As spring turns to summer here in Chilliwack I would love to share stories, relate some interesting local history and let you in on behind the scenes activities at the 105 year old Royal Hotel.
Here are my top ten happenings from 1908 – when the Royal Hotel Chilliwack first opened.
- The first New Year ball drop on New York City’s Time Square happened on January 1, 1908.
- The population of Chilliwack was less than 2000 people. Today Chilliwack’s population is approaching 80,000 residents.
- The B.C. Electric Railway tracks were under construction that would connect New Westminster to Chilliwack. Construction would take two years and would also bring electricity to Chilliwack.
- Henry Ford introduced his first model T Ford automobile in Detroit. The Ford Motor Company would go onto to become a major player in the automobile industry.
- The City of Chilliwack was incorporated in 1908 and would join the Township of Chilliwack (incorporated in1873) to form the District of Chilliwack in 1980, later to become simply the City of Chilliwack.
- Sir Wilfred Laurier was the Prime Minister of Canada and Richard McBride was the premier of B.C. in 1908.
- The songs “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “Shine on Harvest Moon” were hits of the day.
- Sugar was priced at 4 cents per pound and coffee sold for 15 cents a pound.
- The Canadian Pacific Empress Hotel opened in Victoria and the University of British Columbia was established in Vancouver.
- The Royal Hotel opened on Wellington Avenue in what would become Chilliwack’s downtown.