Today was the CARA (Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association) Open Houses day. Some members of the Collingwood Historical Society enjoyed visiting five very different houses. The highlight for me was being able to visit one which was a former hotel and is being researched for our updated publication and website on hotels of Collingwood.
The Village Belle in Abbotsford Street, Abbotford, started out life in about 1875 with publican and grocer Jonathan Falkingham in charge and was delicensed in 1918. It had several women publicans, including Margaret Price and Nellie Hayes. However, it is likely that it was trading as a hotel before this time. In 1868 it is listed on the ratebooks as a wood hotel of six rooms, and between 1869 and 1872, though listed as a shop, it probably operated as a hotel as the occupants were publicans according to Andrew Ward and Associates.
The photograph shows the Abbotsford Street frontage of the property which is significant for retaining its original window and timber-posted verandah, a fairly unique circumstance in Collingwood but also in other municipalities where verandahs were demolished to make parking easier for the horseless carriage.
If anyone reading this blog has any memories of the Village Belle, we would love to hear from you. Please send us your comments here.