When Frank McCarty, Revelstoke’s first mayor, built his home at the corner of Mackenzie Avenue and Third Street in 1899, he spared no expense. McCarty was a successful businessman who operated a butcher shop and rooming house in town, and held shares in several mining companies and the Revelstoke Navigation Co., which ferried people up and down the Arrow Lakes.
He was elected mayor in March 1899 and started building his home later that year. John Kernaghan, one of western Canada’s pre-eminent builders, was hired to erect the 2.5-storey structure. The newspaper wrote of the day workers broke ground, reporting that it was to be a “splendid residence” complete with five bedrooms, a bathroom, a tower, cellar, hot water, electricity and “every modern convenience.” There was a balcony situated on the second floor so McCarty could gaze out over Mackenzie Avenue and keep watch over the town.
When it was completed in 1900, the newspaper declared, “It takes the lead for solid workmanship, comfort and elegance of design and thorough completeness of its finish among the houses of Revelstoke.”
McCarty died in 1920 and the house has changed hands many times since. It has been a rooming house, private residence and even a clothing store over the years. The attic was used as a dance hall where soldiers returning from the Second World War would party.
After many years as a private home, the McCarty House has re-opened as an inn under the ownership of Terry and Bob Deyl.
“One of our intents with this house is to bring back the history and give our guests the experience of living in a prominent heritage house in town,” Terry told me during a recent tour of the home.
Terry (nee Konas) grew up in Revelstoke before moving away for university and settling in Alberta, where she met Bob. She worked corporate jobs as an accountant while he was a utilities foreman. They purchased the McCarty House as a semi-retirement plan, and for a change of lifestyle.
The home they bought isn’t the same as when it was first constructed. Cathy English, the curator of the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, told me there’s been some changes made that are irreparable, however even she was impressed with the work the Deyls have done restoring the home.
Bob and Terry have sought to uncover the original elements of the house. They pulled up shag carpeting in some rooms and stripped away layers of paint in others. Many of the fine details of the house have been unveiled due to their efforts, and that of the local contractors they worked with.
“It’s a labour of love, I tell you,” said Bob. “Heavy on the labour.”
The bed & breakfast has three rooms of varying sizes on the second floor. The biggest room has a king size bed and double Murphy bed. The second room has a king bed and access to Frank McCarty’s balcony, with views down Mackenzie Avenue. The smallest room has a king bed. There are two shared bathrooms on the second floor and a small dining room downstairs, where Bob & Terry will serve guests breakfast.
Bob & Terry have decorated the house with historic photos of Revelstoke, including several of Frank McCarty, his family and the house as it was originally built. There is also work by local artists and photographers throughout the home.
They welcome locals to come see the house. “There’s lots of interest and people are happy we’re bringing back the McCarty name,” says Terry.
The McCarty House Inn is open for business. You can get more information, find rates and make reservations at McCartyHouseInn.com.