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Tickle Inn’s last season

After 25 seasons the Tickle Inn at Cape Onion will be closing its doors Sept. 30. Owners David and Barbara Adams say they feel the timing is right.
After 25 seasons the Tickle Inn at Cape Onion will be closing its doors Sept. 30. Owners David and Barbara Adams say they feel the timing is right.

David Adams gazes out the window as he sits comfortably on a couch. “It’s from the 1940’s,” says his wife Barbara. “We had it reupholstered, but it’s almost identical to the original material.”

And it’s very likely David was sitting in the same spot his grandfather – William Adams – once sat.

It’s part of the charm that comes with the Tickle Inn at Cape Onion experience.

But sadly that’s all coming to an end. The Adams have decided that after 25 seasons this will be the last year for the Bed and Breakfast – Cape Onion’s only business.

According to the Adams’ they’ve reached the age where they want to relax and do some summer travelling, themselves.

“Even though it’s going to be very hard to give this up, we feel it’s the right time to do so,” said David.

And they have no regrets.

“We’ve enjoyed this incredibly. We’ve gotten a lot out of this place, not necessarily financially because it’s expensive to operate,” said David. “But we’ve met some fantastic people over the years and had a chance to share something very special.”

And they’ve gotten a lot of recognition.

The Tickle Inn has received several five star certificates of excellence from Trip Advisor and has been recommended as a place to eat in Canada since 1993.

And it’s very likely David was sitting in the same spot his grandfather – William Adams – once sat.

It’s part of the charm that comes with the Tickle Inn at Cape Onion experience.

But sadly that’s all coming to an end. The Adams have decided that after 25 seasons this will be the last year for the Bed and Breakfast – Cape Onion’s only business.

According to the Adams’ they’ve reached the age where they want to relax and do some summer travelling, themselves.

“Even though it’s going to be very hard to give this up, we feel it’s the right time to do so,” said David.

And they have no regrets.

“We’ve enjoyed this incredibly. We’ve gotten a lot out of this place, not necessarily financially because it’s expensive to operate,” said David. “But we’ve met some fantastic people over the years and had a chance to share something very special.”

And they’ve gotten a lot of recognition.

The Tickle Inn has received several five star certificates of excellence from Trip Advisor and has been recommended as a place to eat in Canada since 1993.

The history

David was living in St. John’s at the time, working as a teacher/guidance councillor and Barbara was working as a nurse.

But a visit home in 1989, had his heart breaking to see the house in such hard condition.

“The floors were so bad your feet would be on the ground, the front of the house was about ready to cave in because everything except the inside sheeting was rotted,” David said.

“As a teacher I didn’t have great wealth to just put the money into it.”

In talking with neighbours Jim and Sophie Bessey it was mentioned that then MHA Chris Decker had mentioned the location and home would make a great B&B.

When the two went home that night, unbeknownst to each other, David and Barbara started sizing up the possibilities.

The next day the two started discussing about how it could work.

They literally started writing their proposals while driving back to St. John’s.

And so began the lengthy process of getting the home back in shape.

For nearly a year-and-a-half the renovations took place.

While the interior walls, ceilings and second level flooring were structurally sound, everything required stripping down to the bare boards before the finished surface could be prepared. The home never had electricity so the building had to be wired. New plumbing and a septic system had to be installed. Additionally a new artesian well was dug for drinking water.

“Thankfully Jim had the skills to do the work,” David said.

“The hardest part for me was I belt sanded all the wooden ceilings. My grandfather had blue sheeting paper on all the ceilings and the heritage foundation required us to get back to the basics.

“A lot of it was still stuck pretty solidly, so we had to get that removed, and then use a propane torch to burn through the layers of paint and eventually use the belt sander to get down to the wood.

“Thank god I was younger and stronger back then.”

 

 

Continuing the legacy

As for the building, it will remain in place, and it will maintain its heritage status.

And part of the legacy will remain in the form of a cookbook.

The Adams’ have pulled together a collection of the Inn’s best recipes and photos.

“So the Tickle Inn won’t be dead,” said Barbara, “It will be able to live on through our book.”

The book can be found at the Inn, on the Tickle Inn website or Facebook page.

The Tickle Inn will officially close on Sept. 30.

 

 

 

 

 

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