From The Scrapbook By Rev. Bill Randall

From The Scrap Book

January 12, 1990

Lake View Hotel  History

Like many long-standing buildings, the old ‘Lakeview Hotel building’ in Harvey has a rather interesting history. Located in the center of the Village, the large structure, now owned by Floyd Thompson and converted into apartments, served a variety of functions in bygone years.

The Lakeview Hotel was constructed by Tom Robison for David Glendenning (1840-1916) who had come to Harvey from the Mirimichi area to teach school. It is not known how long Mr. Glendenning taught but in 1868 he was appointed Postmaster and for convenience he proceeded to set up the post office counter in the lobby of his hotel. David ran the post office for thirty years with the assistance of his unmarried daughter Minna May. When Mr. Glendenning retired from the position in 1898 ‘Min’ succeeded him and she held that post until her retirement in 1938 where upon the Village Post Office was moved out of the hotel and into the home of the new Postmaster – Frank Coburn.

During the many years Min was involved with the hotel and Post Office she made her positive personality stand out. Although many would-be patrons of the hotel would come alone or with their families for a week’s stay during the summer the most frequent customers were ‘drummers’: not the rat-a-tat-tat type, but rather salesmen hoping to sell  their wares to Harvey area businessmen. These travelers would arrive by train and check into the hotel where they would set-up displays of their goods. That is, they would check in if Min approved of them – their appearance and former conduct. She also out lined the ‘house rules’ to them: NO LIQUOR, NO WOMEN (which in Harvey there probably weren’t any available at the time anyway), NO SMOKING, NO GUM CHEWING and NO OFF-COLOR STORY TELLING! If Min approved and they accepted the rules she took their rent in advance and assigned them a room.

Min was equally forceful in the running of the Post Office. If she didn’t approve of a customer’s deportment or behaviour a rebuke would follow: “No mail for you if you keep on slamming that door,” she would say sternly.

When Min retired in 1938 the hotel was purchased by Mr. Dave Coffey. The son of Irish immigrant parents, Richard and Elizabeth-Ann, Dave already owned and operated a small grocery store, slaughter barn and butcher shop next door to the hotel (about where Harvey Pharmacy is now located) and he jumped at the chance to expand. Settling into the new premises the former hotel lobby and the space occupied by the now moved post office were converted into a grocery/meat shop.

Mr. Coffey, himself unmarried, was assisted in the operation of his several businesses by his widowed sister Maud Dykeman and her two children Herb and Mina. He had taken the three in when Maud’s husband died. Maud was always ready to serve meals to friends or strangers and so the Hotel continued although it was more of a ‘Bed and Breakfast’ concept. The place lost its name as a hotel and was rather simply known as Dave Coffey’s Store. As time went on, Mr. Coffey converted some rooms into an apartment for Travis and Margaret Dougan and so the transformation began.

Many still remember the gentle manners of Dave and Maud; the smell of the Boston Breeze oil burner; the meat counter and the unhurried atmosphere these two people generated.

In 1967 Dave closed the store and sold the building and adjacent land to Ronald Corey and Harold Kilgour. Mr. Coffey and his sister Maud then moved ‘up the hill’ to the home of his late brother, Lorne Coffey. The old `Lakeview Hotel’ was subsequently totally converted into apartments and passed through several owners – Murray Murch and Eugene Stairs before being purchased by its present owner Floyd Thompson. Although as a hotel it has ceased to function this old Harvey landmark and its attendant history are not forgotten.

Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook Vol. One.”

Recommended Reading

Interested in learning more about the rich history and heritage of the Harvey region? Here are a few blog posts that might pique your interest: