The Royal Hotel …
Located in Chilliwack down town on the corner of Wellington and Main, this hotel is a testament to the bustling town of long ago. This landmark and heritage site was built in 1908 for Chilliwack resident D. S. Dundas. Four years later, in 1912, the “Royal” was sold to Cyrus W. McGillivray of Vancouver for $47,000. Again in 1926, the “Royal” changed hands and was sold to “Tom Berry.” During this period the Hotel grew with the town and prospered. Tom’s son “Buck Berry” was the most colorful of the “Berry” family.
The hotel Tavern was “standing room only” on any given Friday evening. One of the drawing cards played by “Buck” was the “if you’ve got a seat at 6:00 PM on a Friday evening, you’ve got a beer on the house.”
An avid hunter, smart business man and a mountain of a man, Buck continued to operate the Royal until 1995. The large tavern has since been split into two by the current owners and the “Wellington” was born.
The entrance to the “Wellington” is the same entrance that once proudly supported the “Ladies and Escorts” sign above it. The other half of the tavern is in desperate need of renovation and was recently closed.
The rooms have undergone a change as well. Of the 34 rooms in this hotel, 14 remain in the heritage style including the hardwood floors and claw foot tubs while the other 10 rooms have been modernized with carpet and new furnishings.
The restaurant is still in operation as well. We’ll wait to see how this story continues to be written into history. As my first “watering hole”, I hope this landmark continues to grow and prosper.