History of the Gillespie House Inn

Built in 1890, the Gillespie House Inn is a lovely blend of strong Victorian architecture and character, paired with modern charm and style. The gable and steeply pitched roof and tower, bargeboard trim and finials in the gable peaks are features of the Queen Anne style while the projecting bays and bracketing eaves are Italianate.

The house was built by David A. Huntley, merchant, shipbuilder and lumber business owner, on land purchased from Hugh McGilvray. Originally the land was owned by the Davison family and the property was retained in the Huntley family until 1908. It is told that the first telephone exchange in Parrsboro was located in this dwelling, operated by Josephine Huntley, David’s wife. The next owner was Albert C. Elderkin, a lumberman and trader. It was then sold in 1937 by Lucy Elderkin, Albert’s wife, to Maureen Gillespie, who was married to Harry Gillespie. After leaving the Gillespie family, the property was owned by several owners- Stephen M. O’Regan, Sylvie Bertin, Lowell and Geraldine Philips and Shirley Cormier.

It was in 1990 that Shirley established the Gillespie House Bed and Breakfast, operating it until June of 1997.

Lori Lynch and David Beattie then acquired Gillespie House Inn becoming the innkeepers. The couple operated the inn for 27 years leading significant expansion and renovations in 2003 which transformed the property into a 4.5 star Bed and Breakfast Inn with all seven rooms hosting private baths.

In January 2024, today’s innkeepers Lisa M. Smith and Troy Colpitts, both with strong roots to Parrsboro and area, became the owners. Lisa and Troy have already added their own special touches and style to Gillespie House with several refreshes that add to both the elegance and charm of this stately inn. The current innkeepers have also created mission and vision statements that honour the legacy of the inn as well as recognizing the natural wonder and unique personality of the area and province. The inn is a member of the Inns of Nova Scotia and has earned the recommended experience designation from the Bay of Fundy Tourism Partnership.

Lisa and Troy are excited to be a part of the next chapter for the Gillespie House Inn and its enduring history and legacy.