Mirror’s history up in smoke


A fire destroyed the Mirror Hotel in Mirror, Ab. on Sun. Feb 28. The hotel opened in 1912 but had been closed for about five years. Fire Chief Tomkinson said the fire is suspicious and under investigation.    

                                                                      ECA Review/Submitted




A vital part of Mirror’s history went up in smoke Sunday night when the Mirror Hotel burned to the ground.
Mirror Fire Department responded with all nine members at 8:40 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 28 and requested mutual aid from Bashaw, Clive, Alix and Lacombe Fire departments.
It took more than eight hours to extinguish the fire, said Mirror Fire Chief Dave Tomkinson. At 8 a.m. Monday fire crews dealt with hot spots until around noon.
Chief Tomkinson said the fire is suspicious and under investigation. No dollar value of the loss has been determined.
Mirror and District Museum member Edgar Baker said the wooden hotel opened in 1912.
“It was one of the first buildings in Mirror,” said Baker.
According to the Sept. 12, 1912 issue of the Mirror Journal, the Imperial Hotel was built by T. G. Cook Builders of Wainwright and J. Baker did the plastering. At the back of the hotel there were hitching posts on each end for horses.
Baker said the hotel caught fire twice in the past, once before his time and the second time when he was a child in the 1940s.
Claire Duncan, president of Mirror and District Museum, said it’s a loss to the community.
“It’s just another piece of Mirror’s history that is lost. It’s a sad thing. It was here when the town was being established.”
Duncan said the Mirror Hotel has been closed for about five years but she had hoped it would be restored.
“It was a neat old building. It’s a shame it’s gone.”
Duncan believed the hotel was a Flatiron building, a rare structure.
Flatiron buildings got their name from their triangular shape on a corner-block.
“To me it does look like a Flatiron building,” said Duncan, adding that it had an angled entrance way.
But Baker said he didn’t think it was a Flatiron building.
Lacombe County Coun. Brenda Knight believed the building was a Flatiron style building and was disappointed it was destroyed.
“We lost a landmark and many years of history last night,” said Coun. Knight on Monday.  “The loss will certainly be felt by the community. Many happy memories were made in that building. However, Mirror is resilient. We’ll grieve the loss but will move onward and upward. We always do.
“A huge thank you to all the fire departments who assisted in the blaze and saved the adjacent buildings,” added Coun. Knight. “Teamwork at its finest, thank you so much.”
In its hay day the hotel dining room was “first class”, said Duncan.

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