“Rooms with a View” was the description of the Victoria Rose Inn in a 1938 promotional brochure about the area. Almost 70 years later, the Inn still boasts wonderful views from each of its’ 12 private guest rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms and many featuring whirlpool tub tubs and working fireplaces.
The Inn was built in 1872 as an elaborate summer residence for William Byers (1840-1896), who became the first mayor of Gananoque in 1890. Designed by architect Robert Gage, (known for his work on several buildings at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario), the house was named ‘Glenwood’ and described as “ …one of the few houses at the west end of the village which command a fine view of the lake. It is a large, finely built mansion, overlooking a beautifully wooded glen, through which a tiny stream trickles down to the St. Lawrence.” Even today, the fine views, the beautifully wooded glen, and the tiny stream can be seen and enjoyed from the park-like grounds of the Inn.
Due to the ambitious planning of the architect and urged on by Mrs. Byers, the plans and the costs for the house soon doubled. Financially overextended, in 1877 William Byers was forced to trade the house for stocks in the Spring and Axel Company to Samuel McCammon, an active local businessman. Mr. McCammon resided at Glenwood with his wife and four children for 30 years, during which the house was often used for social occasions.
In 1907 another trade was made, this time between Samuel McCammon and Wilfred Bulloch. By the terms of the deal, Mr. McCammon acquired Mr. Bulloch’s residence on First Street in Gananoque, which gave Mr. Bulloch ample scope to carry out his gardening and poultry raising schemes at his new King Street residence with its spacious grounds. Even today the concrete foundations of the Poultry Barn where prize winning fowl was raised can be seen in the gardens of the Inn. Wilfred Bulloch lived in the house with his wife and four children for five years until his death in 1912. In 1919 Wilfred’s widow Gertrude sold the house to her brother-in-law John (Jack) Bullock and his wife Edith.
Jack Bulloch lived in the house for 32 years, during which it was already being used to cater to the traveling public. Listed under “Accommodation for Tourists, Rooms with a View” in a 1938 Gananoque promotional brochure, the Inn has had a long history of hospitality. Jack Bulloch owned one of the only two 1928 McLaughlin touring cars ever built. Manufactured in Oshawa, the car became famous as it was used to chauffeur the Prince of Wales around the area (the car is now in the collection at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa). He was also well known for his vast collection of clocks, which were all displayed in the present day Drawing Room of the Inn.
In 1951, Mr. Bulloch sold the house to Francis and Margaret Webb who started the conversion to a multi-family dwelling. By the time the house changed hands again in 1963 it had been converted into eleven small apartments, and continued as a somewhat run-down apartment building until 1985 when it was purchased by Gary Cousins and Ray Crosby. These two gentlemen opened a fine dining restaurant in the building, renamed The Grand McCammon Inn, which existed until 1989 when it was again sold and converted into a 7 room Bed and Breakfast with a restaurant. The mansion has since remained in use as an Inn.
In June 2005, the property was acquired by its current owners who lovingly and meticulously restored the 133 year-old mansion to its original grandeur. Following six months of extensive repairs and renovations, the Victoria Rose Inn re-opened in April 2006.
The extensive, park-like grounds that won Wilfred Bulloch the 1907 award of "Magnificent Gardens", are also being restored.
The Inn now features 12 elegant rooms, all with private bathrooms and unique
décor - many offering whirlpool tubs and working fireplaces. Welcoming
living spaces with original wood floors, a classically serene color palette
and stunning views from grand windows found throughout the house
now highlight the historic significance of this landmark building.