While in the midst of writing posts on the old grist/saw mills ‘then and now’ series, the Ranger has had a ‘brain flash’. While touring the local Municipality of Port Hope and noting several old buildings either vacant or about to be, why not capture their stories before they are gone forever.
This series of posts will be titled: Going, Going…
The first one that comes to mind, was a well-known and now is a very much derelict building anyone travelling Northumberland County Road #2 between Port Hope and Welcome will have noticed. It appears about ready to tumble to the ground.
The former Welcome Motor Inn in its days of glory was a well- known motel with a restaurant attended regularly by patrons from near and far. The rooms were in several buildings and multi-floor settings with great architectural features seldom found on such a building. There is still evidence in the large parking lot at the south end of the property (the metal posts are still visible) equipped with electric power for truckers to power their block heaters on cold winter nights. It would have been common for the truckers to have a meal and overnight here on cross country runs.
Thought to have been built in the 1950’s, it originally likely had the same basic appearance as several others once located along Highway #2 in the area. Built in a ‘utilitarian’ rectangle shape, with several rooms and gas pumps out front was common. One other former Port Hope motel some of you may remember was the Glober’s Motel once located on Peter St. in the east end of town. It was replaced by the large strip-mall across the highway from the Metro Grocery store.
These motels were once very common all along Highway #2 before the 401 Highway was built through the area in the mid-sixties. The Welcome Motor Inn has now been vacant for many years and unfortunately has been neglected, looted, vandalized and ‘salvaged’ many times. (Please respect the ‘No Trespassing’ signs here).
Once owned by the Mark family of Port Hope, the restaurant was the place to dine for many of us. Ranger recalls celebrating his 25th anniversary at General Foods Ltd. there with his supervisor and several co-workers in September, 1999. I’m sure the Bushwhacker could also tell a few stories of GF Research parties once celebrated there.
Today, this building (and million dollar property) purchased a few years ago by yet another owner looks like it is waiting for the wrecking ball and who knows what might appear here soon.