The historic country inn has been family owned since 1929. It is the site of the original general store, grainery, blacksmith shop, ice house, stables and one room school house, where our pet deer Skippy attended classes regularly with the many local children.
The foundation for the 3000 square foot Inn was excavated by Monda’s father’s team of horses old Mac and Paddy and is situated on 19 acres of the original 200-acre parcel. It is where her father, Peter Mask (a young blacksmith of Polish descent) and her mother, Hazel Furnier (a young business woman), first met and married in the 1920’s and started a business. They raised a family of six children when Algonquin Park was young with a nothing but a promise for the future.
Monda was born the youngest of the six, delivered by our beloved village doctor with Monda's sister as his nurse. When Monda’s married her husband Emil (a German immigrant whose family settled in the Ottawa valley) in 1969. The city pulled them away for school and work, but their hearts remained to continue what her parents began. She returned here to restore, replenish and relish her roots. Emil’s husband’s hard work and many talents made it all possible.
Monda’s three brothers became guides, forest and canoe rangers. They were taught the ways of the bush from very young age by their father and local natives. Monda's other sister became a school teacher and taught in a one room school house like the one that graced our property.
Bellwood Inn has countless stories to tell. Monda’s parents sold supplies to the lumber camps and harvested ice from the lake in the winter for sale in the summer before refrigeration was a common reality. Our horses ploughed the garden and brought home the firewood. Beaver pelts were bought and sold from the natives to provide income through the long winter. The fall hunt supplemented food for the family as did the whitefish run. My father spent long periods in lumber camps working as a blacksmith. While my mother kept the home fires burning in the sometimes -40 degree F temperature. We and our guests enjoyed home-baked bread and pies, all baked in a wood burning stove, which we still have to this day, but has since been retired for a job well done.
In 2009, Monda and Emil’s youngest son Andrew came on board to help with the project. Andrew is a certified carpenter and a licensed electrician in his own right. Andrews skill’s would become almost as valuable as his fathers in finishing the Dream Catcher Motel and completing his mothers dream of restoring Bellwood Inn to its former glory. Andrew may be a skilled tradesman but like his mother and grandmother his passion was always for business. An entrepreneur at heart who also had a strong background in web and graphic design. Andrew created his first business at only 12 years old followed by a very successful disk jockey business at only 16 years old, by age 18 Andrew had 5 employees working for him and strong clientele.
After 10 years as a profession DJ and after providing the music entertainment for over 1000 weddings Andrew was ready for a change. He purchased and rebuilt a rental complex in the city and made the move to helping his parents with the Dream Catcher Motel. Together with his beautiful wife Ashley, they made the move up to South Algonquin and purchased a home. Andrew and Ashley built the Inside Out Cabin and are now the 6th generation living in South Algonquin, the 3th generation operating Bellwood Inn and the second generation operating the Dream Catcher Motel. Andrew, now having taken over full operations at Dream Catcher Accommodations is taking new ground for the business by building the Algonquin Wilderness Lodge across the road from the Dream Catcher Motel as-well as by purchasing the Rolling Rapids Motel, renovating it and bringing it up the standard their customers have come to expect from the family.
“We’re excited to live here, to be expanding and to be continuing in the tradition our family started over 90 years ago. We look forward to seeing our many repeat customers each year and our new ones as-well” Andrew Michel
Enjoy your stay with us as you experience this cradle of nature in a dwelling that was a home and a dream before it was a business. Many thanks to our guests from Germany, Netherlands (who were our first guests), France, Italy, Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Asia, USA, Canada, and South America.
We travel the world through your eyes and never leave home. We extend a hearty welcome and look forward to greeting you.