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REDEFINING THE INN

The Stone Mill Inn was first constructed in 1866 as a cotton mill by the Toronto retail/wholesale dry goods giant of the era John Gordon. The building was part of the growing industry centered on the Welland Canal.

 

The development was timely, with interruption of imports during the American Civil War, this venture allowed Gordon to offer a good selection of cost effective Canadian-made cottons of their own unlike most of their competitors who relied on imports from the States and abroad.

 

Known as the Lybster Mill, it saw great success until 1869 when after the war the American operations resumed, the competition forced the mill to close its doors for several months. In the following few years however Lybster Mill was back running at full tilt surviving the depression in the early 1870’s and the early days of the commercial community being established in Montreal alongside the St. Lawrence Seaway.

 

A number of contributing factors finally forced the Mill to close its doors for good. The building was later purchased by the owners of the Lincoln Paper Company as they expanded their operations just prior to 1908. Additions were built to accommodate storage and machinery used as production got under way in 1911.

 

The Lincoln Paper Company amalgamated with Ritchie & Ramsay of New Toronto in 1928 and was then joined with the Georgetown Coated Paper Mill. The name Alliance Paper Co. came into being. The Lybster Mill became the Lybster Division of Alliance Paper Co.

 

Leading into the 1960’s, Dominion Tar and Chemical bought Alliance Paper Co. The building was known for years as Howard Smith Papers and later called Domtar.

 

In 2002 after months of rumour and speculation, Domtar closed the doors to this plant. The Mill sat vacant until purchased in 2004 by local businessman and entrepreneur Nino Donatelli. The additions that were built in 1908 were demolished; leaving the original cotton mill standing and so began eight years of restoration and renovation.

 

Today the mill is home to the award winning Stone Mill Inn, a 35 room boutique inn owned and operated by the Donatelli family. Great care was taken to restore this iconic landmark while maintaining its historical architecture; many would say it was a labour of love!

 

Ideally located in the heart of the Niagara Region and only minutes to the Region’s largest indoor shopping mall, the Pen Centre; the Outlet Collection; Brock University; Niagara College; the Welland Canal and major commercial districts of the area.

 

On the border of Niagara-On-The-Lake and St. Catharines, the Stone Mill Inn is a short trip through wine country to the historic Victorian town. Likewise, only a 20 minutes to the hustle and bustle of the tourist mecca, Niagara Falls. Truly a short drive from everything you would need to make your stay in the Garden City a memorable one.

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