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About Us

The Breadalbane Inn has been nestled in the heart of Centre Wellington for decades. This cozy establishment highlights our passion for fresh local ingredients, honest cooking, and an enjoyable atmosphere. Our menus feature a selection of dishes, all made in-house by our team of talented chefs.

With some of the most delicious combinations of ingredients, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Loved by locals and foodies alike, now is the perfect time for you to join us at the Breadalbane Inn.

The Breadalbane Inn also offers overnight accommodations with 7 charming suites upstairs and 4 Deluxe King suites in the carriage house, just steps away from the main Inn.

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History of The Breadalbane Inn

(Formerly Mapleshade)
the home of George Douglas Fergusson

George Douglas Fergusson was born in 1822 at Balthayock, Scotland, the sixth son of Adam Fergusson and his wife Jemine Johnson Blair.  He came to Canada with his father and stepmother in 1833.
He and his brothers were educated at home by Rev. Patrick Bell, inventor of the reaping machine, who had accompanied them from Scotland.  He received a secondary education in Oakville, but joined a lake boat and sailed the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes before settling down.  For a time, he partnered with his brother James in the shipping business out of Port Dover.
George and James married nieces of the Honorable John MacDonald of Gananoque.  George married Charlotte Legge.  They lived in Port Dover until 1850 when a rift between the cofounders of Fergus - Adam Fergusson and James Webster - developed and Webster moved to Guelph.  Desirous that a family member oversee his Fergus interests, Adam hired George.
Contrary to popular belief, Adam never lived in Fergus, preferring instead to reside at Woodhill, near Waterdown.  He considered Fergus an investment property and had no desire to live in the community.  On the other hand, James Webster, was known as the "beloved founder" and spent the first 18 years the settlement's history as it's resident mentor, builder and mender.  He spent a considerable amount of his family's money to ensure settlers didn't go hungry or without a roof over their heads.  There was a move afoot in the 1870's (after Adam Fergusson's death) to rename Fergus "Websterville".
George and Charlotte moved into a small stone cottage at the corner of Breadalbane St. and St. Andrew St., with the promise from father that a larger more prestigious dwelling would be built.  Some of Adam's money was spent for the first enlargement of the house, but as he died in the late 1860's, he had no influence over George's later additions.  In 1860 the cottage was expanded into a larger home and by 1879 the home had been enlarged to the handsome dwelling you now see.  The only remaining feature of the cottage today is its rear wall which was incorporated into the back of the present home.
The building is an excellent example of the architectural style prevalent in Ontario in the 1870's.  Iron work for the verandah and fence and marble for the fireplace was imported from Naples, Italy.  The stair banisters, newel posts and doors to formal areas were created in walnut.
The house boasted several fireplaces and five graceful chimneys.  Fireplaces and stoves depended on wood that was stored in a large two-story high shed.  Two men were kept busy cutting wood all winter as the house was difficult to heat because of its high ceilings, long halls and interior design.
The name "Mapleshade" came from three rows of maple trees that were planted along Breadalbane and St. Patrick streets.  The property once consisted of beautiful formal gardens, well-kept lawns and a large stable that housed driving horses and carriages.
George Fergusson was an astute businessman who looked after his father's interests with canny eye and sharp tongue.  Consequently, he was not well liked by the villagers, who were slightly envious of the fact that "he never did an honest day's work, just walked down the bank with his gold-headed cane swinging, making everybody step out of his way."
He was apparently very strict with his family too.  He was a man who wanted a large family, but who didn't want to bother with babies until they were two.  All his children were kept in a large nursery until their second birthday when they were allowed to finally sit at his table.  He was particularly harsh with his daughters as they had few freedoms when he was around.
George was instrumental in bringing the first railway to the village and became the first vice president of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway.  He started the Lockman Sewing Machine Company which was located in a five story stone building across the road from his house.  This company once employed up to 40 people and produced 200 machines a week.  He was also the agent for the Bank of Montreal which ceased operations upon his death in 1895.
George and Charlotte were parents of 10 children - Neil Legge I; Neil Legge II; Rebecca Harriet; Jemima Charlotte; Adam David; George Tower; Robert Blair; John James; Georgina Hobson; Margaret Fraser.  George and Charlotte are buried in Belsyde Cemetary, Fergus, along with at least three of their infant children.
After the death of George, Mapleshade was rented for a number of years.  The Gow family and the Blacks of Blackburn Estates, were some of the more notable tenants.
In 1922, Mapleshade was sold to Dr. Norman Kyle who installed new plumbing, electricity and oil burning furnace.  Today's front door to the Fergusson Room Pub, led to Dr. Kyle's office while the good doctor and his wife used the back door as their main entrance.  Operations were performed in a large upstairs room at the head of the stairs.
After Dr. Kyle died, the property was owned by Donald Sinclair Sr. and Thomas Tippen.  Tippen was the first person to consider turning Mapleshade into a hotel, but he could never procure a license as Fergus remained dry under the influence of the influential tea-totaling Beatty family.
In 1950 Mapleshade became a nursing home under the capable direction of the Dyer family.  In 1975, Philip and Jean Cardinal saw the potential of the home as an inn in the English country style.  After purchasing the property, they restored the building, and called it the Breadalbane Inn.  The first Earl of Breadalbane was Adam Fergusson's uncle.
In 1996, the Cardinals retired and sold the Breadalbane Inn to the Egger family, who have retained the original character, charm and reputation for excellent food.
The Breadalbane Inn - the gem of Fergus architecture - continues to serve the community and to play a great role in its history.
(Researched and written by Patricia Mestern)

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