Sunday 8 December 2013

Generations Inn –a new spot to visit for food and lodging

Generations Inn

Hubby picked up a wonderful new glossy magazine that offers some new place to dine. We've made it out to two this past week. (I know - I'm spoiled rotten!) Here is one we visited on the spur-of-the-moment after dental appointments!

Generations Inn in Carleton Place

The building is 100 years old that has been lovingly restored. We offer a beautiful conference room for meetings. In addition, we have boat docking for our guests. This is a great place to have family reunions and group meeting as well corporate team building. We provide a natural setting on 7 miles of beautiful lake.

There is something about a place that offers a beautiful ambiance, as well as good service and great food. This Inn is a very old building, which our server told us has been renovated over 10 years. We have many old buildings like this in Lanark County, which was settled in 1816. They demobilised the Scottish military, and granted 600 acres of land to the officers.

They were interesting times, in some respects. The officers planned the town of Perth, for example, with money and resources to establish it for business and profit purposes.

Cottages, as well as B & B
I've been reading Whiskey and Wickedness, by Larry D. Cotton. He writes of a time when the "curse of Canada and the military" shaped a lifestyle. Disbanded and retired military, you see, were well-educated and well-pensioned. Not only this, but they also represented a culture of drinking, often to excess. In the 1830s the demand for beer was insatiable. The town was full of retired military men who were allocated a daily ration of beer, as part of their pension, from the British. The ration, a penny a day, could buy them 5 pints of beer, or some equivalency in whiskey or other "ardent spirits." Death caused by accidents, incidents of violence, or illnesses, vigilantism, including violence and murder, was a huge part of life in these early days.

The region was also full of hotels and saloons, with many profiting from drink! These were towns were people often stayed over, in a time when moving from Kingston to Ottawa took quite a long time. There were reports of much drinking and fighting, some between spouses. They weren't the 'good old days' by any means! Theft of goods was rampant, with a man named John Wills, the "Rideau River Pirate" who lived near Portland in the 1860s. As quoted in the book, from a newspaper account of the time,
"Wills appears to be a pirate by nature as he has always carried on his business by means of boats. He has been known to make trips via the Rideau Canal as far as Belleville. He steals everything from boats to silverware." (p. 51)
He was arrested in Port Elmsley in March 1874, assaulted the constable, and escaped, only to be caught later. These are the people that early settlers had to deal with. The land, with shallow soil, was difficult to farm. It took quite a family to manage to clear their allotted land, and earn a living. Many were able to establish farms, hotels, distilleries, taverns, saloons, on land, and near the bodies of water that were transportation systems across the eastern edge of the province.
Smiths Falls, for example, had a population of 800 in 1852. By 1881 it had increased to over 2000, requiring constabulary to be vigilant and ever present. Many were rather inefficient, however. Stories such as this predominate in the newspapers: The Fort Hemlock Riot of 1868. Fort Hemlock was destroyed by flood in 1904, in a story which speaks of theft and disputed ownership.

This is the history of a time and place, largely unspoken, but tells of a time when properties changed hands and people went in and out of business. It is wonderful to visit this old building, which has been renovated and preserved, giving it dignity in its old age, as well as a new purpose in life. There are room available for staying over, and I'm sure it is a very busy place in summer. We were delighted with our meal. The owner created these amazing menus, on wood and held together with rawhide.


Red said...

Very seldom do we take an honest look at our past. As is shown here there were warts. I'm not so sure how much better it is today. We have a much too wide income gap. We also have blinders on...especially the conservative party.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, a pension of five pints of beer a day. I'd be dead in two weeks.

I love the colorful history.

Kudos to people who repurpose and restore old buildings. The best restorations in many cases are those where businesses can thrive in the buildings and employ people and pay taxes.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a beautiful place. Those menus are gorgeous.

Powell River Books said...

I love finding quaint places like this one. We are a lot "newer" out here on the coast, but even places like Powell River have establishments that have been around for over 100 years. - Margy