Port Albert Inn and Cottages   in beautiful Port Albert, Ontario!

The Port Albert Inn originates from the earliest days of European settlement in this part of southwestern Ontario. It was built by John Hawkins in 1843. At the time John was a surveyor and he had been contracted to survey the area which had been purchased from the local Indians. After discovering and mapping the village in the Nine Mile River Valley (nine miles from Goderich), John decided to retire from surveying and become an Inn Keeper in the newly founded village that he named on the sandy shores of beautiful Lake Huron.

He decided to construct the Inn copying the distinctly Georgian style typical of that time period and much of the Inn remains the same today as it was originally constructed. Shortly after the Inn's construction thousands of settlers began traveling through Port Albert on their way to the Queens Bush settlement to the north. For John Hawkins business was very good as many of the travelers would stop at the Inn in search of food and shelter for their families. Amazingly, at this time eleven country inns operated between Goderich and Kincardine; a distance of only 50 km. The Port Albert Hotel, as it was called at the time is the only one that has survived to the present day: sometimes buy dubious means!

In the early 1900's Canada was dry for a brief period. This means that residents could not purchase alcohol legally during this time and Huron County remained dry much later until the 1960's. During the Second World War an air training base was built and it operated just outside Port Albert. Huron County may have been dry at the time but the American, Australian, British, and Canadian airmen who were training here did like to indulge occasionally. As a result a lively bar business evolved in spite of the ban on alcohol in the County.

An independent woman named Josie operated the illegal drinking club. You couldn't buy a drink at the Inn but she would sell you a membership which entitled you to a drink. That wouldn't stand up in court and was further complicated by the fact that her supply of liquor was contraband and arrived once a week at dusk from her connections in Detroit to the south. Josie and her illegal drinking club survived many unsuccessful police raids. That is until her boyfriend who was on the police force transferred out of the area. At this point Josie decided that her luck had ran out gave up the illegal alcohol trade.

In the 1970's the Inn emerged as a Bed and Breakfast and tea house. In the 1990's a liquor license was procured being the first one issued in the municipality. Since this time the Port Albert Inn has existed as a full service Inn and restaurant catering to local residents, travelers and vacationers from every walk of life.

For the last 167 years the Inn, having had many a role for its self in a ever changing world, has always has been able to offer a quiet and comfortable place to stay, tasty meals, and an atmosphere that is unique and filled with colourful stories.

Port Albert Inn and Cottages
9 Central Wellington Street Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, Ontario Canada N7A 3X9
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