STANSTEAD, QC - Vermonters who commute through the north end of Stanstead may have recently noticed a familiar establishment no longer exists on Fairfax Street. The Imperial Motel, a landmark that overlooked Autoroute 55 since the 1960s, has been demolished. Plans to tear down the vacant motel were announced in early 2012 and the building finally came down in late June.
All that now stands is a mass of rubble.
In the past several months, unconfirmed rumors have been circulating in Stanstead on what will be built on the spot once occupied by the Imperial Motel. Stanstead is in dire need of a larger motel to accommodate the hundreds of passing travellers, out-of-town hockey players who play at the new Pat Burns Arena, and other vacationers who visit area attractions.
Town officials have dreamed of a hotel chain constructing a state-of-the-art inn on the same property.
Other reported rumors floating about mention that a donut shop, a fast-food restaurant and a tourism bureau will soon open up at this location. Town officials are remaining tight-lipped and will only say that the property owners, who also own the adjacent gas station, will have the final say on what will replace the Imperial Motel.
Driving through Stanstead and seeing the Imperial Motel gone sort of parallels when I make a sporadic trip across the border into Vermont. I have noticed in recent weeks that some businesses and buildings along the Newport-Derby road are now gone. Two that comes to mind are the L & B Snackbar and the store that once stood on the corner near Cumberland Farms on Newport's East Main.
I was recently chatting with an old neighborhood friend of mine and we were discussing about a few of the old places we used to go to in the Newport-Derby area back in the 1970s and 1980s. The locations that I fondly remember visiting were the Derby-Port Drive-In, Jay's Snackbar and the Creamery Lounge. I have many great memories from the fun times I had at these shrines.
So now I'm going to turn to readers to help jog my memory in recalling a few other establishments that I frequented across the border all those years ago. If anyone knows the name of the business or a brief history about it, you can contact me on Facebook or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will mention the places in a future column.
I'm looking for the name of the 1980's arcade that was on Newport's Central Street; the name of the 1970's roller skating rink that was in the Waterfront Plaza; the name of the 1970's snackbar that was located on Route 5 at the intersection of the Beebe Road; and the name of the 1970's mini-golf course that was located beside the Derby-Port Drive-In.