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Banff Lodging Company

Holmes Residence

214 Beaver Street, 1905

Reggie Holmes was one of Banff's earliest pioneers. He arrived from England at the turn of the century and acquired this property in 1903, when Banff was still a part of the Northwest Territories. The original log structure was built in 1905, the year Alberta became a province.

Reggie, with his packhorses and camera, explored the mountains with the likes of Elliot Barnes, B. W. Mitchell, Mary Chaffer, and Sid Unwin. He was with the first party of "non-natives" to visit Maligne Lake, previously known only to the local aboriginal population. He was a member of the Alpine Club of Canada and years later joined the government service as a timekeeper. Holmes met his wife Nellie Macgregor Fyfe, when she arrived from Scotland in 1908. Mrs. Holmes was an artist who worked in oils. In 1922, she became the first Girl Guide captain in Banff. They had one daughter, Vera.

After Mr. Holmes' death in 1919, Nellie married Arthur Unwin, a pioneer from England and local building contractor. They owned and operated a hardware store and lumberyard and became two of early Banff's most prominent community and business leaders. In 1925, Arthur shingled over the original log structure and in 1947 built the full-length addition on the north side of the house. The home has been owned and maintained by Vera (Holmes) McGinn, since the death of her mother in 1965.


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