The Rose Country Inn - Wetaskiwin, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 52° 58.105 W 113° 22.464
12U E 340549 N 5871395
Quick Description: Hotel, then hospital, then city offices, then hotel again - this hotel has had an interesting history in its time on earth.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 8/17/2018 2:12:55 PM
Waymark Code: WMYZZZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
A thoroughly modern hotel when built in 1903, the Prince of Wales Hotel was equipped with every convenience available at the time. The building even had electricity, before municipal electricity had arrived in the town, making it possibly the only electrically lit building in Wetaskiwin at the time. As it did many establishments, the institution of prohibition killed the hotel, as the bar was the only truly profitable arm of the business.

After stints as a hospital, following World War I, and as city offices, the hotel was reopened as a hotel in 1934, after extensive renovations.

Today rebranded as the Rose Country Inn, it appears to be open for business, complete with the Hungry Horse Saloon and the Rockabilly Diner. The Rose Country Inn has no obvious web presence so we have no idea whether it may be associated with the hotel of 1934. Nor do we have any information on the accommodations and amenities available, only a sign on the front indicating that it is under new ownership. For all we know it may well have undergone several different incarnations since its reopening in 1934.

The past and present photos below tell us that the hotel has undergone substantial exterior changes through the years, yet has retained its basic form. Save for the placement of windows, we might find the building of 1903 to be quite unrecognizable today.

Prince of Wales Hotel

Vladarnir Matejka had long dreamed of building a grand hotel and, in 1903, his dream came true when he built the Prince of Wales Hotel. This hotel offered many modern conveniences including electricity, hot water, and flush toilets. A 1700 gallon cistern on the roof supplied the hotel with running water. Hot water baths were advertised for public use from eight in the morning until eleven-thirty at night for a cost of fifty cents. Mr. Matejka installed his own electrical plant so the hotel had electricity even before the municipality provided this service.

The hotel had a complete call-boy system, a dining room, a smoking room, a billiard room, and large verandahs. It even boasted a drawing room with a piano. The bar, where a glass of beer could be bought for a nickel, was very popular. Unfortunately, the washroom facilities were too small to accommodate all the patrons, so many men took a trip to the aptly named "Peeing Creek" that was conveniently situated behind the Hotel. It was the bar that made the hotel profitable, so when Albertans voted in favour of Prohibition in 1915, it signalled the demise of the hotel and it was forced to close its doors the following year.

Two years later, in 1918, the building was reopened as a hospital for wounded soldiers returning from World War I. In 1920, when the need for a military hospital had lessened, the City of Wetaskiwin took over its operation, because the city hospital had become overcrowded. The Prince of Wales Hotel was not a convenient hospital as there was a long stairway up to the first floor and another to the second. It was difficult for patients to climb these stairs themselves, and even more difficult to carry those who were very ill or disabled. Nevertheless, this building remained the city hospital until 1932 when it was condemned as a fire trap and closed.

Through the ensuing years, this building housed the city office and library as well as several businesses which were located in the basement, including the News Advertiser and Arthur Trca's Coin Laundry. It was not until 1934 that Lloyd Bannerman renovated it extensively and reopened it as a hotel.
From the plaque at the building


Photo goes Here
Photo goes Here

Name of the Hotel: The Rose Country Inn

Address:
4820 50 Street
Wetaskiwin, AB
Canada
T9A 1J7


Height in floors: 3

Hotel since: 1/1/1903

Date Building was built: 1/1/1903

First use of building:
Hotel


Historic Hotel (Historic Building, National Monument or similar): yes

Urban Hotel (located in a village or town): yes

Mountains Nearby (less than 25 Kms / 15 Mil): no

Beachs Nearby (less than 25 Kms / 15 Mil): no

Historic Place nearby (Unesco or National monument/site less than 25 Kms / 15 Mil): no

Major Pilgrimage Place Nearby (less than 25 Kms / 15 Mil. Consider any religion).: no

Number of Rooms: Not Listed

Hotel Rating: Not listed

Hotel website (if available): Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Photo of Hotel and your impressions of it.
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