The Beach Street Inn
It was a hot, sticky summer’s day and no one was in the mood to stay in the city.
So my grandfather, Harry O’Brien, rented a little cottage and took the family to St. Martins on the Bay of Fundy—an escape from the day-to-day for him and a rustic seaside playground for his growing family.
He didn’t know it then but that trip would set the course for our family for generations to come.
It was 1942 and Harry knew a good thing when he saw it. He purchased all five cottages overlooking the harbour. At first, he rented the cabins out one by one. When his daughters married, they each got a cottage to begin their married lives and carry on the family traditions together.
Our summers were set.
Languorous, warm days followed the ebb and flow of the tide over the red sandstone as we explored the Bay of Fundy from dawn to dusk. Our parents knew the secret paths that only locals could find. They’d often pack up picnic lunches for trips down to Melvin’s Beach or out to Salmon River, where we clambered over the ancient rocks, discovered perfect swimming holes, and dared each other to dive into the ice-cold water.
"Our parents knew the secret paths that only locals could find."
Returning later to the cottages for dinner meant we kids ate first while the adults put their feet up and enjoyed their evening cocktails. Dinners weren’t anything too fancy, and we often made what we like to call our ‘St. Martins Dinner’—just a simple mix of garden-fresh vegetables, potatoes, and ground round. The recipe was special because it was tied to that little harbour, those cottages, and each other. It’s still a tradition in our family to this day.
"The recipe was special because it was tied to that little harbour, those cottages, and each other. It’s still a tradition in our family to this day."
When the inevitable fog rolled in off the Atlantic, we played cards and games to pass the time (and I am pretty sure Nanny O’Brien cheated at Rummy 500). Back then, there was a phone booth at the end of the street, and that was about our only way to contact the outside world. That was fine by us—we had each other, the Bay of Fundy, and our young imaginations which filled each day with song, art, antics, and seaside adventures.
We never wanted summer to end.
And then one day, it didn’t have to—my husband Paul and I heard one of the old Inns was for sale and without a second thought, we came home.
There’s magic here and we can’t wait to share it with you. Welcome to your anchor in the Bay of Fundy. Everything is just waiting for you to arrive.