Mrs. Pattie's Story

Sarah Ann McCullough was born in Dublin, Ireland on 12 June 1842. In 1850, at the age of eight years, Sarah came to Canada West. However, no entry can be located for her in the 1851 Census. Nor can a family group with her parents’ names be located.

In 1861, there is a Sarah A. McCollough, fifteen years old working in the household of Joseph and Mary Barnard of South Monaghan Township. Still, no family group for Sarah’s parents was located in the 1861 census.

In December 1864, a daughter was born to John and Sarah. They named her Eliza Jane.

Another daughter was born to John and Sarah. This was Susannah, born 8 October 1868.

In August 1870, a third daughter was born. This little girl was named Henrietta.

A fourth daughter was born in February 1871. This was Sarah Ann Rebecca Keys. She lived only a few months, her death occurring on 10 May 1872. Little Sarah was buried in the Coboconk Cemetery.

One son was born to John and Sarah. Born, 13 March 1873 in Bexley Township, they named him John James, after his father.

Sarah Ann R. Keys Headstone
Source: Find A Grave Web Site

A major fire at Coboconk brought substantial destruction to the centre island on which a large part of the village was built. In his history of Victoria County, Watson Kirkconnell wrote that this fire occurred on 16 May 1877, beginning at the local Key Hotel. This was the inn owned by John and Sarah Keys. They rebuilt their hotel, putting up a fine new two-story wood frame structure. The rebuilt hotel was in operation again before the unexpected death of John that happened in 1879. John Keys senior died in Coboconk on 10 April 1879. Sarah was left with four small children to raise as well as operating the hotel that was their source of family income.

Within a short time, Sarah married again. Her need to have someone assist in the operation of her hotel was likely a significant factor in a decision to marry so soon after the demise of her first husband. Sarah married John Pattie on 26 June 1880, at Coboconk. John was born in County Down, Ireland in 1853. He was a son of David Pattie and Margaret McWatters.

A son was born to the Pattie family on 22 March 1882, at Coboconk. They named him David John Pattie. This little boy died at the age of six months on 13 October 1882.

Within a few years, the Keys Hotel was renamed Pattie House Hotel. Then John developed a condition involving rheumatism which led to his death as the decade ended. He died at Coboconk on 6 February 1890 and was laid to rest in the village cemetery.

John Keys Headstone
Source: Find A Grave Web Site

Once more, Sarah was left in charge of the hotel. Her children were now nearly grown. In 1891, with several lodgers living at the hotel, she managed the business with the help of her children. On 17 June 1891, at Coboconk, Henrietta, daughter of John and Sarah Ann (McCullough) Keys, was married to William L. Shield. William was born in 1868, at Mount Pleasant, Cavan Township, Ontario a son of Thomas Shields and Sarah Wormall.

Later that same year, on 14 October 1891, Susannah Keys married James Edmund Jackson. James, a son of Joseph Henry and Margaret Angelina Jackson, was born about 1866.

In 1896, Pattie’s Hotel at Coboconk was photographed. The Hotel name is clearly legible on the side of the two and a half story building.

Pattie House Hotel 1896

Death visited the family again in 1896 when Eliza Jane died in the month of June that year. She was just thirty-one years old. Eliza was laid to rest in the Coboconk Cemetery.

Eliza Jane Keys Headstone
Source: Find A Grave Web Site

1897-98 Business Directory ad for Pattie House

By 1899, the hotel was operated by Sarah’s daughter and son-in-law, James and Susan Jackson. In the Dominion of Canada Directory for that year, it was listed as the J. E. Jackson Hotel, at Coboconk.

In 1901, James and Susan were listed as the hotel keepers. They were now also the parents of two young children, Charles born 21 May 1893 and Etta J., born 21 January 1898.

Pattie House Ad – Business Directory for 1903

By 1905, the hotel once more was marketed under its earlier name of Pattie House Hotel. A county wide directory that included the village of Coboconk, listed the business under this name.

Sarah Pattie continued to have a role with the hotel. In 1911, she appears as the head of the household, listed as the landlady with her son-in-law, James Jackson listed as the hotel keeper. Sarah Ann (McCullough Keys) Pattie had a long life in the hospitality business. She died 29 January 1925 at Coboconk. Her earthly remains were interred in the Coboconk Cemetery. She had reached the aged of 82 years, 7 months, and 17 days.

(McCullough Keys) Pattie had a long life in the hospitality business. She died 29 January 1925 at Coboconk. Her earthly remains were interred in the Coboconk Cemetery. She had reached the aged of 82 years, 7 months, and 17 days.

Following Sarah’s death, the hotel was operated by James and Susan for a few years. Seven years after her death, James Edmund Jackson also died on 24 April 1932. During this period, their son, Charles William Henry Jackson, came into the business to work with his father. When Charles married Aileen Elizabeth Donaldson in October 1931, he gave his occupation as hotel proprietor in Coboconk. In this manner, the Keys Hotel, later known as Pattie House, stayed in the family for over sixty years, from John Key’s early inn of 1871 on through the generations to his grandson, Charles William Henry Jackson.

Susannah (Keys) Jackson died in Coboconk on 13 August 1951. She rests in the Coboconk Cemetery.

Jackson Headstone
Source: Find A Grave Web Site

The Other Keys Children

Henrietta Keys, born 16 August 1870 at Coboconk, married William Lewis Shields on 17 June 1891. They made their home in Coboconk where he had a General Merchant Store. William died 6 September 1902 in Coboconk. Henrietta took over management of their store and continued raising their three boys: Roy Edmund born 1892; Charles born 1895 and William Jr., born 1899. By 1921, Henrietta had moved to live at the Pattie House Hotel. From here she continued to run the general store. Henrietta (Keys) Shields died 19 September 1945 at her home in Lindsay, Ontario. She is buried in the Coboconk Cemetery.

John James, son of John and Sarah Ann (McCullough) Keys, was born 13 March 1873 in Coboconk. As a young man he went to live in Montreal, Quebec. There he married Eva Christine Stoll on 17 June 1907 at Christ Anglican Cathedral. They had a son John born in 1907. John James Keys senior died 17 December 1948. Evan (Stoll) Keys died 6 June 1956. They rest in the Cimetiere Mont-Royal, Montreal, Quebec.

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