Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Stornoway Coffee House

The censuses record the following:

1851
Margaret Ross, 63, Coffee House Keeper, Bayhead, b. Barvas

1861 and 1871 No Records

1881
Janet Mackenzie, 66, Coffee House Keeper, 33 Coffee House, b. Uig
Catherine Maclean, 37, Coffee House Keeper, Daughter, b. Stornoway
Mary S Mackenzie, 25, Barmaid Coffee House, Daughter, b. Stornoway

1891
Catherine Maclean(Mackenzie), 47, Manager Coffee House, 11 South Beach Street, b. Stornoway

1901
Catherine Maclean, 67(?), Coffee House Keeper, 30 Kenneth Street, b. Stornoway

Partial records containing gaps are always annoying but we can see that at least as far back as 1851 Stornoway had a Coffee House. Whether it was located on Bayhead or not is unknown.

More encouragingly, we have evidence of Janet Maclean, together with her daughter, Catherine, running such an establishment during the final two decades of the nineteenth Century.

The three locations, '33 Coffee House', 11 South Beach Street' and '30 Kenneth Street' were their places of residence so were not necessarily the site(s) of the Coffee House itself.

Wherever it was, the Coffee House was an important measure taken by the Temperance Movement to provide an alternative to the vast numbers of licensed premises serving alcoholic beverages.

Lovely Latte!, Thank you, Miss Mackenzie...

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