If a saloon can have a soul, the Lorne had a soul

I’ve only once, in all my years as a newspaper guy, seen one chalk outline of a murder victim. But, this is a smaller community with a relatively low violent crime quotient. Law&Order Comox Valley would not attract a huge viewership, though we have had our moments.

I only mention that was because the outline was in the parking lot of the Lorne Hotel in Comox. And I only mention that because the Lorne Hotel burned down last night. The Lorne, which sat at the focal intersection of the main drag of the town was the oldest licensed premises in the province.

Now, the European history component of this province doesn’t go back all that far so the Lorne, at the age of 133, was elderly indeed as structures go. Unfortunately it was a wood-frame building and fire is always a threat to such places. You know, one of those: “It’s only a matter of time” kind of things. 

The Lorne, which was reminiscent of a frontier saloon – for that is exactly what it was in its day – had an agreeable soul about it. It was fully refurbished a couple of decades ago and it boasted a pleasant pub and a pretty decent eatery within. In the days when I still hoisted a few pints, I hoisted a few within the Lorne. It was a good place to be.

So, this little item won’t have a huge universal appeal, but it behooved me to bid an appropriate farewell to kind of a grand old lady who had sat in her special spot since 1878.


6 responses to “If a saloon can have a soul, the Lorne had a soul

  1. This news greeted me this morning with all the gentleness of a punch to the gut. When looking at old photos of Comox, you could figure out precisely where you were by the constant background presence of the Lorne, and when I left my position as curator at the Comox Museum, my farewell party was held at the Lorne… I can’t believe it’s gone. 😦

  2. Farewell to a grand lady! I always located everything else in Comox by its proximity to The Lorne. Now I’ll be one of those who says, “From where The Lorne used to be, just go…”

  3. This is a great article! Thanks.

  4. Too bad. It’s sad when landmarks go.

  5. Oh it is sad to see such a beautifully maintained landmark lost. Especially one like that, which so many people would have memories of and histories with.

  6. Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.
    Frank Gehry

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