My father's only sister, Henrietta (Aunt Henri) was a bit of an entrepreneur
in the 1930's. She had 2 different tearooms and I'm not sure
of the years or how long they were in operation. I do know
that the one called Hillsteps in the photo above was in 1938-39.
Hillsteps was located at Public Landing in the small community of Westfield outside
of Saint John along the St. John River. I tried to find out more
about this house and business on the town's website but there wasn't
any information on it. Do you see the little buildings on the right?
I wonder if they are 'rooms' for lodging.
This photo was taken in 1938 before much landscaping was done.
Note the sign hanging next to the driveway.
This is a Hillsteps business card. And this is where my search began to find this house.
I had the pictures in an envelope marked Hillsteps but the card was separate and they
were all in a wooden box that came from my grandmother's house. My sister told me
about our aunt having this business.
You can see that Aunt Henri had quite a business going by all
the details on the card.
Grand Bay-Westfield was 'cottage country' for many years for people
who lived in Saint John. It is a beautiful area along the
St. John River and near where the ferry crossed to the Kingston Peninsula.
It was a very popular place to visit in the summer within a short travel distance by
car, train or bus from the often foggy and damp harbour city of Saint John.
Most of the cottages and summer homes have been changed into permanent homes
over the years.
The back of the business card even had a map.
The view of the river from the front steps. The yard was steep down
to the highway and the railroad runs between the road and the river.
Now, here is the mystery. While on a day trip this past summer, hubby and I
drove along the river route through Westfield. I was admiring the beautiful old summer
homes and took a couple of photos as we were driving by. I remembered the pictures of Hillsteps
and was kind of looking for a house that resembled it. Here is the picture of one that I think
may be the house although it has changed in it's appearance.
Now I know this is a far cry from the first photo at the top, however,
there is quite a resemblance with the wrap around closed in porch, the steps
and the dormer and of course the hill. There are changes with time - the dormer
expanded, the porch with new windows, new siding and steps. Even the chimney
has been moved. But, the location, large fir trees and overall design makes it
the closest resemblance to the old house.
This shop was in Moncton but I don't know when.
I have 3 of the ice cream parlour chairs that were used in this tea shop.
I sure wish I could go back in time to visit these two places and
I wish more items were saved from them, more history and more pictures.
You can see 2 of the chairs in this picture. I painted them yellow a few years ago.
I would love to have had a cup of tea with Aunt Henri in her tea room.
If only chairs could talk....
Have a wonderful day!