Robertstown Grand Canal Hotel.
The Canal reached Robertstown in 1784.
In 1796 the Directors of the Grand Canal Co. decided to build a second Hotel on the canal, the first was built in Sallins in 1784.
The site chosen originally was at Lowtown but then they decided to build in Robertstown in 1798.
In December 1799 William Semple, Contractor began work and in 1801 the Hotel was opened with Allen McMillan the first manager.
It was a luxurious Hotel for its time and business was so good it was decided to build an extension to it. Mr. Morrin was the contractor and it was completed in 1804.
The manager Mc Millan died in 1808 and was replaced by John Farrell.
Business was declining rapidly and with the introduction off lighter Fly Boats many passengers decided not to overnight in the Hotel in Robertstown.
Nicholas Whyte of Downings leased the Hotel in March 1816 for £26.00 per annum.
Mr.Whyte was a Horse Contractor to the canal.
His son Robert Whyte ran the Hotel successfully for a number of years. He catered, not only for the Canal Passengers but also for Weddings, Birthdays. Funerals, Diocesan Conferences etc., and rented a room for a Court House.
Robert died in 1844 and is buried in the old Cemetery in Allen. His wife left the Hotel in 1849 and in 1852 all passenger boats were withdrawn and the Hotel closed in 1853.
In 1856 Jasper Rogers of the Irish Amelioration Society leased the Hotel and used it as a sack making factory for the peat charcoal they were producing from Derrymullen Bog. Rogers and his family lived in the Hotel until 1867.
In 1869 The Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.) leased the Hotel as a Police Barracks for £42.00 per annum. The District Inspector and his family lived in the Hotel.
The R.I.C. vacated the Hotel on June 30th 1905.
The Hotel was vacant and falling into disrepair.
The hotel was in a bad state when Bord na Mona took it over in 1939 as a Billeting camp for its bog workers. The Bord did a lot of necessary...