The Invermere Hotel was a landmark since 1900. Originally it was named Hotel Canterbury. Located on the main street of Invermere in southeastern British Columbia, the Invermere Hotel was the hub of the little town. Its main draw in later years was the beer parlour, but it was the center of the community’s events when the Paradise Mine was still active. Silver, lead, and zinc were mined there from the time these metals were discovered nearby in 1889 until the mine finally closed in 1964. During the mining heydays, the Invermere Hotel (Hotel Cranberry) was always bustling with community activities.
In August of 1973, the captain and I were in Invermere and decided that the way to get the flavour of the town was to visit its local drinking establishment. I don’t generally frequent beer parlours, but I’m glad I did that night. It was entertaining, and I would never have the chance again, because that night, at 2 a.m. the two-storey frame building burned to the ground. Reports say the blaze appears to have started in an attic.
Only one guest, a permanent resident, and staff were in the building at the time. No one was hurt.
Firemen battled the blaze for more than two hours with the two available fire trucks, but there was really no hope of saving the historic landmark.
I felt quite sad when I took this photo the next morning. Another bit of history was gone.
By the way, do you see the phone booth (remember those?) where Clark Kent failed to get changed into his Superman outfit in time to save the hotel?