As you know, we’re suckers for heritage success stories here at The Brown Homestead, so we had to bring your attention to this one: Heartiest congratulations are due to Robert Prowse, owner of the beautiful Auberge Chesley's Inn in The City of Cornwall. This lovingly restored 1814 inn has just won the 2019 Cornerstone Award from the National Trust for Canada for contributing to a good quality of life, sense of place and illustrating the vitality of heritage buildings!
The inn has a long and interesting history dating back to its construction in 1814 by Alsaints Chesley. Chesley was originally from New York State and was one of three brothers who fought with the Patriots during the American Revolutionary War. He moved to Cornwall in 1800, and he and his sons ended up fighting for the Canadian side during the War of 1812, while his two brothers were still fighting for the American Regiment - exemplifying what was often sadly the case during both of those conflicts - heartbreaking rifts between families.
In its heyday Auberge Chesley’s Inn offered a place of respite and delight to riverboat passengers, and enjoyed the patronage of some famous guests - including Catharine Parr Traill and Charles Dickens! After the railroad replaced the need for mass water transportation, the Inn became a private residence. Dr. Taylor lived in the home and hosted many social gatherings there. It was said that he even dumped sand into one of his drawing rooms in order to host a February beach party!
Despite the Inn’s vibrant history, it fell onto hard times in its later years. After a period of disrepair, the inn was purchased by television and radio producer and Heritage Toronto board member, Robert Prowse in 2013, who restored the Inn who carefully restored it for its original purpose. Now, once again Auberge Chesley’s Inn welcomes guests! Well done!
If YOU would like to visit, or to learn more about the inn and its history, have a look at their website.