The story is told that Lily Herchmer, the daughter of the original builder and owner fell in love with a sailor. Her well to do family did not approve of her choice in men, so the lovers had a signal in place letting the sailor know when a visit was safe. The story goes on to say that one fateful night Lily lit her signal lamp and fell asleep waiting for her sailor, the high wind that night knocked the lantern over thus setting a fire killing our poor Lily.
The second version of the ill fated lovers says that Lily would watch for her lovers arrival from her bedroom window, poor Lily watched as her lovers ship sank there in the harbor.
Unfortunately there are no records to verify Lily Herchmer's existence, however there was a file to be found, or so I've been told, called "The Herchmers' Secret" which may or may not have led to some answers on the family issues and possibly to poor Lily even 'being'. This file has mysteriously disappeared.
The ghostly apparition of a young woman has been seen watching out the window towards the harbor, perhaps Lily is still watching and waiting for her sailor love. The pub located in the hotel, Tir Nan'Og, has boasted the appearance of a young woman and sailor. Many strange and unexplained things have happened over the years, perhaps love does indeed conquer all including death if this is indeed Lily and her sailor.
Update - January 2004: The following report was submitted by GHRS field researcher Brenda Ganske...
After dinner during Christmas break, I went with a group of friends for a drink in the Tir na n'Og pub located in the historic Prince George Hotel (200 Ontario St) in Kingston. After being there for a few minutes, I excused myself from our table to take a look around.
Within the Prince George Hotel first floor, there are three distinct pub/lounges: the Tir na n'Og (authentic Irish Pub), The Speckled Hen (English Pub), and Monte's (an upscale Martini Lounge). After viewing the beautiful antique/vintage decorative items, I started speaking to one of the staff members who then introduced me to a long time staff member of the Tir na n'Og.
This delightful lady had many stories to tell about the Prince George, and all of the "entities" within. She told me of the ghost of Lily who haunts not only the third floor, but the entire building. But the biggest entities that affect the Tir na n'Og are apparently two men who are malevolent. Quite a few of the staff has had experiences with the two men spirits... but they seem to favour the door staff. According to the staff that I spoke to, these individuals have experienced the feeling of being watched, and hearing something growling at them.
The most interesting story that I was told that night had to do with recent events in the hotel. For about a week before New Years Eve of 2003, candles in the Prince George Hotel started lighting themselves according to staff. The staff members talked to each other about it, saying that Lily must be trying to tell them something. On New Years Eve at 12:04 AM, the Prince George started to burn. The fire started on the third floor, and is still under investigation (therefore the staff can not comment on the cause or where specifically it started). Luckily, there were no serious injuries. The hotel is now closed until approximately April, 2004 for repairs. Was Lily trying to warn the staff, and save her long time home? We will never know for sure... but maybe in 100 years from now - we may get a hint. According to Tir na n'Og staff, the hotel has been almost destroyed by fire every 100 years (this fire that almost destroyed the hotel was 40 years early). The future staff of the Prince George will have to keep their eyes and ears open for clues from Lily to prevent future disaster.
Photo Credits: Diane Mckiel - Winter 2009
One of our readers shares the following, please note events described occurred a decade ago:
"This incident took place at The Prince George Hotel in Kingston Ontario (Which is now residence for Queens University students)Whenever I visited Kingston I always stayed at The Prince George Hotel. I stayed in this hotel for about 7 years (Approx 20 times) until it became Queens residence. I was aware that this Hotel may be haunted through a 'Ghost Walk Tour' I had taken while I previously lived in Kingston.
The reason I stayed at this Hotel was that it was inexpensive and close to the nightlife area of Kingston which was why I was there. I wasn't Ghost Hunting by any means. There were two rooms that I only ever stayed in (without any incidents) located somewhere in the middle of the Hotel? On one of my last visits they gave a different room on the second floor which faced the harbour front. This was the one and only time I stayed in this room. As for the story, I went out for a couple of drinks & I think I arrived back at the Hotel around 1am. I always leave the bathroom light on so I can see when I return. I went to bed and I always sleep with every light off (I always have) I woke up around 3:30am to find that both lamps on either side of the bed were mysteriously on? They were touch lamps. I reached over to turn the lamp off that was on my side of the bed & then I had to roll onto the other side of the bed to turn the other lamp off. When I flipped over on to the other side of the bed (keep in mind it's summer, it's very hot & I'm sleeping above the covers) an unbelievable breath taking chill enveloped me. It wasn't my entire body though, it was only my torso & my head which were the body parts I need to lay on the other side of the bed to turn off the light. My legs weren't affected (my legs stayed on my side of the bed) I'm just trying to paint you a picture of my body position in respect to the other worldly chill. I actually shot right up out of bed I made the exact same dramatic breath taking gasp that Jo-Beth Williams made in the movie Poltergeist when her daughters spirit moved through her. The other worldly intense cold literally takes your breath away (No bullshit!) I managed to fall asleep again but I was still conscious enough to not drift over to the other side of the bed.
I had to check-out in the morning & head back home which is in Bolton, Ontario. 3 months later I returned again for a visit. They gave me one of the other 2 rooms that they always gave me. Still intrigued by what happened to me on my last visit, I decided to go on the Haunted Ghost Walk tour of Kingston because I remembered over a decade ago on my first Haunted Ghost Walk tour that this building was one of the sites with a story. I just couldn't remember the story? It turns out that this was a very old building which was obvious. There was a lady living in this building (just a house at that time) over a hundred years ago that left a light on for a sailor she was courting. One night he didn't show up & the candle started a fire, killing her. The area of the house where this happened was the same room I was staying.
Having explained my story, it's really not a haunting as it was an odd unexplainable experience. If I was asked to explain it. I would have to say I simply rolled over onto a spirit that was laying down in the bed beside me. I didn't see, hear, smell or touch her but the undeniable intense chill that ran through me & made me gasp for air will not be forgotten even almost 10 years later as I write this."