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Graduate Students

Day, Shawn - M.A

The Keeper's Trade: Skills, Attributes and Pursuit of the Hotel Trade in late Nineteenth Century Guelph - Dr. Douglas McCalla, advisor

         This study explores the nineteenth-century commercial hotel and its associated business from the perspective of the proprietor. Five dominant themes emerge from the study. The keeper possessed business, inter-personal and political skills that contributed to the success of the enterprise. Personal skills allowed the keeper to maintain respectability, both within the trade and within the community. Hotelkeepers pursued a wealth accumulation strategy that rested primarily upon their business skills. Family participation contributed to the running of the hotel and the success of the business. Furthermore, the predominance of those of Irish ethnicity amongst keepers suggests that there were ethnic and religious dimensions to the trade.
          Evidence drawn largely from primary sources such as record books, invoices, receipts, business directories and census records allows for the reconstruction of the business structure and operation of two Guelph area hotels during this period.