“Cornerstones” were articles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Calgary Herald between 1997 and 2000. The following article appeared September 19, 1999.
Blue Rock Hotel
• S.E. Corner of 25th Avenue and 4th Street
• Built: 1883
• Demolished: 1970
• Construction materials: Wood frame
• Architectural style: Two - storey frame. Frontier style
• The Hotel, named after the Blue Rock pigeon, was originally the headquarters and clubhouse for the Calgary Pigeon Shooting Club. It had a few beds for travellers but operated mainly as a dining room and club. The shooting club used the vacant area stretching down to the Elbow River east of the hotel for their sport. Around 1884 when the club obtained permission to serve liquor, it blossomed into a full - fledged hotel
• Travellers called it "the last drink place" because it was the last hotel they passed heading south out of the city. The Elbow River ford was located just below the present day Mission Bridge at the south end of 4th Street S.W. Until 1907, 4th St. was called Broadway.
• In the early days the hotel was said to be "one and a half miles from downtown Calgary on a prairie trail leading to the Mission District."
• In 1904, Blue Rock proprietor, "Irish" Ed Mellon, sold out to Thomas Maloney, the former proprietor of Calgary’s Imperial Hotel.
• When the Mission Hotel, built just south of the Blue Rock in 1912, cut into the Blue Rock’s business, the hotel folded and Sam Lee opened the Blue Rock Café.
• In July 1955, a former Calgary pioneer, H. M. Young reminisced about the Blue Rock during a return visit to Calgary. Young first arrived in the city in July 1903 after laying out the first long distance telephone line from Calgary to Edmonton for the old Bell Telephone Company. He lived at the Blue Rock when Irishman Ed Mellon was still the proprietor. "Ed was known to everyone, including such prominent men as Colonel Saunders of the NWMP, Bob Edwards of the Eye Opener and lawyer Paddy Nolan. Cowboys from ranches south of the Macleod Trail often rode in for ‘exciting weekends at the hotel’—especially when the Indians were holding pow wows on the Mission flats to the West." Young also recalled shooting clay pigeons off a 104 - foot tower that stood just north of the hotel.
• By the 1950s the Blue Rock’s log stable, originally used for stabling horses, had been covered in aluminum siding and converted to a storehouse.
• Around 1918 the old Blue Rock Café became a Chinese laundry. The final tenants, Adanac Tile and Marble Company moved in after Canada Laundry left in the late 1950s and stayed until late 1969
• The pioneer Blue Rock Hotel building and log stable were demolished in August 1970.