May 17, 2021

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A look back again at the Alder Inn – Aldergrove Star

7 min read

The Alder Inn is no additional.

One particular of Aldergrove’s longest-standing buildings, which had been at the corner of Fraser Highway and 272nd Street in diverse incarnations for seven a long time, was demolished on Nov. 16.

“A awful waste…” Township Councillor Bob Lengthy informed the Aldergrove Star. “When to start with built, the Aldergrove Lodge was the pride of the neighborhood – and it could have been again, had council exercised any vision.”

At first introduced as “The Lodge Alders” in 1948, Shorthorn beef breeder Jay Ingersoll and his wife Eva, created the framework by forming Aldergrove Resort Co. Ltd.

The resort would be a new business enterprise for the neighborhood-concerned few – designed on the web-site of the previous Lodge Western that experienced burned down at the southeast corner of what was then the Trans-Canada Freeway and Jackman Road.

Priority was given to area builders and suppliers for the development and ending of the resort, which would offer sixteen visitor rooms, fifty percent with private baths.

There would also be a certified cafe, alongside with a banquet room that could accommodate up to eighty folks.

The hotel was evidently very expected, as residents understood a lodge of this dimensions would be of fantastic advantage to the small town’s financial state.

Tami Quiring, president of the Alder Grove Heritage Society, mentioned the Alder Inn became distinct issues to distinctive persons throughout the yrs –some good and some undesirable.

“While I will not argue that the developing was in disrepair, it did have a background a single that was lively and interwoven into the quite material of Aldergrove’s tale,” Quiring defined.

When open up in January of 1949, the resort immediately grew to become preferred among the travellers, honeymooners, and even households of naval staff who experienced been stationed to the HMCS Aldergrove and awaited housing assignments.

The hotel was also recognized for its special roll in the neighborhood – a siren atop its roof was utilized to notify the volunteer firefighters that their expert services ended up wanted.

Citizens who necessary the hearth division would contact the fire alarm phone at the Aldergrove Hotel and Mrs. Ingersoll would sound the siren.

The service stopped in June of 1962 when a radio company was carried out.

It was not all excellent moments in individuals days possibly on Oct. 18, 1958, Ingersoll was operating the front desk when a lone person entered the foyer early in the early morning.

He apparently asked for a place but pulled a gun when the owner turned his again. Once the safe and sound was opened, an accomplice took $2,000 prior to tying Ingersoll to a desk and taping his mouth, hands, and toes.

RCMP were being identified as and road blocks managed to slow the criminals who have been on the run the pair had been subsequently arrested and sentenced to six many years in prison.

Go through Extra: Photograph & Movie: Alder Inn brought to the floor

In 1963, the Ingersoll’s marketed the Aldergrove Lodge to John Dizdaredich, who then resold it to Frankmount Holdings Ltd., owned by Mr. Henry Frank.

He would reside in the penthouse suite with his spouse and two young children and renovate the hotel’s banquet hall in buy to put in a cocktail lounge together with a smaller eating space.

As for each the tailor made of the occasions, there were two independent entrances – one for a guys-only part of the lounge and a single for males accompanied with an escort.

While a different theft noticed $3,000 be stripped from the owner’s secure just one night and two fires manifest in 1969 – one that would demonstrate fatal for an occupant – Frank undertook a $50 000 two-storey addition to the Aldergrove Resort that would see additional rooms upstairs and much more place in the general public rooms on the ground flooring.

He would then offer the structure to John Nunuk at the decade’s flip when the official title of the lodge would change to its abbreviated nickname – the Alder Inn.

Subsequently passed by distinctive arms all through the 1970s and ’80s, it was during the midst of the latter decade when unique dancer demonstrates would be released.

Gary Sangha owned and operated the company for the remaining 29 a long time, billing the hotel, liquor retail store, bar, and present lounge as a “Western-design saloon.”

Throughout that incarnation, several protests occurred in entrance the lodge – held by concerned citizens who felt that form of leisure reduced moral standards and maybe even residence values.

Whilst an tried re-brand name in the early 2000s tried using to appeal to a extra spouse and children-welcoming clientele, Sangha noted that sales without unique dancers dropped by 70 for each cent the Alder Inn would finally be the final establishment in Langley to have strip demonstrates.

The Township of Langley would then devote $5.4-million in June of 2019 to obtain the lodge, as very well as two neighbouring lots for community growth.

“A strange stream of council motions led to the acquisition of the Alder Inn,” Prolonged reflected. “No public consultation, no economical assessment and no set vision. This is by much the costliest miscalculation I’ve witnessed throughout my 21 many years on council.”

Dave Sharma obtained the Alder Inn’s liquor licence from Sangha and ongoing to function along with the building’s other tenant, Schnitzelz cafe.

“People had so several memories of that spot,” Sharma told The Aldergrove Star. “People saved coming to the doorway – even a year right after the bar had shut – and they would be mad at us that it wasn’t open up.”

Sharma stated he tried to acquire the developing from the Township but was unsuccessful the liquor retail outlet would shut in May possibly and be moved two blocks west on Fraser Highway.

“It’s unfortunate, there were being a few generations of family members that arrived to that spot,” he said. “Everyone realized it. You experienced folks expressing ‘my grandfather went there and my father, and now I’m likely there too’.”

An electrical fire sparked in a person of the inn’s higher rooms where by tenants had stayed – ensuing in smoke, fireplace, and h2o problems on Sept. 20, 2019.

The fire proved to be the loss of life knell for the aging construction. Coun. Eric Woodward motioned to demolish the creating – indicating “it’s time for the Alder Inn constructing to arrive down.”

The situation of the hotel “is substantially even worse than you can see from the outdoors,” he elaborated, sharing pictures on social media that revealed signs warning of a bed bug infestation as effectively as blackened, destroyed pipes and walls.

There was talk about restoration through 2019, with Quiring and other members of the Alder Grove Heritage Culture pushing for the framework to be saved.

“Society requires to quit currently being in this kind of a hurry to demolish properties, for the reason that though new and shiny may possibly be pretty alluring, it’s not normally the finest choice nor does it take care of all of the main problems that a community may possibly be experiencing,” Quiring spelled out.

Coun. Kim Richter mentioned in a council assembly that the building’s ill-reputed background “is not some thing to be very pleased of.”

Up until July 13, the Township had been inquiring Aldergrove people and stakeholders in the community for suggestions.

“We’ve listened to from the general public that the building needs to appear down,” claimed Coun. Blair Whitmarsh, referencing opinions final results in a modern council meeting.

In the end, 82 responses had been in favour of toppling the developing, as opposed to 11 towards it.

“Some on council felt a sort of ‘moral excuse’ to demolish the hotel as some type of act of ‘cleansing’ – how preposterous,” Very long claimed, who was a person of two councillors who voted against the demolition. “The bucks expended and options missing may possibly under no circumstances be recouped.”

The COVID-19 pandemic slowed quick programs for toppling the framework, but council concurrently took public input on what need to consider the Alder Inn’s place – suggesting local community gardens, an overflow parking for the Aldergrove Credit history Union Neighborhood Centre, or a compact-scale city plaza related to McBurney Plaza in Langley Town.

“The demolition of the hotel is water less than the bridge now, but Alder Grove Heritage Modern society is thankful that the modern society was capable to protected a couple of artifacts from the setting up,” Quiring pointed out, noting they ended up now in possession an first late 1940s cast iron radiator, some modest signage, and one panel of the roof indication.

All of these objects will be preserved for future generations by the heritage culture.

“I’ve found folks having bricks and wooden from the developing,” Sharma extra.

Wally Martin, proprietor of the Princess and the Pea B&B, expressed motivation buy some of the lumber that he claimed was pristine Douglas Fir – great for woodworking jobs.

“Moving forward, I hope we can make great use of the open up house – it will be there for rather awhile,” Long concluded.

There is no timeline for subsequent actions about the new use of the space.

The price of the demo is approximated to be all over $250,000, with operate remaining done by MWL Demolition Ltd.

The spot is fenced off to the community whilst building personnel keep on to level off the floor and purple the spot of any last remnants remaining from the lodge.

The Alder Inn’s rubble was hauled to Capt’n Crunch in Abbotsford and the wooden despatched to Western Reclaimed Timber in Maple Ridge.

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The Alder Inn circa 2019 (Aldergrove Star files)

The Alder Inn circa 2019 (Aldergrove Star data files)

Alder Inn demolition happened on Monday, Nov. 16. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Alder Inn demolition took place on Monday, Nov. 16. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Alder Inn demolition happened on Monday, Nov. 16. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Alder Inn demolition transpired on Monday, Nov. 16. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Within hours, the Alder Inn was no more. (Tribute Online Media/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Inside several hours, the Alder Inn was no extra. (Tribute On the net Media/Unique to the Aldergrove Star)

The Alder Inn structure has been completely cleared away. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

The Alder Inn composition has been completely cleared away. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

The Alder Inn structure has been completely cleared away. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

The Alder Inn structure has been entirely cleared away. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

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