This hotel was built between 1897 – 98 by Fred and Lydia Hume who were one of the original pioneer families of Nelson. It had electric lights and steam radiators and was said to be the most impressive building between Vancouver and Winnipeg.
The hotel was built for $60,000 ($2,145,000 in 2022 dollars).
In 1912 the hotel was sold to George Benwell for $85,000 ($2,611,000 in 2022 dollars).
Benwell made massive renovations in the hotel including architectural designs inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright; so much so that the building was called unrecognizable. He also modernized the kitchen with a steam table, an electric dishwasher and a huge ice maker. As well, he installed a dumbwaiter and put telephones in every room.
Benwell sold the hotel in the 1940’s and it went through a succession of owners who did not keep up the standards originally set. Eventually it was abandoned after the power was cut off and numerous bills were not paid.
In 1979 it had digressed to a point where the city was looking to have it condemned and torn down.
Dave Martin – who had restored a hotel in similar condition in the Yukon – bought the hotel with the intent of restoring it to its former glory. The interior of the hotel was completely gutted with the plumbing and electrical replaced and updated.
It ended up costing 1 million dollars ($3,620,000 in 2022 dollars) to restore and renovate the hotel; twice was it expected to cost. However, in December of 1980 it all became worth it when the hotel opened again as a shining star in the town of Nelson.
Many artifacts from the hotel’s past were found while the work was being done and are now on display in the hotel.
In 2005 the hotel underwent a major restoration to it’s exterior.
This location is said to be filled with “caretaker ghosts” who care deeply for the hotel. It is also filled with welcoming energy and very proud of it’s long history of an elegant and luxurious hotel.
In Room 335 – which no longer exists due to renovations – a man who is well dressed – in an outdated way – including a bowler hat was frequently seen sitting on the bed. Often, he would tip his hat and give a friendly smile to guests entering as if inviting them in.
Many report him as smoking a cigar as well.
Now that Room 335 no longer exists the ghost has moved into other rooms. He always seems very friendly but has scared more than one guest with his sudden appearances in their rooms.
There is portrait of Lydia Hume – one of the original owners – which is said to watch everyone within sight. Her gaze is said to be very piercing but also welcoming to all guests.
There is said to be a dark entity in the hotel that is responsible for a long ago fire that gutted the building across the alley from the hotel. It is said to make it’s presence known by a sudden blast of uncomfortable heat.
One investigation caught the word, “careful” on an EVP.
Other Reported Activity: taps turning on and off on their own; TV’s turning on and off on their own and other electrical disturbances; disembodied voices; phantom laughter; a strong welcoming energy felt by sensitive guests and employees and feelings of being watched and not being alone.