An Intriguing and Varied History
Charles W. Stockton had this attractive home (our current B&B) and barn , which also served as a coach house – built on a 14 acre plot of land in 1884.
The Stocktons were a well-known family in Sussex and were direct descendants of the Stocktons who had settled in New Brunswick as Loyalists. These individuals, who had remained loyal subjects to the British Crown, chose to settle in Canada after the American Revolutionary War. Look for the John Stockton rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike and the historical plaque on this family relative – a signatory on the US Declaration of Independence. The Stockton family roots are traceable to the mid 1200’s in English History!
Constructed of wood, the home was built in the “Italianate Inspired Classical Revival style, with elegant interiors typical of the detailed craftsmanship that was the standard in those times. The large copper doorbell and the hardwood banister and balustrade in the hall create an impressive entrance. The walls in this part of the house retain the original tin wainscoting with decorative pattern. The house has two gracious parlours with vast bay windows and marble fireplaces. The parlours are joined midway by wooden folding doors with richly decorated copper doorknobs and hinges. The 12-foot ceiling is adorned with decorative crown mouldings and the “log cabin” style hardwood floor is an absolute eye-catcher.
In Victorian times a distinguished home was not complete without a butler’s pantry and this house boasts a beautiful example of such an addition. All of these striking details have been very well preserved and each contributes in a harmonious way to the home’s current appeal. The Stocktons sold the house in 1910 to the Jonah Family and with a stay of some 52 years, these owners had the house in their possession the longest of many. Judge Harry Jonah for whom the Inn was named after, lived here as a boy. In addition to being a Judge he also served as Town Councillor and a member of the Provincial Legislative Assembly. After the Jonah’s departure the house was inhaited for 17 years by the Bronnum family (Winston Bronnum – Artist) and for 18 years by the Dr. Sul Khederi family, a trusted family doctor in the area.
The story goes that Sussex owes its existence to the stubbornness of Hugh McMonagle. This influential citizen of Sussex Vale (the current Sussex Corner) owned valuable farmland and several racetracks, one of them being the fastest half-mile racetrack in North America and drawing visitors from as far away as Kentucky to see the horse racing events.
When the railway was designed in 1853, the first survey showed that it would cut straight through his racetracks and farmlands. McMonagle raised objections and a re-survey of the line placed the stop, to be known as Sussex-station, two miles west of The Vale. Growth of Sussex Vale came to a stand still, while in the years that followed many businesses were established near the railway to take advantage of the traffic that was being generated.
Sussex is today the regional centre of Kings County and is proud to be the registered trademark “Mural Capital of Atlantic Canada”. The Sussex Train Station accommodates the Sussex Tourist Information & Interpretive Centre and the enthusiastic staff is more than willing to tell you all about Sussex and its surroundings.