The Garrison House Inn
Phone: 902-532-5750 Toll Free: 1-866-532-5750
" History of the Garrison House Inn"
The Garrison House inn was originally built as The Temperance Hotel in 1854. The land on which it was constructed was part of the Lieutenant-Governor's gardens when Annapolis Royal was the capital of Nova Scotia from 1621 to 1749. In the 1880's, it was expanded by adding a summer wing and large walk-in dormer windows on the third floor and was then renamed 'The American House'.
It continued to operate as a hotel until 1920 but as the age of sail came to an end, the building was purchased by a doctor who housed his prodigious family and his practice in the historic rooms until 1971. It was then bought by a hotelier and renamed The Garrison House in recognition of of its illustrious neighbor, Fort Anne National Historic Site, the center of military conflict (in North America) between France and England in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The present owner, Patrick Redgrave, who was previously in the wine and restaurant trade in Toronto, Ontario, bought Garrison House in 1980 and set out to bring back the old world ambiance of the inn. With extensive renovations and restorations, he recreated the 1800's with a generous dose of modern amenities. Since that time it has quietly and continuely expanded its reputation as one of the finest inns in Nova Scotia; it is one of a select few inns in the province that was originally built as an inn and continues to operate as such.
The heritage and history of the building has been thoughtfully preserved with period antiques and original plank flooring and Nova Scotian Folk Art. A stroll through the rooms on a quiet evening will convince you that the inn has a story to tell. It is said that on occasional foggy summer nights, the ghost of a playful, almost mischevious girl has made herself known to guests who stay at The Garrison House. She visits only one room and only women have felt her presence. Emily is her name and she has endeared herself to staff and guests for years.
The Inn overlooks the spectacular 20 acre Fort Anne National Historic Site with its grassy ramparts, walking trails and stunning views of the Annapolis Basin at sunset. One only has to walk along the parapets and breathe in the salty air to imagine the tall ships appearing on the horizon. Each Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening in the Garrison graveyard there are candelight tours where you are guided through history exploring the lives of those who lived and died in Annapolis Royal hundreds of years ago. It is the oldest British graveyard in Canada and the tour is led by an Acadian historian dressed in period costume complete with top hat and mourning scarf. Each guest is given an antique lantern to carry and it is a common sight from the Garrison House dining room to see the soft light from the candles shining through the mist, as the tour winds its way through the historic site.