Marketing coordinator for the Mill River Resort, Geoffery Irving, pulls out a big binder detailing the William E Callaghan and Ellen Pendergast Callaghan family reunion.
“I’ve read this book cover to cover twice,” he said.
The couple had settled in the Miminegash area around 1845 and raised seven sons and daughters.
Those children now figure prominently in the rebranding of the meeting rooms, convention centre and restaurant in the newly renovated Mill River Resort.
William E. and Ellen Callaghan were the great-grandparents of Don McDougall, the new owner of the Mill River Resort.
It was Irving who broke the news to McDougall that his choice of brand name for the restaurant and bar had been rejected by the management team in favour of names from the roots of the owner’s family tree.
Front and centre is Callaghans Restaurant and Bar.
McDougall points to Callaghans Bar as an example of how the property has been transformed. “What we had, really, was a lounge at the end of a dining room; if you were a bar customer, who kind of knew you were in a lounge at the end of a dining room. Now, it’s a bar,” he said. “It’s a modern-day bar. You’ve got the TVs there, good food, the same menu as the dining room, and easy access to the deck.”
Downstairs is the Hogan Convention Centre, named after McDougall’s grandmother, Tillie Hogan.
The resort also has the Pendergast, Shea and Clohossey rooms, the Winston Sport Lounge and Peter’s Place, the private dining room off of the bar. Winston and Peter are names widely associated with the Callaghan family. McDougall’s oldest son and youngest grandson are both named Winston.
“The rationale is that’s why we’re up here in West Prince. That’s my connection with West Prince, my mother’s side of the family,” McDougall said who admitted the rebranding has grown on him.
The resort owner has remained connected to his Callaghan roots. He has a summer home in the Miminegash area.