Wine & Spirit Merchant, Queen Street, Stonehouse.
Mr Robert McKean. 1891.
Mr Robert McKean was a man with a story to tell. He was for many years in the army, and his friends liked nothing better than to set him agoing with his interesting tales of military life both at home and abroad. When he laid down his rifle, after the full period of honourable service, he came to Glasgow and associated himself with the wine and spirit trade. For sixteen years he was an employee in several of the leading licensed establishments in Glasgow. Then he was elected president of the Wine and Spirit Trade Employees Benevolent Association, a position in which he distinguished himself till he became an employer himself in 1891 when he acquired a country inn, Stonehouse.
His presidency then lapsed, as a matter of course, because he was no longer an employee, but he bore the blushing honours of a full fledged employer. Mr McKean established himself in an interesting little building in Queen Street, Stonehouse. There were two tenements in the building. In the upper tenement Mr McKean and his wife find a cosy and commodious dwelling place in the six rooms which it contained. The entire ground floor was devoted to the purpose of the trade. To the right of the doorway there was a spacious bar, which was well stocked with everything in the way of liquid refreshment. Beyond this bar again there was a private or family bar, where the good wife can get her jug of beer for the family without being subjected to the eyes of curious, and where friends who wish a refreshment in seclusion can have it and enjoy it.
To the left of the bar there was a number of sitting rooms, with all the necessary appointments. Mr McKean, in a word, is the proprietor of an ideal country inn. He blends a whisky of his own, and everybody who touches this particular blend has a good word to say of it. It needs only be said, in conclusion, that the new recruit to the ranks of employers could scarcely have cast his lines in a pleasanter spot. Stonehouse itself is a little straggling village, with nothing particularly attractive about it to distinguish it from other country towns but beyond this village, in Avon Glen, there is to be for one of the most picturesque places in all Scotland. It was the favourite haunt of the tourist and the painter, and that is perhaps the highest tribute to its romantic beauty.
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