Changing Traditions, A Little Look at the Glynmill Inn

June 7, 2011

It is November 2004 and a stressed out bride, in full make-up and veil, is storming up a hallway of the Glynmill Inn. She is wearing jeans and a t-shirt and carrying a cup of coffee.

The Inn is packed, mostly with people in town for a Curling tournament. “Hey little lady,” calls a voice from a room, “what’s in the mug?”  The bride answers that it’s coffee. The man raises a bottle of beer. “The next time I see you there had better be booze in that mug! Congratulations!” An odd but sweet interlude; the bride continues storming to her bridesmaid’s room in search of someone to zip up her wedding dress.

Looking at archived pictures tells me my wedding was not the first one at the Glynmill Inn  and Facebook tells me it hasn’t been the last. Built in 1924 to house overseers of the mill construction, the Inn served as a major social centre. In “Putting the Hum on the Humber… the first 75 years” an interview with Doris (Herdman) Cross revealed that the administration was “a lively lot, and always planning something. When they had dances, … they had a ball, Easter Balls and New Year’s Eve Balls, and Armistice Balls, and everybody dressed up in beautiful long dresses and the men always wore tuxedos.” This social centre was meant for the management and senior staff, not the myriad manual labourers and mill workers who worked in bare feet to avoid falls on slippery mill floors.

Management Staff Dinner, 1945
Management Staff Dinner, 1945

While this division may have been the case in the 1920s, the Glynmill Inn was the first home to numerous clubs and societies that still exist today, and are much more open than their earlier counterparts. In 1925 The Marble Mountain Ski Club rented a room on the Inn’s third floor. The Blomidon Country Club also had its beginnings at the Glynmill Inn. The adult education classes that are now held in colleges were started at the Inn in the 1950s. Also in the 1950s the Rotary Club of Corner Brook had its inaugural dinner, and continues to have luncheon meetings there. The restaurant we all know as The Wine Cellar was, in the 1940s, a meeting space for the first Girl Guide Company.

Glynmill Inn, 1926
Glynmill Inn, 1926

The Glynmill Inn was commissioned by the Armstrong-Whitworth Company Ltd. of England who hired Andrew Cobb to design the Inn. It was he who designed the Tudor-style house, and was later honoured when the street the Inn occupies was named Cobb Lane. Originally the rear of the building housed tennis courts and a livery. These were replaced by a parking lot. However, if you wish to see horses at the Inn, you can see them in the murals that dominate the walls of The Carriage Room, one of the two restaurants on the premises. The second, The Wine Cellar, is a well known spot even outside of Corner Brook. When I lived in Moncton I met a man who asked me if it was still in operation. He said he’d eaten there several times in the 1970s and enjoyed it very much. He’s yet to bring his wife for a visit, he said, but he wants to stay at the Inn and eat at The Wine Cellar again.

Andrew Randall Cobb, 1926
Andrew Randall Cobb, 1926

Another feature of the Inn is King Henry’s Pub, a cozy space that has hosted both The March Hare and The April Rabbit. The restaurants are open to all, and the ballroom is available for weddings. Or you can get married elsewhere and have wedding pictures taken there. At one time the Glynmill Inn was for the upper crust only. Now it’s a true community business and a lovely piece of history. Doris Cross recalled as a child, “We were all a big happy family there in the Glynmill Inn.” Which is how I felt by the end of my wedding night when I was led away from the dance floor, slightly tipsy and singing Celine Dion at the top of my lungs Ana Gasteyer style.


Corner Brook’s Glynmill Inn Pond, 1960s
Photo 1 by Tom Cochrane. All other photos from virtualmuseum.ca. Quotes taken from “Putting the Hum on the Humber … the first 75 years”, written and edited by Olaf Janzen.
  • http://twitter.com/Brad_Evoy Brad Evoy

    Love the article!

    • http://twitter.com/HelenJayne HelenJayne

      Thanks, Brad! :)

  • http://www.jonreid.ca Jon Reid

    Love it! Glynmill then & now. Makes me want to browse around the old inn.

    I wonder if they are planning their centennial yet.

    • http://twitter.com/HelenJayne HelenJayne

      For me everytime I see it I think of our wedding. And eggs benedict. We should go to The Carriage Room for breakfast tomorrow! 

  • Dave

    The Glynmill lost its heart and soul when they dismantled
    the Tudor Lounge and replaced it with that sad King Henry’s pub. The bar just
    left of the front desk had an almost Cheers! atmosphere to it. Becky and the
    other bar staff new everyone’s name and what they drank. On weeknights, the bar
    saw mostly business travellers and a few locals.  On a Friday or Saturday evening the bar hosted
    a varied group of characters from doctors and lawyers to TNL (Theatre
    Newfoundland & Labrador) members and all walks in between. It was a favourite
    haunt of Al Pittman and others from the college. The clientele enjoyed
    themselves but were always very respectful of their surroundings. The jukebox
    next to the bar enjoyed constant traffic and its volume never interfered with
    the purpose of the evening… to relax, laugh and enjoy the storytelling
    that so many patrons were famous for.   I miss the place very much.

    • Marileeit

      You are so right ….. It ‘s not the same, they could recreate the old Tudor Room. I loved sitting out on the Veranda on a nice summer’s day.

      • http://twitter.com/HelenJayne HelenJayne

        I wasn’t familiar with The Tudor Room. I always wonder why beloved places are dismantled. Thanks for sharing your memories, Dave. 

  • Marileeit

    I love this piece! It  makes me feel so nostalgic. So many happy  memories in this, the heart of Corner Brook.

    • http://twitter.com/HelenJayne HelenJayne

      Thanks so much. :)