This house although on Queen Street was actually built on the river bank and belonged to John Menzies who built it about 1853. If you can find a Belden’s Historical Atlas from 1863 there is a sketch of it and also appears on a map and designated as John Menzies store. It was actually once a stone home that the white frame was built over and had a blacksmith’s building at the end of the property.
Menzies was involved in all sorts of public offices in Almonte” School trustee, township councillor and registrar of North Lanark. The house is of typical style when the business would be on the ground floor and the living quarters on the upper level. There are 17 rooms and it is thought at one time that the kitchen was in the basement as there was a large cooking fireplace.
The couple had 6 children, 3 of whom died in infancy. Two sons Basil and Robert and a daughter Mary survived into adulthood. He died on December 17, 1900 as the result of a fall on the ice in Almonte.
The property later belonged to Alexander Wylie, a descendant of James Wylie who settled in Ramsay Township in 1822. The house was nearly torn down in 1920’s when it was then referred to as ‘the shaggy barn’.
Local druggist Mr. Patterson saved the day and it was lovingly restored by Ottawa architect Gordon Hughes. Charles Chaplin and family bought the home in 1944 and resided there until Frank and Patricia Vetter bought it in 1969.
Married more than 50 years, your hosts Frank & Pat Vetter converted their heritage family home on the edge of the Mississippi River into a stunning Bed & Breakfast that accommodates visitors with the highest form of hospitality you’ll find.
Find More about the Vetters and the Menzie’s house here--CLICK HERE
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)