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February 03, 2017

Staying at Stanley's

The other day I talked about my upcoming trip to Ottawa and how the Inn I will be staying at is the former house of Stanley Cup/World War I legend "One Eyed" Frank McGee.

Turns out that is not the only notable hockey figure whose house has been turned into a guest hotel. You can also stay at Lord Stanley's house, too!

Yes, Lord Stanley as in the guy who gave us the Stanley Cup.

Now, it is nowhere near Ottawa. In fact this Queen Anne-style residence is quite far out of the way, located in the tiny town of New Richmond, Quebec at the mouth of the Grand Cascapedia River. That is about a six hour drive east from Quebec City. Stanley's favorite fishing spot was a few miles away, but he had to compromise with his wife as she did not want to live near the fishing hole due to the many black flies back then.

Built in 1888 as an 18 room summer residence for Stanley, the former Governor General of Canada, this stunning home overlooks the Baie des Chaleurs, one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Stanley would have to return to England by 1893 - two years before construction was fully completed - but the house continued to be used as a retreat by subsequent Governor Generals.

The house went through several owners in the 1900s, but by 1962 it became the property of the Canada Council of the Arts. They used it to hold seminars but budget cut backs forced it to remain largely empty from 1984 to 1996.

That's when a local entrepreneur named J. Edgar Leblanc bought the house and renovated it into an a multiple room Inn with conference facilities.

The current state of La Maison Stanley is a bit confusing. Their website is down and their Facebook page is inactive. Trip Advisor has no listing for it, either. The town lost it's lumber mill - it's only major employer - last decade and the quiet area seems to still be recovering.

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