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Historic Houses

Diffin's Inn

“In 1845 two enterprising brothers, Benjamin and George Diffin, built two inns on the Canboro Road or “Great West” Road, near the corner of present day Church Street. It was a time when inns were necessary and as numerous as gas stations are today, and the Canboro was a major Niagara route.  The small settlement in west Pelham became known as Diffin’s Corners.”


Eight years later, "in 1853, the first post office was opened, and the name Fenwick was chosen to honour Dr. Frazer, who was born in Fenwick, Scotland. He became Reeve of Pelham, Warden of Welland County and an M.P.”  A Historical Tour of Fenwick. Pelham Historical Society. 2003.


“The two inns were primarily rooming places with stables, but were also taverns.  Following the Canada Temperance Act of 1879 there was pressure by temperance organizations to have Welland county implement the Act.  It was an optional local measure, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating beverages.  Pelham was a temperance stronghold and in the voting on November 10, 1881, the township voted in support of the Act, as did Thorold, the only two municipalities in the region to do so.  It was some ninety years later (1971), before liquor was sold again in Pelham.”


“One of the inns was a frame cottage, later covered with stucco.  The one storey veranda, an almost universal addition to houses in Upper Canada and Canada West at the time, is supported by simple posts of classical columns.”  The other inn has become an apartment building.


Ownership & Management

Private Residence, not open to the public


Diffin's Inn
796 Canboro Road
Fenwick, Ontario
L0S 1E6 Municipality Town of Pelham


Mary Lamb
Pelham Historical Society
PO Box 903
Fonthill, Ontario
L0S 1E0
Email mblamb@sympatico.ca

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