Log cabin used to house tavern as early as 1796
The first tavern that is known to have existed in present-day downtown Hamilton was a log building located at the northwest corner of King and Wellington streets. Its original name appears to have been Smith's Tavern and it was in operation by 1796, about 20 years before Hamilton was founded.
By the mid-1830s a number of other taverns and hotels had been erected along King Street. One of these was Andrew "Yankee" Miller's Steamboat Hotel, a two-storey frame building located at the northwest corner of King and James streets. Adjacent to it, along the west side of James Street, was an orchard of apple trees. The Steamboat Hotel was destroyed by fire on Nov. 16, 1832, but Miller quickly rebuilt and he was back in business by January, 1833.
One of the first brick buildings to be constructed in downtown Hamilton was the Mansion House Hotel located at the southwest corner of King and John streets.