The Mettawas resort on Park Street was the place to be for late nineteenth century revelers.
The railway station nearby, now restored (and hosting a fine restaurant) was a hub for patrons coming from the Windsor and Detroit areas.
Steamboats brought thousands of American tourists from Cleveland, Toledo and Chicago.
The indian name Mettawas - meaning "confluence of waters" - was given to the Grand Hotel and complex by the Detroit industrialist Hiram Walker who chose for his 375 ft long building the Queen Anne Revival style.
Architect drawing for the Mettawas posted in our front porch
Dancing under the stars, a casino, beaches, seven acres of lawn to play lacrosse and cricket provided enjoyment to many.
Original Mettawas creamer and sugar bowl
Unprofitable, the Resort was closed and torn down in 1904.
Since then, several attempts to renew interest for tourists in this nice location have been made. A Mettawas Inn opened in 1914 and tried to keep entertainment, tennis and dancing.
In the thirties, A. Kahn designed a 15 floors grand hotel with a roof garden but this project was never built. Instead, a large open air dancing pavillion became popular for many years - as some current Kingsville residents still remember.
Then Lakeshore Terrace Hotel became a well known location for weddings, anniversaries and chartered tourist buses.
Burnt down in 2000 after several years as an abandoned building, it left an empty spot now on its way for a new Park and beach revival by the city of Kingsville.
In the area the memory of all the grand old parties and revelries attached to the "mettawas" name still remains.
In this spirit, we named our house: Mettawas End.
Now designated under the Ontario Heritage Act it is part of the Kingsville heritage houses.
The future Mettawas End Bed and breakfast by a local artist 40 years ago :
In 1886, across the street from the Mettawas Resort and Casino, this summer cottage - in fact a 4700 sq.ft frame house - was built for Franklin H. Walker. It was supposed to be the prototype of other cottages - to host a fast growing number of wealthy patrons attracted by the Mettawas Resort built by Hiram Walker, owner of the Canadian Club distillery in Windsor.
The cottage was bought by my great-grandfather Henry Gordon Laidlaw in 1907 and remained in my family up until World War II. On this baby picture my mother is held in her grandmothers' arms, in her first summer of many at the Kingsville house.
In the late twenties here she is again, across the street, a young girl almost ready for a swim. .
Sold to the Ford family during World War II it came back into my family when my mother bought it for her retirement.
It became again a family gathering place...
...a comfortable house to live in,
...and to share with welcomed guests.