Lambton Heritage Museum
Grand Bend, Ontario

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Grand Bend - Our Stories, Our Voice
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IRENE GILL (1977 interview by Sharon Johnson) spoken by Paul Janes and Mary Janes
Question: Miss Gill, I understand that your mother and father had one of the first hotels in Grand Bend. Could you tell me something about it?
Miss Gill: Yes, they had the Lakeview House. The Lakeview House had at first, twelve rooms. Later, Mr. Gill, being a carpenter, enlarged the hotel to twenty-nine rooms. The building was first a one-storey and then a two storey building. The main and large dining room and kitchen were at the front, but off to one side. The building was first frame, and later was partly covered with brick.

Question: Can you tell me some interesting things about the price of food, price of lodging and the kind of food most served?
Miss Gill: The price of a full course meal sixty years ago was 35 cents and $1.00 for a night's lodging. Almost every day fresh fish was served, because Mr. Gill was also a fisherman, so he caught the fish for the hotel. Such fish as whitefish, perch were used often. The fish was the most popular dish served, but the country sausage and roast pork were also served and delicious. Mrs. Gill was noted for her homemade Dutch apple pies and fresh cherry pies. There were also some cream pies served. Mrs. Gill was famous for her oyster soup. She made this every year for the United Church when they had their oyster suppers. We never served oyster soup at the hotel.

Question: There were some other places along Main Street. Could you tell me a bit about them?
Miss Gill: The famous Merry-Go-Round of Billie Elsie (now where Jack and Din's is located) was one of the family attractions. You didn't come to Grand Bend without having a ride on the merry-go-round. The rides were 5 cents each and you got a good long ride for your money. Other places were Mike Gratton's booth and groceries; J. W. Holt grocery store and Pollock's Blacksmith Shop.


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