Stopping at the Old Warsaw Hotel



The residence is what we believe the old “Warsaw Hotel” built by Charles Conners around 1879.

The old roadside hotel which sits on South Lavant Road was run by Duncan McIntosh from 1864-1869. His wife provided whiskey and hearty meals with a good bed and even food for the horses. A second hotel opened in Poland, called Kelley’s Hotel operated from 1875-1889.

Even travellers barely acquainted with one another slept together at roadside inns. When one had multiple bedrooms and hosted a large gathering of people, the custom was to put the men together in one room and the women together in another, sharing beds or bedrolls. Only the wealthy slept in amply stuffed feather beds; the poor made do with straw mattresses.

Chamber sets consisted of a basin and pitcher for washing, a cup for brushing the teeth and a chamber pot. Hotels provided the sets as early as the 1830’s, with homes using them by the 1840’s

Most of the folks who stayed in these places were travellers who were not lucky enough to stay in the homes of friends and family.  In most cases they were NOT known for good food. In fact, most people who ate there complained bitterly about the poor quality and service of the food. They ate because they were hungry. The primary draw of these places were the alcoholic beverages and company.  People were served together, and they could take as much as they wanted from communal bowls. Food was generally included with the price of room and the fare in a rural inn…was simple, whatever the tavern keeper had on hand for his/her own family and was willing to share.

The Lanark Era
Lanark, Ontario, Canada
03 May 1899, Wed  •  Page 1

WRATHALL of Harpers Corners & Lizzie PAUL of Dalhousie, 6 February 1901 Dalhousie.
Mary & William are found in the 1911 census living on Con 4 Lot 24 Dalhousie Twp.
In 1928 Mary & William moved to Wilson St. in Perth, where they raised their son, Ernest, who attended Perth Collegiate Institute.

At the time of Mary’s father’s death, 1930, she & William were still living in Perth, Ontario.
William was one of the cheesemakers involved in producing the worldest largest cheese (22,000 lbs) in September 1892 at Perth, ON. It was transported to Chicago for the World’s Fair in 1893 where it won top honours. At one time William owned the Warsaw Hotel in Poland, Ontario. He was a blacksmith by trade.William was a member of the Royal Black Knights of Ireland.

Read-The Blacksmiths of Lanark County

Photos from Blair Paul

Blair Paul

April 29, 2021  · 

This was my family home in Poland, Ontario going back to my great grandfather James A. Paul. It is from this house, once known as The Warsaw Hotel, that we moved to Lanark in 1962. It actually operated as a hotel until the Temperance years I am guessing, and then closed. My grandmother lived in half of the house, and us in the rest.

I bought the old house in 1975 from my great aunt who lived in Medina, NY, began renovating, and moved in. It felt great to be back in the old house where I grew up, and many of my paintings were produced there. Great memories

Blair Paul April 30, 2021  · This photo dates to the early 1900s in Poland, Ontario. Seated on the hood of the car is my cousin Lance Paul, inside is Lionel Barr, and on the chair is his brother and Poland store keeper Merville Barr. In the background is The Warsaw Hotel showing the large back addition, and the shed in back. In the upstairs of the shed was a community hall where dances were held. Notice the chains on the back tires…ready for a muddy drive to Lanark maybe.

Related reading

Poland Baseball Blackberry Festival 1915

Dalhousie Poland School Names Names Names

Life & Death in Poland— Lanark County

Fire at Poland

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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