'Hotel that chicken built' wants your stories (photo)Monday, September 16, 2013 by: SooToday.com Staff
ALGOMA'S WATER TOWER INN & SUITES
2014 will ring in the fortieth anniversary of Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites, but most Saultites still refer to the landmark property simply as “The Water Tower”.
Proprietor JJ Hilsinger and his family have been delivering notable hospitality in the city for 50 some years; the first enterprise was a remote Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet that JJ bought in 1962 and brought back to life.
The business gradually expanded to six outlets.
In 1974, the inn was built on land adjacent to the original KFC, and JJ often refers to it as “the hotel that chicken built”.
Many residents of long-standing will recall JJ’s Chicken, JJ’s Family Fare, the Athletic Lounge, the Sawmill, Ripples, the Granary, Jimmie John’s Mill, and Lone Star, as well as the architectural evolution that transformed the Inn to its present stature.
Most residents of a certain maturity, and then their children, have either worked at, dined at or celebrated at a JJ’s venue.
Remember the great bands that shook the Sawmill, some of whom came to fame like Natalie Cole, The Good Bros., Al Simmons, Charity Brown, David Wilcox and Wolfman Jack?
Remember the Honeymoon Suite with the big hot tub, the first in SSM?
Remember Colonel Sanders’ visit to JJ’s. Remember JJ's Family Fare?
Remember when that same restaurant was trucked down great Northern Road in the late 80s, and stands now as the Totem Pole Gift Shop at Frontier Village.
Good memories...in the corner of your mind…that’s what the Inn is looking for from Sault citizens as it looks back on the past five decades.
The Inn is collecting memories to publish on a 40th anniversary website in the new year.
Anyone who has a story to share can submit it here, drop it off at Inn Reception, or post it to My Story, Algoma's Water Tower Inn & Suites, 360 Great Northern Rd., P6B 4Z7.
Storytellers, on acceptance, will be eligible for three draws for a $75 Inn Gift Card.
Deadline for submission is November 15, 2013.