BreweryNewsHistory of our Building

October 17, 2021by Fenelonbrewco

A Rich History of Many Lives

200 years of memories

Our craft brewery is housed in a building rich in history that has lived many lives. It’s been a hotel, blacksmiths shop, and even a livery stable back in the 1800s! This building has been a staple in the community for years, and we are happy to continue honouring its history. Learn about all the lives our 200-year old building lived before it became a craft brewery.

McArthur House Hotel, Livery Stables

1854 - 1892

The building’s history starts in 1854 when it was originally built by Joseph McArthur, as part of the McArthur House Hotel. The hotel was extremely large for the time, spanning three floors high in places, and taking over a large chunk of land. Our building makes up what was once the livery stables for the hotel, where guests would leave their horses during their stay or could rent horses if needed. The livery stables were extremely important at the time, as horse and buggy were popular transportation back in the day.

The McArthur House Hotel originally accommodated up to 50 guests, and only cost a mere $1.50 a night to stay, an unthinkable price today! As time went on, the hotel changed to accommodate long-term rentals, like an apartment, as well as short-term stays.

Local Blacksmiths Shop

1901 - 1976

In 1901, the building turned into the local blacksmith’s shop and was run by Charles Kelly. A blacksmith is a tradesman who works with iron and steel to create or fix things. Blacksmiths were incredibly important at the time since people weren’t able to replace broken household objects as easily as they are able to today and instead had to get them repaired by a blacksmith.

In 1936, the blacksmith shop changed owners and was run by Dick Bulmer. Dick’s main task as a blacksmith back then was shoeing horses, repairing farm equipment, and fixing household objects such as shovels and knives.

Dick retired in 1976 and was the last blacksmith in Fenelon Falls. He was a source of happiness in the community and was well known for teaching the kids in the community about the craft of being a blacksmith.

Community memories:

I remember looking in the door and watching the blacksmith work when I was a kid.” – Alan Woodward

I remember when it was still a blacksmith shop and there were still a couple of unused stalls when it was a livery stable” – Bill Lewis 

I remember going there with my Dad in the 1950s to watch them shoe horses.” – Rob McKerracher

Want to read more community members’ memories from the time? Scroll to the bottom to read more.

Livery Stables Gift & Sportswear Shop

1977 - 2013

In 1977, Daisy Kinzinger opened the Livery Stables Gift & Sportswear Shop. Before opening, the shop went through some extreme renovations to change it from a blacksmith’s shop to a 2-story sportswear and gift shop. The shop sold a mix of men’s and women’s sportswear, clothing, and various household items.

After being open for 13 years, the building was damaged by fire in November of 1990. This fire wreaked havoc on the inside of the building as well as the roof but left the building standing and reparable. In 2000 the building was once again struck by disaster when it became flooded. 

The building was eventually sold to the current owners of Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. to begin its next reinvention.

Community memories:

Every Labour Day weekend my Mom, Irene,would take my sister, Katherine, and I to the Livery to buy our back to school outfits. It always felt like a special treat, but now as a parent I can also appreciate that we were up North all summer and that last weekend my Mom was probably like ‘Ah! School starts Tuesday and they need an outfit.’ Whatever the motivation, that two floor store across from the locks is ingrained in my memory. Pretty cool we still all get to go and enjoy the same place together. Even cooler that they now serve beer!” – Em McCool. 

I remember “Midnight Madness” sales where many people would gather around the shops hangout and take advantage of the sales. I also remember a big fire that happened there.” – Chris Wilson

I used to work at The Livery Stable. I loved being able to sit and watch the boats while I had my lunch” – Leigh Taylor

Want to read more community members’ memories from the time? Scroll to the bottom to read more.

Fenelon Falls Brewing Co.

2015 - Present

That brings us to what the building currently is, Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. The building also went through extreme renovations, once again, to become a craft brewery.

The brewhouse was custom-made by the Canadian company Criveller Group in 2019. This transformation changed it from the previous Livery Stables Gift & Sportswear Shop into the 5000 sqft brewery it is today while keeping some of the historic aspects that are loved by the community. The outside stone has remained the same throughout the years, however, 50-ft of windows were added during this renovation to give patrons a view of the Trent Severn Waterway’s Lock 34 and Cameron Lake. 

As the owners of Fenelon Falls Brewing Co. say, “we are very excited to give this historic building a new life by building a place for our loyal fans to visit and locals to call home.”


200 years and counting...

This historic building holds a special place in many community members’ hearts. Here’s more of the memories they have of the building through the years: 

The Livery Stable was my most favourite shopping place when went to the cottage sure miss it but now I’m a Butterfly Boutique fan now” – Lori Perryman

In the 60’s the lower level was still a blacksmith’s shop and you could still get horseshoes made there” – Robert Wright

I  remember going there with my grandma when I was little to see all the clothes, and going up to the second floor and getting really nice back to school clothing!” – Mercedez Wright

I remember when “The livery stable” use to be a clothing store. My mom use to go in there all the time and spend forever in there” – Nick Manson

When I was a kid the Livery Stable building was Dick Bulmers welding shop” – Marylou Patterson Way

Omg we would always get a back to school outfit and a beanie baby when it was a clothing store in the 90s” – Jennifer Lynn

My father used to take me to the blacksmiths to visit with Dick Bulmer” – Judy Hart

Going into the kids section upstairs in the livery stable to check out the beanie babies” – Sarah Craig 

The Livery Stable was Daisy Kinsinger’s store. She had great taste in fashion and Canadiana, and she and Frank were great people.” – Bill Baker

I remember going here as a child when it was dockside and my mom was a waitress, brings back alot of great memories. Fenelon falls is a great town!” – Ashley Muller

I remember the water wheel outside.” – Shelley Gibbs McElney