In the heart of the small, lakeside town of Bayfield you'll find The Albion Hotel. Beaming with country-style perfection, The Albion has four quaint and comfortable Bed & Breakfast accommodations as well as a friendly dining room and inviting pub.
"Albion" was the first word used for the island of Britain, and The Albion Hotel reminisces of Canada's old English ties. Our pub is friendly and classic. Its wooden tables and benches speak of nostalgia and old-world style comfort. We offer a full range of appetizers and traditional pub grub.
Our dining room is even more peaceful, with its homey decor and wood-paneled walls. We offer a range of entrees, from elegant cuisine to just what you'd expect on the dining-room table of an old country home.
The Albion has been a country-styled favorite of vacationers for over 140 years, and will be a favorite for generations to come. So come out to The Albion, and learn what "A Taste of Country" really means.
The Origins of the Albion Hotel
It's the early 1840s. Bayfield is still a mostly forested area, though there are farmers who have cleared some land for their crops, with log cabins built for homes and barns. The land is being settled by people emigrating from Britain, Holland, and Germany among other places in Europe and Canada. The village is growing into a small-town way of life.
A man named Robert Reid constructs a one-story building as a general store. It operates for about fifteen years and in 1856, as the town populates and visitors abound, a second story is added. The doors open and The Albion Hotel is born.
The Albion has been a Bayfield hostelry for over 145 years.
In the late 1890s Bayfield is attracting large numbers of visitors from elsewhere in Canada as well as from Michigan and other parts of the States across Lake Huron. Being one of the older establishments with a reputation for both fun and relaxation, The Albion Hotel is a favourite stop for food, drink, and above all, rest.
In 1902 both levels of the front porch are complete, and the two-tiered veranda becomes the classic mark of The Albion Hotel.
Over the years ownership changes hands several times, but The Albion is always renting its rooms for weary travelers and excited vacationers. In the 1980's Kim Muszynski buys the hotel, and spends a great deal of effort to bring all the modern amenities expected of a hotel while at the same time restoring the original architecture and feel of late nineteenth-century Bayfield.
After doing some basic remodeling of the rooms and kitchen, Mr. Muszynski gains a heritage grant from the Ministry of Culture and Communications to restore the original veranda that had been built in 1902.
The hotel is now adorned with antiques of all sorts, from the bedroom furniture to the country-style dining room decor. The original cherry wood bar is still in use. The only reasons to think that you are vacationing in the twenty-first century are the private bathrooms in each room, the air conditioning, and the dress of the patrons. But even the dress of the patrons is sometimes country-classic.
With the town heritage and atmosphere, our hotel's age and feel, and the gentility of the locals, you'll find nothing but a true Taste of Country at The Albion Hotel.
The Story of Our Rent-Free Guest
The Albion Hotel is a taste of country and country's past. Our building itself is a relic from almost a century and a half ago, and we've kept that feel with restoration projects and antique country furnishings. But there is another relic from the past that, even if we wanted it to, just won't go away...
In the 1890s The Albion Hotel was run by Edward and Maria Elliot. They lived in the hotel as they operated it, and had a large family of sons and daughters. Tragedy ran its course, however, and several of the sons had died by 1895. Edward, the father, died in early 1896. Maria, the mother, continued to operate the hotel aided by two of her sons and two daughters. A third son lived in Detroit, Michigan.
On November 8, 1897, Harvey Elliot, Maria's 21-year-old son, went out for an afternoon of drinking with two of his friends. He returned to The Albion late in the evening, meeting his younger brother Frederick in bar. Frederick was running the hotel for the evening, and was the cool-headed member of the family that Mrs. Elliot relied on to take care of the business. Harvey and his friends had a drink in the bar, and then planned to go out again. Frederick decided he wanted to go out too. He normally kept a revolver with him as he operated the hotel and bar as well as when he slept. Since he prepared to go out with Harvey, Frederick put the revolver in his pocket and closed up the bar.
Harvey, however, wasn't so keen on having little Frederick tag along, and began arguing with his brother. Harvey was known as a riotous drunk and, after some cursing, tried to push Frederick back into the hotel. A heated argument was growing hotter.
Lily--one of the Elliot sisters--and Harvey's friends were trying to calm the quarrel. But Harvey was becoming more violent. Around 10 PM, in The Albion's front doorway, Frederick's revolver came out. Frederick warned Harvey that he would shoot him but, in his inebriated state, Harvey apparently retorted back with fearlessness and charged at Frederick. The gun was aimed, and Harvey was shot in the upper-middle of his chest.
Immediately after Harvey was hit with the bullet the family and Harvey's friends tried to save him. It seems they tried to get Harvey a drink, and then brought him inside the hotel bar, where the dining room is today. All this to no avail, however: Harvey died minutes after the shot, forever leaving a blood stain on the wooden floor. Newspaper accounts say Frederick was crying with remorse. Even upon waking in the morning after a doctor had administered a sedative, Frederick was wrecked with guilt.
Harvey was buried. Frederick was shown some mercy and sent to jail on manslaughter charges rather than murder. But some say that Harvey still thinks he lives in the hotel. There have been reports of bar taps turning on by themselves, glasses randomly crashing to the floor, books flying off shelves, and a barroom light coming on by itself in the middle of the night.