Olivier Thibodo and Thibodo’s Inn

Street Address : South-west corner of Barrack and Wellington Street
Period: 1800-1850

Olivier Thibodo (also spelled Thibodeau or Thibaudeau) arrived with his wife Marie Louisa (née Guillot) in Kingston from Quebec City in the first decade of the 1800s. Both in their early-to-mid-twenties, the young couple did not have any children yet, as they had only recently married in Quebec in 1797. The couple immersed themselves in the francophone community, as evidenced by the fact that they were named godparents to Paul Edward Malboeuf in 1805. Olivier and Marie Louisa then had a child of their own, Augustin, in 1808. They also opened an inn: the National Hotel (also known as Thibodo’s Inn), which was located on the south-west corner of William and Barrack Streets. According to George Heead, who passed through Kingston in the early 19th century while writing his book Forest Scenes in the Wilds of North America, Thibodo’s Inn was “a large, cold, rambling house, the landlord of which was extremely attentive and civil.” (James A. Roy, Kingston: The King’s Town, McClelland and Stewart, Ltd. Toronto, 1952, p. 104) Thibodo was also a naval constructor and had a shipbuilding yard on Wolfe Island. This came in handy during the war of 1812, when he volunteered his services to the Crown. Olivier and Marie Louisa had two more children following the War: Marie Louise (born in 1816) and Catherine Rebecca (born in 1818). By then Thibodo’s health was failing, unfortunately, and he passed away on February 8th, 1820, at the age of 43. His wife kept the inn running for a couple more years following his death, renaming it Louisa Thibodo’s Coffee House, but then passed away as well on July 31st, 1822, at the age of 44. Though the inn was torn down and thus no longer stands at the corner of William and Barrack Streets, the house in which the Thibodo family lived still exists, located at 162 Mowat Street, near the West Campus of Queen’s University.

Images and Photos:
Olivier Thibodeau’s Farm
Olivier Thibodeau’s House

Return to Francophone History Map

Ferme de Olivier Thibodeau.
Ferme de Olivier Thibodeau.
Source : William Sawyer, Thibodeau’s House, Kingston 1858, William Sawyer family fonds. Queen’s University Archives
Maison de Olivier Thibodeau.
Maison de Olivier Thibodeau, 162 Mowat
Photo : Sophie Perrad
Thibodo's Inn, circa 1815.
Thibodo’s Inn (Vers 1815), Coin sud-ouest des rues Barrack et Wellington.
Photo : Sophie Perrad