A Historic Hotel Experience
The Mariner King Inn and Additions offer upscale and contemporary lodging in the centre of Historic Lunenburg. Our intimate setting, the history of our buildings and our knowledgeable staff await your visit.
The story of how the Mariner King came to be begins with King William, the last of the Georgian Kings. William was the first British Royal to come to Nova Scotia. The then twenty year old Prince-captain arrived in Halifax aboard his frigate Pegasus in 1786. His search for raffish sailor's pleasures soon led him to the boudoir of forty-two year old Frances Wentworth, wife of the expelled Loyalist Governor of New Hampshire. Mrs. Wentworth's charms brought the "Sailor Prince" back again in 1787 and yet again in 1788. The ambitious Frances brazened the scandal in Halifax "like a haughty Queen" while husband Johan took his humiliation to the back woods where he enjoyed a comedown sinecure as H.M. Surveyor of Forests. In London, Frances renewed her "friendship" with the prince in 1791 earning his support for the appointment of husband Johan as Governor of Nova Scotia.
Frances would be Queen of Nova Scotia, at least. For his part, William settled into the respectability of his new position as Duke of Clarence while his mad father and outrageous brother fulfilled their unpopular royal tenures. All the Empire sighed with relief when the Mariner King finally ascended the throne in 1830.
In Lunenburg, Dr. Charles Bolman marked the coronation year by constructing a proud home at 15 King Street in the centre of town, one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture at the time. Six years later the property was purchased by the up and coming sea merchant John Zwicker for the tidy sum of 600 pounds. Zwicker had already named his square-rigged brigantine The William and was plying the booming West Indian trade. The Zwickers continued to prosper and became one of the first to Victorianize their home in the fashionable Italianate style in the 1870's, adding on the famous Lunenburg "bump" over the entrance. The King Street property remained in the Zwicker family until 1953. Sherman Zwicker, a former mayor of Lunenburg, and well respected for his lifetime of work in public administration, grew up in room number two. Just before his death in 2004 he received the Royal Order of Nova Scotia in recognition of his outstanding contribution working to promote health and well-being of the people of his community and to preserve the cultural heritage of Lunenburg and its fishing tradition.
After the Zwickers sold the house, it went through many changes, from apartments to a rooming house, to a home for the elderly. It once housed the offices of the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, a French bakery, and a restaurant called the Compass Rose. It has been operating as an Inn for 25 years and was purchased in 2007 by Stellar Investments Inc. The Inn has since undergone extensive renovations restoring and beautifying it in the Victorian style and at the same time melding it with the needs of today's travellers.