BC's longest-operating licensed hotel was destroyed in an early-morning fire yesterday in downtown Comox. (The photos of the scene are from our Comox correspondent John Clark.)
The Lorne Hotel opened for business in 1878. It was named for the Marquess of Lorne who served as Canada's governor general from 1878-1883 and was married to one of Queen Victoria's daughters. It was a difficult time in relations between Victoria and Ottawa. British Columbians were chafing at the delay in building the transcontinental railway, which they had been promised in return for joining Confederation. Some extremists were suggesting that the province secede. Lorne was on BC's side in this dispute.
The hotel had been a popular community meeting spot for 133 years. Luckily there are no reports of anyone being injured in the fire.