Stornoway Coffee House

The censuses record the following:

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

1861 and 1871 No Records

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

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

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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