The discovery of the Chanterelle mushrooms was a major factor in Innkeeper Earlene Busch's decision to move from Boulder, Colorado, and build the Inn. She originally came to Cape Breton to pick up a bedroom suite of handmade curly maple furniture crafted by Bob Lambie of the Dovetail Shop near Margaree and fell in love with the area.
Recognizing the healthfulness of the fresh air and the serenity and pristine beauty of the North River Valley, her facinating story was born as she decided to build an Inn dedicated to the local environment. The Inn draws its water (we call it "Chanterelle Champagne") from a natural spring fed well, and the restaurant serves organic and food grown within 100 KM whenever available.
The inn's structure itself is modeled after a traditional Cape Breton barn, designed to look rustic on outside, and built to welcome guests with a rich and comfortable interior. Weathered hemlock from 1912 was recycled from the original barn, and now frames the commons area, the dining room and the upstairs hallways. The cottages are recycled, too, from a property in Ingonish that shut down.
Chanterelle Inn was officially opened on June 3, 2000, largely due to the efforts of Earlene's life long friends who came up from Colorado: Anne and Bill Gillespie, Barbara and George McCulloch and Joe Kercel. Anne and Barbara designed and decorated the interior of Inn while Bill, George and Joe did whatever tasks were necessary to open the doors on time. Earlene's appreciation of their work is equaled only by her gratitude to them. Credit for the watercolor portrait highlighting the inn goes to Nova Scotian William Rogers.
It is impossible to not give recognition to our late business manager, the wonderful and jolly Keith MacEachern. Keith’s passing in March 2016 was a loss to all of us. Over 16 years, he brought local knowledge about trails, musicians and customs and he embodied the Gaelic tradition of Cape Breton to the fullest. There’s no way we can replace his droll sense of humor seen here in his playing of the "spoons". Guests should send thanks to Keith for our extensive single-malt scotch collection.
The history of the inn would not be complete without celebrating the memory of Guy, Earlene’s Vizsla. Guy was the “welcoming party” for guests over the inn’s first 11 years. We imagine him still looking down and watching over your safe arrival.