SGEULACHDAN ÀS EILEAN IARMAIN
Tha Taigh-òsta Eilean Iarmain na phàirt de bhuidheann de thogalaichean eachdraidheil, a tha a’ dol air ais gu tràth anns na 1800an. Tha Oifig Fearann Eilean Iarmain an-diugh, còmhla ris a’ bhùth a tha a’ reic na Gaelic Whiskies is na Gaelic Gins, suidhichte ann an togalach eachdraidheil, dìreach ri taobh an t-seann chidhe cloiche, air an robh na General Stores bho thùs. Chaidh a thogail ann an 1812 airson seirbhis a chumail ris a h-uile duine a bha a’ tighinn ann air muir. Bhathar a’ cumail a-mach gur i a’ bhùth a bu mhotha eadar Glaschu is Steòrnabhagh a bh’ innte, àite air leth trang far an robh e comasach a h-uile càil a cheannach “bho snàthad gu acair”. Bha e cho trang, gu dearbh, ‘s gu robh ochdnar ag obair air cùl a’ chunntair tràth anns na 1900n. Bha stòr salainn air cùl na General Stores agus bha àite ann cuideachd, air cùl far a bheil bùth Fhlòraidh an-diugh, a bhiodh a’ cumail na baraillean beaga fiodha a bha a dhìth gus an sgadan saillte a ghiùlan gu àiteachan nas fhaide air falbh, a’ gabhail a-steach Èirinn. Mu 1900 tha e coltach gun d’thàinig Eideard VII air tìr aig Eilean Iarmain bho sgoth a’ Mhorair Burton agus leis gu robh an làn a-muigh, chaidh a thoirt gu tìr le maraiche tapaidh. Chosg e £80 anns na General Stores – sùim mhòr dha rìribh aig an àm ud. ‘Sna làithean sin thigeadh daoine gu Eilean Iarmain bho thall ‘s a-bhos, a’ gabhail a-steach Àird nam Murchan agus na h-Eileanan a-muigh, airson na bha dhìth orra ‘s a bhliadhna a cheannachd. Mean air mhean, chrìon iasgach an sgadain agus thug fosgladh an loidhne rèile ann am Malaig ann an 1901 buaidh air a’ bhùth cuideachd. B’ ann leis na Woodwards a bha i aig an àm ud (bha Mrs Woodward à Camus Croise) agus chaidh a dùnadh ann an 1969. Fhuair na General Stores dearbh-aithne ùr mar An Oifig nuair a stèidhich Sir Iain Noble Fearann Eilean Iarmain ann an 1972.
STORIES FROM EILEAN IARMAIN
Hotel Eilean Iarmain makes up part of an historic group of buildings dating from the early 1800s. The present day Oifig (office) of Fearann Eilean Iarmain, along with the shop selling the Gaelic Whiskies and Gaelic Gins, are located in an historic building just by the old stone pier, which was originally the General Stores. It was built in 1812 to serve all those coming by sea and was reputed to be the largest shop between Glasgow and Stornoway where it was possible to buy everything “from a needle to an anchor”. Such a busy hub of activity it was, in the early 1900s there were eight people working behind the counter. There was a salt store in the courtyard behind the General Stores, and a small cooperage in the yard at the back of the present-day boutique Floraidh Skye which served to supply the small wooden barrels required to transport the salted herring to places further afield, including Ireland. Around 1900 Edward VII landed at Eilean Iarmain from Lord Burton’s yacht and, as the tide was out, he was carried onto the beach by a sturdy seaman. He spent £80 in the General Stores, which was a very large sum in those times. People came to Eilean Iarmain from near and far, including Ardnamurchan and the Outer Isles, for their annual shopping spree. The herring fisheries gradually declined and the General Stores began to lose trade following the opening of Mallaig railway station in 1901. The shop was at that time run by the Woodwards (Mrs Woodward was from Camuscross) and it was closed in 1969. It became the Oifig and centre of operations when Sir Iain Noble established Fearann Eilean Iarmain in 1972.