297 1ST AVE.jpg The Inland Cigar Factory is significant for its ties to the agricultural history of Kamloops and is symbolic as the centre of a one-time thriving cigar manufacturing industry. George A. Borthwick (1866-1927), who hailed from Victoria, established the Inland Cigar Factory in 1894. The following year, the company was restructured and refinanced by Marshall Pollock Gordon (1862-1929), who owned a local furniture store and served as Kamloops mayor for three terms. That same year, 1895, this building was erected as the headquarters and factory for the company. Tobacco for the cigars was imported from Cuba and then blended with locally grown tobacco. To demonstrate the technique of rolling authentic Cuban cigars, the company brought in a number of consultants from Cuba. At its height, the company employed a staff of twenty-five who produced up to 4,000 cigars per day. The Inland Cigar Factory continued to operate in this space until 1913 when they moved next door; this space was then taken over by the Model Bakery.

The Inland Cigar Factory is valued for its connection with Kamloops’s first commercial district. Its location on First Avenue was once the center of Kamloops’s thriving downtown commercial district, which was situated on Victoria Street West. Over time the commercial district has shifted further east down Victoria Street. Additionally, the Inland Cigar Factory is valued architecturally as an example of a vernacular industrial structure from the Victorian era. The walls are constructed of an early locally-made red brick.

Follow the link for details: Synopsis by City of Kamloops Planning Department