Room at the Inn

Historic Hotels of British Columbia’s Southern Interior

By (author): Glen A. Mofford
Foreword by: Greg Nesteroff
ISBN 9781772034233
Softcover | Publication Date: May 16, 2023
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
336 Pages

About the Book

A fully illustrated social history profiling forty historic hotels spread over five regions of the southern interior of British Columbia, covering the time period of the 1890s to 1950s.

Room at the Inn reveals the long-forgotten histories of British Columbia’s early hospitality industry, through the riveting stories of the men and women who built, ran, and frequented hotels, hostelries, resorts, and roadhouses in the southern Interior. From the Similkameen town of Keremeos to Spences Bridge at the confluence of the Thompson and Nicola Rivers, east to the Alberta border along the Trans-Canada Highway, and south to the Canada–US border, the history of these hotels mirrors the history of BC’s mining towns and boom-bust economy of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as waves of prospectors, settlers, and eventually tourists shaped the culture of the province that we know today.


Of the forty historic hotels profiled in this book, all contributed to their communities in various ways. They provided more than just a roof over the heads of weary travellers; they were often the sites of live entertainment, places where community members could meet and socialize. Some even doubled as makeshift hospitals during wildfires and floods. Through colourful anecdotes, meticulous research, and fascinating archival photography, Room at the Inn transports readers to a bygone era and pays tribute to the pioneers, entrepreneurs, and hard-work men and women who built and operated these historic accommodations.


About the Author(s)

Glen A. Mofford was a historian and a writer with a passion for sharing the social history of British Columbia. He held a degree in history from Simon Fraser University and was the author of two previous books on BC’s historical hotels and their drinking establishments: Along the E&N and Aqua Vitae. He passed away in 2022.

Greg Nesteroff is the former editor of the Nelson Star, former news director of the Vista Radio stations in the West Kootenay, and the co-author of Lost Kootenays: A History in Photographs. He runs "The Kütne Reader," a blog about local history.


"Mofford’s unexpectedly final book leaves behind a remarkable legacy of provincial history, that will be surely enjoyed here for years to come. But Room at the Inn is also so deftly told, populated with the vivid true-life characters, places and events that make up that story, it surely will also fascinate and delight readers far away from British Columbia as well.”
—Aaron Chapman, bestselling author of Liquor, Lust and the Law and Live at the Commodore
"An essential guidebook to the history of grand old hotels in southern interior British Columbia. Room at the Inn is a treasure trove of information that most certainly should accompany anyone ready to hit the road and embark on their own historical explorations of Canada’s western-most province."
—Daniel Marshall, author of Claiming the Land: British Columbia and the Making of a New El Dorado
“Reading the late Glen Mofford’s book is like attending a reunion of old friends, and a reminder of a time when people met face to face in their communities rather than virtually on the internet.”
—Michael Kluckner, author of Vanishing British Columbia
“Glen Mofford finds misdeeds and murder, success and disappointment as he profiles the men and women who operated historic hotels throughout the southern interior. Room at the Inn sifts through the ashes of hotels long ago destroyed by fire, but still fondly remembered in local memory.”
—Wayne Norton, author of Fernie at War and Beyond the Coal Dust
“In Room at the Inn, Mr. Mofford rather ingeniously takes us on an entertaining and informative trip across the southern interior British Columbia of a century ago by way of the popular hotels of the day. If you enjoy time travel, this is a most pleasant way to go.”
—Jim Cameron, author of Cranbrook: Then and Now - Volumes One and Two
“Glen Mofford brings a unique insight to the history of British Columbia, weaving together fascinating stories of the famous hotels and intrepid entrepreneurs who built them in the 1890s and early 1900s. Room at the Inn is an enjoyable stroll through early BC. Mr. Mofford, you will be missed.”
—Terry Gainer, author of When Trains Ruled the Kootenays and When Trains Ruled the Rockies
“Glen Mofford had a passion about BC Hotels and dug up much information that would have been lost forever without his expertise. His books are indeed a source of history.”
—Tom Lymbery, owner/operator of historic Gray Creek Store and author of Toms Gray Creek, Vols. I and II
“Arson and accidents, banquets and beer parlours. Brimming with anecdotes and tales of colourful personalities, Room at the Inn is an enjoyable read and a great resource for students of the province’s social history. “
—Rosemary Neering, author of A Traveller’s Guide to Historic British Columbia