The original property, which would later become McGowan Inn, was built in 1883 by Nathan Beach, facing the Georgeville wharf, on the shores of Lake Memphremagog. George E Merrick and Charles Coop are the original owners.
1885-1978 : Almost 100 years of history with the McGowan families
The building was sold for the first time to John Taylor and Charles Henri McGowan in 1886. Charles, his wife Martha Barr and their son Douglas moved in and quickly converted the building into a summer hotel, annexing the Rollston store. This store was then transformed into a kitchen. The first guests were welcomed in the summer of 1886 at the new hotel, then called Gowanbank Hall, and it became a popular destination. In 1894, Charles McGowan had to expand the hotel, almost doubling its capacity, from six to twelve rooms. It was transformed into a spacious three-story structure with verandas. Following Martha’s death in 1893, Charles ran the inn with his sister Mary Jane until the outbreak of the First World War.
The McGowan House is born; electricity and plumbing are installed there. When Charles died, his younger brother, Fredrick John McGowan (Fred) and his wife Addie Marie Dailey take over the hotel from March 1930 until 1945.
Henry Douglas McGowan and his wife Kathleen Majorie Atkin (Kay) took over the operations of McGowan House in 1945 and acquired it in 1959. The inn, transformed into a fishing lodge, attracted many clients from Quebec and the northeastern United States. In winter, the McGowan House is the village gathering place; you can watch Saturday night hockey games, play cards and taste Kay’s legendary cuisine.
After Henry’s death in 1972, Kay continued to operate the McGowan House until 1978 before selling it to Raymond and Betty (Barker) Waleau. In 1986, after a few years of operation by the Waleau, Ross Spencer became the new owner; he modified the property and added the marina garage.
1987 : Heritage Georgeville
The history of Heritage Georgeville Inc. began in 1987. Shortly after its creation, in 1990, Heritage Georgeville, which then brought together 47 shareholders, acquired McGowan House and the adjacent marina. Heritage Georgeville’s primary mission is the protection of the McGowan House site and property for the long-term benefit of the Georgeville community. This is what drove shareholders’ financial commitment long ago and continues to be their primary motivation today. Heritage Georgeville now has nearly 60 shareholders.
2021 : McGowan Inn 2.0
The shareholders of Heritage Georgeville concluded, after a long process of reflection, that due to the precarious condition of the building, the inn must be rebuilt. In the fall of 2019, the architectural plans are drawn up. The Inn’s reconstruction project began in September 2020. The all-new McGowan Inn opened on June 24, 2021.
The management of the Inn’’s operations is entrusted to Andrée-Anne Breton, Executive Director. Andrée-Anne has over a decade of experience in the restaurant, hotel management and tourism industries. She worked as Sales Representative and Accommodation Director at Espace 4 Saisons in Orford. She has also overseen Operations at McGowan Inn for the past three seasons, offering clients a high level of quality, professionalism, and enthusiasm. “I am delighted with this challenge and to be able to associate myself again with McGowan Inn, which I fell in love with a long time ago.» says Andrée-Anne.