The main lodge of a historic wilderness resort near Annapolis Royal, N.S., was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning, the second time in 14 years that Milford House has caught fire.
Flames could be seen from several kilometres away and firefighters from eight fire departments battled the blaze.
No one was injured.
Assistant manager Ruth Bowe says she woke around 4 a.m. AT to the sound of people yelling that the lodge was on fire. Someone called 911, but there was little else that could be done, she says.
"Just sort of watched it burn," she says. "There was nothing we could do."
Twenty-three cabins are rented out and there was a wedding at the wilderness resort on Saturday.
Milford House is roughly 20 kilometres south of Annapolis Royal. The main lodge was destroyed by fire in 2000 and a replica was built in its place.
"It just seems impossible. We’re dazed. My mind’s going 20 different directions," Bowe says.
She says the resort will stay open for the season as the cabins where guests stay are not damaged. There will be no restaurant, however, because it was housed in the lodge.
"The status of the building, it’s pretty much a writeoff. It’s pretty much destroyed," Annapolis Royal Fire Chief Malcolm Francis says.
Nobody was staying in the lodge, he says.
The main lodge also caught fire in 2000 and a replica was built to replace it.
Milford House has welcomed tourists, travellers and sportsmen for more than a century and sits about 20 kilometres south of Annapolis Royal.
The area was settled by Abraham Thomas and his wife Mary, who built a log cabin in 1860. The spot soon became a stopping point for stage coaches travelling between Annapolis Royal and Caledonia.
A farmhouse was later built and became a summer hotel.