About Us

The inn in spring.The Four Mile Beach Inn property has endured as one of the major landmarks in the Aspy Bay community of northern Cape Breton since it was built in the late 1800s. The current owners, John Cuthbert and Janet Connor and their children, Molly Kathleen and Patrick, are the third family to own the historic house. They have been operating it as an inn since the late 1990s. 

The family who built the house, the Zwickers, were contemporaries of Henry Corson, builder of the Keltic Lodge in Ingonish, and his friend Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone (Bell spent many summers on Cape Breton Island in the early part of the century).

Zwicker initially operated a fur, fish and lumber trading business out of the house - with schooners running out of Bay St Lawrence - for more than 20 years. In 1909, Zwicker and Corson undertook an unusual expedition under the auspices of the Sugarloaf Psychological and Exploration Society (a drinking club) with a team of horses into the adjacent Aspy Fault mountains of Northern Cape Breton from the west coast to the east. This six week trip is documented on an annotated map hanging in the back parlour of the house. 

The Wilkie family took over the property in the 1920s and operated the well known Wilkie Lodge for 62 years. This lodge was the center of the community and a special stop-over for early car travel into the region. The Wilkies raised a large family whose members and descendants remain in the area to this day. The lodge continued until the 1990s before the Connor Cuthberts took over and opened the Four Mile Beach Inn in 1998.

Janet's mother's family were McIntosh's from Margaree, who arrived from Ireland in the 1830s to farm. Her father's people (the Connor family) were from the Glace Bay area of the island where her Grandfather, John Connor, built and operated - with family members - the old Victorian theatre, the Savoy, for many decades.

John's family, originally from Quebec, farmed in southern Manitoba in the 1890s. His grandfather (mother's side) joined the Royal North West Mounted Police operating from horseback in the prairies. Later in the 1920s, after time in Russia with a Canadian calvary contingent (against the Red Army), he became a  businessman, operating a garage, hardware and later, a theatre.  

Following careers in the federal and municipal public service in Ottawa over 20 years, Janet and John moved east and opened the inn.

The property surrounding the house is rich in fruit and flowers. It has its own apple orchard and an old perennial garden that presents roses, lilacs, foxglove, forget-me-nots, lillies of the valley, iris' and many other varieties at various times in the spring, summer and fall. Cranberries, blueberries, cherries and chanterelle mushroooms also grow on the property. Wildlife, including moose, fox, owls and eagles, among others, are seen regularly  - taking advantage of the delectable edibles. 

In the pristine waters of the back harbour (access through the orchard), oysters, mussels, lobster, snow crab, salmon, bass and other north Atlantic fish enjoy a nurtured existence in an ideal environment.

To visit the Four Mile Beach Inn is a step back in time ... a time captured
just for you ... a place for renewal and exploration of the natural beauty that surrounds us.