the part of the partners. With a dramatic flair, the decorators had created a memorable stage for the big bands and a wide, colourful area for the dancers to work out.
The Spectator reported that the entire Brant Inn "resembled an ocean vessel more than ever now that the Andersonian scheme of decoration is complete.

''A gang plank - realistic even to the slope - greets guests at the entrance. Even the linoleum flooring is pepped up with the inlaid anchor design. The oceanic effect has been heightened throughout by the use of ship's beams,
rivets and portholes.

"The cabaret and summer dining room have been redecorated in classic modern design, colours being shrimp, blue, vermillion and white . Coloured cut-outs of ships, sailors, anchors and flags on walls, and draperies in blue with white waves, complete the decorations in these two rooms."

Thrilled

On March 6, 1938, in the Lido Deck it-self, Bob Lyon and his orchestra thrilled the dance lovers there by presenting "something new in tempo and their playing was distinctly up to the minute. A pretty trio - the Shannon Sisters - completed the musical end of the evening" .

The Lido Deck not only provided a two-level stage for the big bands and their vocalists and a sweeping dance floor, it also had extensive seating for diners. Altogether, the room could accommodate up to 1,000 guests.

Throughout the late 1930s and the 1940s, the Brant Inn would attract the best and most popular big bands of the era.
In Dorothy Turcotte's excellent 1990 book, Remembering The Brant Inn, the author noted that not only did the most famous big bands from the United States entertain the crowds in the Lido Deck, but Canadian bands appeared there frequently.

"Many well-known local orchestras played between big-name engagements as well. Ron Wicken, Morgan Thomas, D'iril Coons, Harry Waller and Gav Morton's bands were all popular with the crowds."

Dwindle

By the late 1940s, crowds began to dwindle at the Brant Inn. In an effort to promote the night spot, group-rate parties were offered. For several years, large companies and organizations would hold special banquets and dances at the Brant Inn. Large Hamilton firms would charter buses or even trains to take large groups down to the Brant Inn for an evening's entertainment.

The Brant Inn continued to offer the best in first-class entertainment through the 1950s. New Year's Eve was always one of the biggest nights of the year at the popular entertainment mecca. In 1950, the New Year's Eve party featured not one, but three big bands.
In 1964, Murray Anderson retired and the Brant Inn was sold. For a brief period, rock 'n' roll entertainers were booked at the former big-band hot spot.
The Lido Deck was renamed the Club Lido for the teen dance era.

But the Brant Inn's time had come and gone. After a grand finale on New Year's Eve, 1968, the doors of the once-popular nightspot were closed for good. An auction in January 1969 attracted thousands of people wanting to buy a keepsake of the Brant Inn.
Three months later, the Brant Inn was demolished.

Although the big-band sounds are occasionally revived, the memories of that dynamic era in local entertainment vividly remain with those who once ventured to the Beach Strip to dance and enjoy the music at the Brant Inn.
Lido Deck.jpg


As the orchestra plays, with the singer on the "deck" above, in the Brant Inn's Lido Deck in about 1940.
Special Collections Hamilton Public Library
 
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