“Of all the countries bordering on the Atlantic coast of the American continent, there is none more grandly favored by nature than the Canadian Province of New Brunswick, whose picturesque shores possess a wonderful charm and attractive- ness ; and in no portion of this magnificent summer domain is there a more delightful spot than St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, where ideal conditions exist in beauty of environment, salubrity of climate and healthfulness of locality. With pure salt sea air, the life-giving breath of the pine, wondrous scenic splendor, and every facility for the comfortable housing of visitors — it is an incomparable resting-place and retreat from the cares of business and the heat and dust of the city.” (As taken from the tourist pamplet of the Canadian Pacific Railway, 1902)
I was in St. Andrews by the sea, New Brunswick on my first trip to the east coast and I found it to be just as it was described in that pamplet from over one hundred years ago. I have not had the chance to stay in the Algonquin Resort yet but having studied its rich history I am looking forward to a visit in the future.
The resort was actually built by the St. Andrews Land Co., an American company in June 1889 with 233 rooms. The original building burned down in 1914, but wings built in 1908 and 1912 survived. The original building was replaced with a similar design but with a concrete structure.
One of the original attractions of the resort was its saltwater baths. Salt water was pumped up from Passamaquady Bay to rooftop water tanks. The guests bathtubs had four taps, two for fresh water and two for saltwater. The air at the Bay of Fundy was considered to have healing properties as did the local “Samson Spring”.
Van Horne visited St. Andrews, staying at the Algonquin. He enjoyed the area so much he purchased Minister’s Island and built the Covenhoven Estate which still stands today. In 1899, Van Horne retired to Covenhoven, and in 1903, his former company Canadian Pacific Railway purchased the Algonquin, and built golf courses beside it. In 1970, the ownership was taken over by local interests, and later by the government of New Brunswick. The CPR continued to manage it until 2013 when Marriott was chosen to take over.