Milford House to rebuild after fire destroys lodge

The fire that destroyed Milford House Sunday morning started in the main room of the lodge, but the cause is still being investigated.

Resort cottages still operating for the summer

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      Millford House will be rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire for the second time, managers said Monday. 

      Val Richard, the lodge's general manager, said the owners and management will look over the insurance this week to figure a way forward.  

      Richard said reconstruction won't begin until the fall. That's so guests already booked in the cabins won't be disturbed. 

      The resort will remain open for the season. Guests can continue to stay in the cabins, but there will be no restaurant on site because it was housed in the main lodge.

      The fire that destroyed the Nova Scotia retreat started in the main room of the lodge, but the cause is still being investigated.

      Everyone was shocked and crying and holding each other. It was just an awful thing to see.- Simone Wilson

      Annapolis Royal Fire Chief Malcolm Francis said there was a fireplace in the room, but it hadn’t been lit.

      A fire started around 4 a.m. in the main lodge of the historic wilderness resort, the second time in 14 years the building has been destroyed.

      Milford House had just opened for the season and guests were staying in nearby cabins. No one was injured.

      Simone Wilson was spending the weekend at the resort, planting flowers, clearing trails and preparing the retreat for the season.

      "Everybody was shocked and crying and holding each other and it was just an awful thing to see," she said of the fire.

      Wilson said people sleeping in cabins closest to the lodge ran screaming from the flames.

      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.