Getting hitched

City gets its first hitching post in nearly a century.

Caesar

For the first time in about half a century, a hotel on Johnston Road in Port Alberni has had hitching posts installed for its equestrian business.

The Blue Marlin Inn has installed two hitching posts to accommodate their summer horse and carriage rides, which Dana and Kerry Salisbury of Beaver Creek provide every week.

This is the second year the Blue Marlin is offering carriage rides during the summer. Last year wranglers tied the horses to a signpost or had to hold onto them.

 

The Blue Marlin Inn has only been called so for not quite three years; it was built in 1893 by Matt Ward as the Arlington Hotel, and remained so at the corner of Johnston Road and Margaret Street until it was sold in 2012.

Glen A. Mofford, who blogs about historic drinking establishments in British Columbia, calls the former Arlington Hotel “A defiant survivor where thousands of patrons have lodged and countless more have enjoyed imbibing in its saloon, in the beer parlour and eventually in the Arli pub, all the while contributing to the hotel’s colourful history.”

The Arlington was the second hotel to be built in Alberni.

The three-storey building had a large veranda on the front, included a dining room that sat 90 as well as a “modern” saloon. Jack Burke and Harry Fitzgerald opened the Alberni Livery Stable across Margaret Street from the Arli, which complemented the hotel and saloon.

The livery was a mainstay on the corner until the 1940s, when Chatwin Motors took over.

No records could be found at the Alberni and District Archives about when the Blue Marlin last had a hitching post, museum executive director Jamie Morton said. The switch to electricity in the building in the early 1900s was more notable, and was even marked in minutes from a February 1913 Alberni city council meeting, during a report on the matter.

Tim Sherwood installed the two new hitching posts after gaining permission from city planner Scott Smith and painted them bright yellow (so motorists can see them). the posts are made from steel pipe courtesy of Dast Welding, and sunk two feet into concrete to keep them stable.

Sherwood used horseshoes from one of his own horses to create the tie-ups.

“I was going to use my draft horse’s shoes but they were way too big,” he said.

He installed two posts and two hooks in the breezeway “so when the sun moves they will move the horses around the corner,” he said.

The horse and carriage rides will be offered every Thursday through Sunday in the summer as well as during special events.

The inn offers the carriage rides to tie in with the heritage theme of the establishment, said inn spokesperson Sue Hopkins.

“Susan is our cousin and we’ve been doing this for many years,” Kerry Salisbury said. “(The Blue Marlin’s owners) were looking to for somebody and she automatically thought of us. I think it’s something that’s going to do well here,” she said.

“It’s part of our heritage, part of the heritage of this building.”

Horses are also a part of the Salisbury family’s history, as is the former Arlington Hotel, she added. “We were born and raised here. We came here for coffee with Dad, coffee with his cronies, when we were kids. And we drank here as teens when we came of age. This is almost a dream come true for Dana and I.”

The routes they take vary, says Dana Salisbury. “We have a few different routes depending on the length of the ride you want to go on,” she said.

Reservations can be made by calling the Blue Marlin at 250-723-5663.

The carriage traverses the blocks around Johnston Road and Victoria Quay, Margaret Street and up to Roger Creek Splash Park, and even along Stamp Avenue to Harbour Quay and back for the longest route, she said.

“We try and incorporate some of the history, especially with the hotel, Salisbury said.

“Talking to some of the oldtimers too, they have stories.

“This is the greatest job.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Accident causes power outage on Beaver Creek Road

One sent to West Coast General Hospital in crash

West Coast Hockey Prep Camp draws nearly 1,000 players to Port Alberni

History-making Korean hockey coach joins league of celebrity instructors

Port Alberni co-ops targeted in different crimes

One break-and-enter, one case of graffiti at each gas station

Offroad racing happening at Alberni Motorsports Park July 21–22

Last mud truck event until September on the Port Alberni track

Lease agreement signed for Port Alberni oil spill response base

25-year lease agreement is part of a larger expansion plan

Here’s what you need to know about Day 1 at the BC Games

All 18 events kick off on the track, riding ring, fields, courts and lake in the Cowichan Valley

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Seal attacks kayakers off northern Vancouver Island

‘It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.’

Victoria-area park sign removed after glitch redirects to porn site

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser to help mom of jogger detained after crossing U.S. border

Cedella Roman, 19, was held in U.S. after accidentally crossing border in South Surrey

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Most Read