Kingsbrae Arms on King Street in St. Andrews was built in 1897 for Thomas Wheelock. The building is distinguished by its high pitched gable roofs and asymmetry. The property is distinguished by the sweeping garden that overlooks the Bay of Fundy. It is one of many buildings that were built for wealthy summer residents who were attracted to St. Andrews near the beginning of the 20th Century.
Kingsbrae Arms is also recognized for its association with Florence Ayscough. Her father, Thomas Wheelock, lived in Shanghai, China for many years where he was a successful merchant. He owned a fleet of cargo boats which went to the mouth of the Yangtze to load and unload large foreign ships.
The home was inherited by his daughter. She lived in Shanghai with her husband where she became an international authority on the customs and traditions of the Chinese people. Accurate translations of the meaning and spirit of Chinese poetry were provided in America by Florence Ayscough and poet Amy Lowell. Through the effort of both poet and translator Chinese poetry, mythology, and history became a source of inspiration for creative writers in the western world. She published many books on various Chinese subjects, most notably, “Firecracker Land – Pictures of the Chinese World for Younger Reader” (1932). She also brought Chinese servants to St. Andrews. Ayscough donated the St. Andrews Tea House to the town of St. Andrews and in her will she left the Charlotte County Historical Society Chinese porcelain, screens, tables, jade vases, and other artefacts which had been in this home.
Kingsbrae Arms became the first 5 Star Hotel in the History of Canada. In 2004, Fodor’s Travel Publications, America’s market leader in travel information, listed it among the top 20 hotels in the world. It is now operated as a luxury boutique Inn.
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