Built in 1784, in the aftermath of the American Revolution, as pro-British refugees flooded into Shelburne, the original vertical log structure served as both store and home to a remarkable blind man, George Gracie.
In 1785 Gracie was a refugee merchant from Boston and was to become one of two representatives of Shelburne County in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.
Cooper's Inn - The Early Years
During restoration in 1987/88 it was found that the Inn was built in two stages - the north side was built first and is where the Owners' Apartments are located, the logs are still in place in the walls, it was followed by the south side Stories have it that the north side with its vertical log walls was floated up from Boston in George Gracie's ship the "Experiment", assembled and the south side added at that time.
The smaller building at the rear of the main house was used as a cooperage from about 1904 until 1917 when Chandley Smith built a new Barrel Factory across the street where barrels are still made today.
The old cooperage now houses four rooms all with private baths, two upstairs and two on the ground level with one that opens onto the breezeway and the other onto the garden.
The Cooper's Inn is seen at the left of this photograph taken in the late 19th century
Watercolour of Cooper’s Inn by Gail Armstrong