Weldon House Hotel – Dorchester

The Weldon House Hotel is rectangular a two-and-a-half storey Classical Revival commercial building located on Cape Road in Dorchester. Built in circa 1840-1850 as a hotel, it became the Payzant and Card retail store and is now used as the Dorchester Memorial Public Library.

The Weldon House Hotel was designated a Local Historic Place for its association with the development of the hotel industry in the area and for its architecture. 

Weldon House Hotel circa 1900

The Weldon House Hotel is recognized for its former use as a hotel. John Hickman, Jr. is credited with founding inn-keeping in Westmorland County circa 1825 at the “Corner” in Dorchester. The Corner has seen the development of the inn-keeping industry on the Corner from early inns to five-star hotels. Many members of John’s family went on to careers in inn-keeping. With her husband, William Weldon, and their sons, John’s daughter, Mary Hickman, operated several hotels in the Westmorland County, including the Weldon House Hotel in Dorchester. This hotel was described as having “a good bar”.

By 1864, eleven lawyers had shiretown offices and almost as many taverns were grouped around the Court House at the Corner, which led the square being nicknamed the “Devil’s Half Acre”. 

Weldon House Hotel, Dorchester, NB

The Weldon House Hotel is recognized for its architecture. With its rectangular form and symmetrical placement of windows, this circa 1840-1850 building is of the Classical Revival style. The defining characteristics of this style of architecture include its symmetrical rectangular form and massing, central door and straight lines of windows on the first and second floors. The Weldon House Hotel has a lateral gabled roof with four gabled dormers. The wide eaves sport simple returns. Strange elements found in the building structure include tamarack ship knees, undoubtedly a contribution of the community’s shipbuilders.

The building was renovated by the Westmorland Historical Society, with the help of Dorchester Penitentiary inmates

Resource: HistoricPlaces.ca 

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