The Planters’ Barracks Country Inn is one of the oldest buildings in Nova Scotia to be restored as a country inn, It was designated a provincial heritage property in 1986, valued for its Georgian style, it’s age and its role in the settlement of the area. The building consists of two structures, the west portion which was built around 1770, and later the “Officers barracks” was completed in 1778. The purpose of the garrison known as ‘Fort Hughes’ was to protect New England Planters who arrived in 1760 after the Acadians were expelled. The geographically strategic position overlooks the Cornwallis River and the entrance to the Minas Basin. This location served as the Port of Cornwallis (as the area was known before it was named Port Williams).
Ft Hughes was sold by the government in 1780, after the threat of American privateers had ended, to John Whidden, an influential Planter who was a militia officer, judge in the Court of Common Pleas, and a Customs Officer. He operated the Customs Office from the building. The Barracks passed through the Whidden family until 1869. Charles Augustus Heales, a shipbuilder from New Brunswick, who had a wooden leg, bought it and lived there with his wife and daughters. It was sold again in 1922 to John Henry Burton Marriott. As well as being a Customs Officer he also got into the Fox raising business. He sold the property in 1973 but retained a life-long lease on the property and lived there till 1984, when at the age of 96 he moved to a nursing home. The property was opened as a six room bed and breakfast inn from 1987 until 2005. It was subsequently lived in privately until 2014 when it was once again refurbished and re-opened as a boutique country inn.