Place names and colloquial names change over time. Keep track of what’s what with this list! Have a suggestion? Let us know!
American House / Temperance House : When built in 1835 it was the only brick hotel east of Bangor. The hotel had many different owners, and under the ownership of James Shepard Pike, from 1845 to 1852 the name was changed to the Calais House. In 1876, under the management of Dan Gardener, the name was changed to the American House. The hotel was closed in 1910-1911, and remained vacant until the St. Croix Masonic Association purchased the building in 1918. It is currently known as Masonic Hall. When it was the American House there was a ballroom in the basement.
Flat Iron Block : “…A cluster of buildings that occupied the park until the 1950s. Most of the buildings served commonplace purposes (such as selling coal and paint) that gradually fell out of demand. Triangle Park was also the location of the St. Croix Exchange, a large hotel built in 1837 until it was torn down in 1983.” (Source)
Angelholm : Located where Jo’s Diner currently is today, this restaurant was owned by Ollie Olsson and was, at times, the most popular in town. Read more about it here.
Dr. Thomson’s Sarsaparilla Building : Located in the Hill Brick Block at the corner of North and Maine. Read more here.
Gem Restaurant : Formerly C. J Lyford’s clothing store; sometime in the 1930s it became the Gem restaurant. The Gem was operated by a fellow named Piper Lynch who, along with the owner of the Mecca Hotel, was a notorious local gambler. According to Henry Gillespie the restaurant was just a front for Piper’s true vocation, high stakes gambling on both sides of the border. The Gem closed just after World War Two. Read more here.
Hill Brick Block : The corner of North and Maine. See Dr. Thomson’s entry above for more.
Hog Alley : The bottom of Union Street, where it crosses North Street and connects with Main Street. Click here to read more.
Kellyland : Kellyland is in Baileyville and borders the St Croix River and Grand Falls Dam flowage several miles to the northwest of the Woodland Mill and is, of course, above the Grand Falls Dam. (Source: Tragedy in Kellyland)
McAllister Block : The original McAllister drug store was a wooden structure which was replaced by the brick block bearing the name in the 1870s or 80s.That brick block still stands and is the only four story structure in Calais.
Mud Lane : Upper Union Street was colorfully known as Mud Lane to many who lived there in the early 20th century. The memories of one such person (Sammy Saunders, famed raconteur) can be heard here.
Rum Row : The area of Main Street near Ferry Point Bridge. “Before Prohibition, this is where you came to get a drink. During Prohibition, this is also where you came to get a drink.” – Al Churchill (Source)
Syndicate Block : The Syndicate Block was located at the corner of Main Street and Calais Avenue where the Rent-a-Center is now. It was built about 1900 by a group of Calais businessmen calling themselves the “Syndicate”. Before the block was built, this area was the City skating rink. The block contained a number of fruit and groceries stores including Checchi’s and Tori’s. Lois Campbell’s Luncheonette was located in a small building on the uptown end of the block. The block was demolished in the 1980s.
The Zoo : A colorful term for the Syndicate Block in the mid-to-late 20th century. Steven Scott shares: “Warren Demons had a convenience store at one end and at that time Murphy’s pizza was at the other end and in the middle they had a cinema… It was apartments up over the whole block which gave it the name of the zoo.”