The Empire Hotel and the Fahey Family

(Joe Hamilton, Elgin native and EAHS Director has written a comprehensive article entitled “The History of the Hotels of Elgin”.  This is an excerpt from that work covering the Fahey era of hotel ownership)

“…A new lessor named Patrick Joseph Fahey arrived on the scene in 1893, although he didn’t acquire ownership until 1900. When he first moved into the hotel, it consisted of the main house with a dining room, reading room, several bedrooms and a large kitchen. Coal-oil lamps were kept polished and ready on a long table at the head of the stairs. With construction of the Brockville-Westport Railway in the 1880s, there was a steady stream of travelers through the Elgin area.  Local farmers often provided transportation from Phillipsville train station to Elgin, In 1905, with business thriving, Fahey added a long rear wing containing eight bedrooms, ,a bar and private family living quarters. Travelling salesmen could display their wares for local merchants in a special “sample room”. There also was a lengthy shed adjacent to the hotel where horses could be tethered and fed. There was a second floor storage area above the horse shed. Fahey owned and operated the Elgin Hotel for close to fifty years. The hotel was sold in 1946 following P.J. Fahey’s death….”

PJ Fahey & Eleanor at the side entrance

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