This very old photograph (above) is of Old Riverside Road circa 1912. Visible in the picture is the house that one day would be converted into the Riverside Inn, which still exists today.
Rosemary Montour grew up in that house and was the one who converted it into an inn in 1997.
“When my father died, I inherited the house and made it into a bed and breakfast. I grew up there with my parents, grandparents and sister,” she said.
The Riverside Inn officially opened in January 1997. The house had been in her family since before the seaway even existed in the early 1900s, according to Montour.
“It (the inn) had seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living rooms, a large dining room, and large kitchen. So that was the only thing I could think of doing rather than renting it out,” said Montour.
Montour lived a block away from the inn right behind the funeral parlour across from Patton’s construction.
Montour’s parents were Edith and Wally Montour. Her grandparents on her mother’s side were Josie Delaronde Jacobs and Julian Jacobs.
“My parents lived with my grandparents (in that house).” Montour lived there since birth, she said. Montour’s two older siblings – an older brother and older sister – also lived in the house.
Her father was an ironworker and her mother a schoolteacher.
When asked how it was like growing up on Old Riverside Road, Montour said, laughing, “I hated the ships that went by, but I always had good memories.
“At one point, we had a pool, that was in the mid-1970s. Other friends on the street had one too, above ground. But we liked swimming in the seaway. As long as there were no ships I was okay. We rode the yacht waves on inner tubes; old car tire tubes,” she said.
Montour explained that she had a big backyard and the porch wrapped around three-quarters of the house. The house also had a garage that no longer exists today. She said that the new owners removed it. She also said that at the time, all the houses were close together.
“There was a path, years ago, that was on the left-hand side of the inn that led to the seaway. But as the fences went up for privacy and pools, then there was no more path. I believe the fences are still there,” said Montour.
“If you look at a snapshot of the road today, you can see all the changes,” she said.
Montour said that if you look above the roof of the porch sticking out of the house on the left-hand side of the photo, you can see the back of the Catholic Church.
“That house was the late Tommy Moon and his sister Josie Moon Delisle’s. You can see the church above their roof,” she said.
Montour remembers that many children lived on her block and that everyone would play together.
“The first house near the curve was the Taylor’s, then the Schurman’s, then Mrs. Snow,” said Montour.
Montour loved running her inn and “it was a lot of fun. I had visitors from all over the world, Germany, Hungary, Japan, the U.S., Australia and, of course, parts of Canada,” she said. “One in particular came from Italy and stayed for three months, two years in a row and did his thesis on Aboriginals.”
She ran the inn with the help of her late husband, Allen Peterson and her young son Wally Peterson.
Montour married Allen in 1985.
Before the inn, Allen was a chief of conservation and a Peacekeeper until the late 1980s and Montour worked at KSCS (Kahnawake Shakotiia’takehnhas Community Services) for 18 years.
She was still living in the house when she worked at social services.
“He (Wally Peterson) was in grade four when he started pushing a broom on his own choice. No one made him. He didn’t want to be paid. He liked meeting people too. He’s 30 now. It was fun,” said Montour.
Montour shared two pictures from her parent’s wedding day.
“That is the front of the Inn on October 5th, 1951,” she said.
“My mother and father are in the middle. To the left of my father is his brother, the late Michael Montour, and to the left of him is my father’s father, the late Mike Montour.
“To the right of my mother is her cousin, the late Esther Myiow, and to the right of her is my mother’s father, the late Julian Jacobs. Now the man on the very end on the right-hand side is the late Earl Lafleur,” said Montour.
The second picture is inside the house, in the dining room and one of the living rooms, according to Montour. That is where the wedding reception took place.
Although she thoroughly enjoyed running her inn, it became harder and harder to manage because of all its demands.
“My husband passed away Dec. 15, 2003. We sold it on December 12th, 2003,” said Montour, to Kenneth Deer, the first owner of The Eastern Door.
“How ironic, eh? He did well, but it is a 24/7 business. When you have visitors with different time zones, and they come as a group, you have longer arrival times,” she said.
Deer sold the inn about five years ago, according to Montour and it is currently owned by Sterling Deer.
“It’s nice to reminisce and think of them (her parents),” she said.