Beginning in the mid-19th century, the village of North Hatley experienced rapid development and its natural beauty attracted visitors from near and far. In order to accommodate the tourists, the village needed to have lodging of some sort. That is when the luxurious Glen Villa Inn hotel resort was established. The Glen Villa Inn cemented North Hatley’s place as a tourist destination in the Eastern Townships. Unfortunately, the Inn fell victim to two fires, the second of which completely destroyed the building in 1909 and it was never rebuilt. The property passed through various owners until finally falling into the hands of Pat and Norman Webster in 1996. Since purchasing the property, they have been working hard to preserve the history of the Glen Villa Inn and make that history visible through an artistic landscape. The Record caught up with Pat, a visual artist, writer, and speaker who gave us all the details on what they have been doing with the site that is now home to Glen Villa Gardens. The first Glen Villa Inn was constructed by the Putney family in 1893. It was a hotel that accommodated up to 50 guests. It had a large veranda, a dining room and a living room and the tourists accessed the resort by steamboat. In 1897, the modest hotel was destroyed in a fire but was rebuilt into an immense hotel resort by George Albert LeBaron in 1902. See full story in the Thursday, Dec. 12 edition of The Record.
By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record