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Historic hotel closes in Cumberland

The King George Hotel was originally built in 1911 by Victor Bonora. The building that stands there today was rebuilt after the fire of 1933, which started at the hotel, according to local legend. - Courtesy Cumberland Museum and Archives
The King George Hotel was originally built in 1911 by Victor Bonora. The building that stands there today was rebuilt after the fire of 1933, which started at the hotel, according to local legend.
— image credit: Courtesy Cumberland Museum and Archives

One of Cumberland's long-standing businesses has been forced to close its doors.

The King George Hotel was seized by the Province and is now listed for sale by Dale McCartney with Royal LePage in the Comox Valley.

Located on Dunsmuir Avenue between Second and Third streets, the King George Hotel has been part of Cumberland history for more than a century.

"It originally opened in 1911," says Meaghan Cursons of the Cumberland Museum and Archives, noting an Italian man named Victor Bonora was the original owner.

In 1918, those infected with Spanish Influenza were cared for at the King George Hotel; it was closed for a time and anyone who contracted the flu was confined there.

Cursons notes a very interesting piece of the hotel's history, however, happened more than a decade later. Bonora died in 1932, and according to local legend, his widow Carlotta's grief is linked to the well-known fire of 1933.

"This is the story — that it was her lighting a candle in her husband's memory in the private chapel in there, that started the huge fire of July, 1933," says Cursons. "It destroyed half the commercial district in 1933."

The building that stands there today was rebuilt after the fire.

The King George Hotel was bought by the Brown family, under P. Brown Hotels Ltd., in 1971, and has been in the family since then.

The King George functioned as a pub with space rented out for special events, but the hotel portion has long been closed.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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