Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 22, 2015

Artifact of the Week. Envelope, Rossmore House, Cornwall


scan0031Billed as Eastern Ontario’s leading hotel the “fire-proof” 62 room hotel was constructed on the present site of the Bank of Montreal in 1888.scan0032


Meal ticket belonging to W.R. Mack.

The bar of quartered oak, had a “provincial reputation for the excellence of the liquors served over it…The dining room could seat 200 people served by 20 attendants, and was illuminated with gas and electric chandeliers.”


The Rossmore, along with St. John’s Presbyterian Church were two fine examples of the “Richardson Roanesque” archictectural style favoured in the later part of the 19th century.  The hotel soon outgrew its original location, and a 45 by 80 foot annex was added fronting on 2nd St. E.  Cornwall’s first Bell Telephone office was located here along with a branch office of CPT telegraph.

The large front double door opened out to the marble-floored front office and the second to the women’s parlour.

The hotel was heated by two large boilers, and provided hot and cold water.  Every room was “supplied with hair mattresses and the floors were covered with Crosbey’s Brussels carpets…in each room there is an electric bell connected to the office.”scan0035


A photocard of the Rossmore House fire.


The hotel’s copywriters said that “there is no more dreadful thing in a hotel than fire…at the Rossmore full provision is made in this regard.”

Sadly the hotel was destroyed by fire on April 29, 1910, that claimed 12 lives.


A photocard by R. Douglas of Cornwall showing the remains of the Rossmore after the fire.

These documents, photograph and postcards are from the collection of over 25,000 images of Cornwall and area, available for viewing at the Cornwall Community Museum during opening hours.

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