Ontario Musings: Strathory, Middlesex Co., Ontario – The Clock Tower Inn

My great-grandmother Emma Ward Brown was born in Strathroy, Ontario.  This town is about 35 minutes from London, Ontario and I figured I could make it just fine.

Well, I was in for a torrential downpour and wind storm.  So for those 30 minutes it was not fun driving.  Now I am from Seattle and I know rain but this was scary.  I did not want to be washed away.  It was all country road and 90 km.  So it was not easy and there were times I could not see the road.

The Sign for Strathroy

The Sign for Strathroy

I did make it to Strathroy but it was pouring so hard I actually got lost in that city.  I think I should have followed that truck that took a little waggle in the road?  Oh well, I pulled over and tried to determine where I was and once I found Frank Street I was okay.

My lodging for the next two nights would be the Clock Tower Inn.  It is right there on Frank Street and hard to miss.  It is down from the Strathroy Public Library my target for research.

Clock Tower Inn

Clock Tower Inn

Well, one look at the Clock Tower Inn and I was about to panic with all the stairs and they were steep and deep.

To check in you go into the Ale and Pub house and the waitress checks you in and hands you an envelope with a letter that tells you what you need to know and two keys on a key chain.  One to open the outside door and the other for your room.  Of course, they put me in the Queen Elizabeth room and on the top floor but I was across from the kitchen area so that was convenient.

I had parked on Frank Street and didn’t want to leave my car there because it would be in jeopardy for a ticket during the day time.  After six it was okay but I didn’t want to take a chance.  So, the brave Puget Sound resident that I am, I went out in the pouring rain to my car using my new slicker jacket with a hood.  I got my car and drove it to the parking lot behind the inn and grabbed my stuff and headed back in the pouring rain and entering through the back door of the inn and stood there dripping.  I must have been a sight.  I decided to eat something before attempting another climb up the many stairs in the inn.  I had gone with a load before from Frank Street and I was pretty wet from that initial trip.

Back entrance to the Ale House

Back entrance to the Ale House

I assumed since it was a pub it would be pub fare but to my surprise it was a very nice dinner of salmon and well-arranged on the plate.  I tried the Pellar wine from Niagara.  The waitress wanted me to go into the restaurant area but I was content to drip drip on the pub floor.

To get to the inn you exit the front door of the pub and walk across this sort of foyer to the double doors to the inn.  At least it is covered.  The stairs are narrow and steep.  The bottom one is scary deep.  You use your key to unlock the door and try to get your stuff inside.  Then you have  circular stairs to walk up to the next landing.  Fortunately there is a chair to sit in if you need to rest.  Then you proceed up another flight of circular stairs to the top floor.  It is clearly marked what your room is with names of famous people.

I have to admit once I got settled in my room, The Queen Elizabeth, it was nice. The rooms are very pleasant and nicely decorated.  There is a huge flat screen TV on the wall across from the bed and a desk area that looked out through the window.  There was a little fake fireplace which added a nice touch.  It also had one of those fancy heating cooling elements that go high on the wall that your electric company is trying to promote. I turned on the heat.

My little window gave me a view of Frank street with the city hall to the right.  It was fun to watch the day come and go. The next morning I had a visitor on my window ledge for a while.  It was a black pigeon. At first, I think I startled it but it then settled down.

My window on Strathroy

My window on Strathroy

You can see and hear the train whip by just down the street.

I was soaked so I made sure I got all my clothing arranged to dry out.  The kitchen area of the inn was rather large and right across from my room.  So I set up the coffee maker easily.  It was well equipped this kitchen with a refrigerator, microwave, breakfast food, and more.  Unfortunately there was a lot of water on the floor and  they had a bad leak.  I told the waitress in the pub about the mess.

Time to settle in for the night.  Tomorrow the public library which was just down the street from the inn and I could see it from my tower.  I felt like the Prince and the Pea…

I was in the triangular-shaped roof area with the window facing south in the front of the inn next to the tower above the entrance area.  I was very high up.

North to Frank Street and the Clock Tower Inn

North to Frank Street and the Clock Tower Inn

The rain storm continued throughout the night at various levels of intensity.  There was an actual storm warning out….sigh!


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