Jim Culbert was born and raised on a farm in Bradford Ontario. At the age of 15 his parents sold their farm and moved into Bradford proper. Jim started his school studies in a one room school house and by grade 5 was into a consolidated school (this was an amalgamation of many small schools). Graduating out of grade 8 he moved into the Bradford District High School. where he graduated from grade 12.
During the time at home he met an old lady, Mrs. George Green, who lived across the road from him. He visited many nights there and through his visits in an antique filled home he listened while Mrs. Green talked of the Bradford of old. Gas lamps lit every night and halls in the larger homes. When Mrs. Green sold her home to move to her daughters she asked Jim to take some drapes off the wall and cover a small occasional chair for her daughter. This was the beginning of a life long and love long career in re-upholstery.
After high school Jim went on to receive his Journeyman Apprentice Papers for re-upholstery. It was a 3 year coarse that he took in Barrie under the direction of the late Lorne Carter, owner of Barrie's Upholstery. After the coarse was finished , Jim stayed on another year and then when he bought his first home on the outskirts of Bradford he left the firm and opened up his own re-upholstery shop "Bradford's Furniture Doctor" .
Jim's first home was build by Tom, Frank and Bill Whiteside for their Mother in 1921. Polly Whiteside soon made it the show place of the community and enjoyed it for many years. He had lots of energy and hand stripped the woodwork and floors and redecorated it to house his antiques. Many people looked forward to the once a year Wine & Cheese Party the first weekend in June. His first partner, Kerry Wade, formally of Ottawa moved in with him and many people were welcomed by them over the 3 years together. Besides a 3 storey brick house the property had a large shop out in a separate building. He had a successful business bringing in work from far and wide Through out the year he had numerous friends come to visit and stay for weekends. Thus came to the back of his mind the idea of a B&B.
In 1977 Jim had surgery and had a kidney removed and like Adam, in the Bible, gained a wife .After a short marriage of 3 years Jim sold the house and moved to an abandoned cottage in the woods a little further south of his former home. Taking that place and turning it into a great county home he lived there for 4 years. A fitting setting for summer garden parties it was situated looking over the Holland Marsh and south to Toronto. During this time of his life he met Allen Hutchinson and he moved in with Jim. After 4 yrs. Jim & Allan moved into Bradford Proper to a modern 2 storey house. Again after many renovations he had it to his liking.
Because of chemicals used in refinishing and the loss of a kidney Jim decided to sell the refinishing end of his business and just concentrate on re-upholstery. A former client, ,Ms. Katherine Curry and her friend Alice, had just come home from a trip to the east Coast of Canada where they bought a Victorian Farm House and were moving there to open a B&B. They asked Jim if he would like to accompany them down when they went to set up the house. Jim jumped at the chance and off they went via car to the Island. From the moment Jim saw the red cliffs of PEI and the ferry ride across to this mystical Island he knew he was "home". After helping "Lady Catherine" set up and renovate her house to accommodate 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms he left for Ontario. But, not for long. In another month he was back looking for a home to open his own B&B.
Looking all over the province he finally found the place, an old 3 storey on the Orwell Bay in the little village of Vernon Bridge and "Blair Hall" was formed. Again taking an old tenement house and bringing it back to its former beauty was the task of the day. Carpenters electricians and plumbers were at Jim's beck and call for almost 2 months. On June 16th 1988 "Blair Hall" was open to the public and 65 curious friends and former tenants of the house came to view the "new" look. Jim's Mother and Father arrived for the opening and during the time they were visiting his Mom noticed that there were a great number of cars travelling by and she remarked that it would be a great place to sell ice-cream! They were hardly back in Bradford when Jim purchased an old Orange Julius Building and had it moved to the property. He put out his sign and very soon many Islanders and tourists were stopping to have ice cream. Jim decided to sell burgers and hotdogs and again out went the sign. The local health inspector came and said he couldn't sell prepared foods unless he had 3 sinks and hot and cold running water. He told Jim to stick to ice cream. Jim's remarks were "Come back on Monday and I will be prepared for you". With sinks in and water running the little canteen was becoming a visiting place in the evening ,for the surrounding neighbours. Looking at the lost land down to the water Jim again had the ideas rolling in his head and called the powers to be and started landscaping the grounds to the Bay. At last he had his own park. .
People came ate and enjoyed the goings on of the fisherman and boaters in the bay. All the time his business was growing and he was receiving people from all over the world. The old garage was the next on the list and was raised straightened and added to and became a 2 bedroom cottage used for guests with families. It was rented in the winter as a house-keeper’s suite.
In 1990 the local area lost a prominent business man, Dan Cummings and his establishment "D.R. Cummings General Store” was up for sale. Jim bought the store and attached warehouse and detached house and ran the store for 5 yrs. renting out the home to different families. It was truly an old country store with wood interior and gas pumps out front. Jim introduced video rental, magazines and opened a bake shop as well. During this time the larger food chains were bombarding the Island with food stores so Jim decided to close the store and turn it into an upholstery shop and antique store. Here were many flea market items and people could watch him work at the furniture.
During this period of time Jim and Tom Blickslager gutted and renovated the Cummings House. Or should I say Tom thought he was coming to do a few repairs discussed the previous week and when he arrived on the first day of work he found that Jim had gutted the whole house and a dumpster was in the yard. So began the job of rebuilding a home from outside walls.New electric, plumbing, insulation, gyp- rock walls, refinished interior trim and sanded and finished floors. New kitchen and bath were completed and the house was rented once again.
In 1998 Jim sold "Blair Hall" and closed the re-upholstery shop and under his direction had the talented tradesman Michael Wilson come and turn the vacant store into a wonderful homey "Lodge" When Jim arrived home from a visit to Ontario it was spring and the weather permitted painting. Pink side walls ,burgundy and white trim and the front---The RAINBOW colors of coarse. Thus 'RAINBOW LODGE" was formed. Rainbow Lodge was a safe haven for gay women and men, transgender folk & bisexuals to come and be at home. It has 2 large bedrooms with private baths and gardens. Full breakfast was the order of the morning then off to explore the Island. In the evening the great room was a cozy place to curl up and visit people from far and wide. Looking out on the landscape Jim had another idea and with the help of friend, and webmaster Mike Motorbike ,and a dear friend Jenny they began building gardens. A fish pond was next on the list and every year the gardens become a magnificent display of colors from early spring to late fall. Jim lived in the unfinished attic of the barn that year as the house was still rented to tenants.
In 2000 Jim again looked out over his land and decided it was time to renovate the old warehouse. He had it lifted and then with the help off his trusty friend, Mike Wilson, they transformed it into another wonderful looking building. The old building was cleaned out, and a new insulated floor put down. Next came the stud walls and wiring and plumbing. Following this relatively clean part of the renovation came the dirty job of blowing in the insulation to make it nice and warm, ceilings, all walls and attic. Gyp-rock was next followed by the taping and seam-filling. Special little effects were added to give it some character and then the paint was applied. The pine trim and base was installed and thecarpets and hard surface floors but down. To finish the job a kitchen was needed in the unit so plans were made and cupboards installed. After many years of being called the barn “THE BARN” was a new look. The upper floor “The Loft” was a 1 bedroom apt. with fireplace for a little ambiance.The ground floor unit “The Stable” was a two bedroom apt. rented year round.
In the fall of 2001 Jim , Mike and Mike’s son tackled Jim’s own house and added an enclosed sunroom and while putting a new roof on the house. Jim had the idea of taking the shed roof off the dormer and making a peak roof to match the lines of the new sunroom. Traveling up the road now the house has a whole new look.
Jim owns a 1931 Chevrolet and gets great pleasure in taking his guests to town for an evening tour of Charlottetown. On good days you may find him on the north shore showing people this fair Island.
Jim has been in the news a lot trying to get people at tourism to realize that even though we have a Charter of Human Rights we are still a ways away from being able to feel comfortable about coming to someone's house with his or her partner, and ask to have a room with a double bed.
He feels that the gay & lesbian traveler should have the chance to select a gay or at least gay -friendly home to stay in while visiting the Island. He asks that letters to the P.E.I. tourism Minister may help them make the necessary changes in the Visitors Guide for future years. Jim was very happy to see in the Visitors Guide for 2002 a listing under July Events "PEI GAY AND LESBIAN PRIDE 2002 ! A beginning!
Jim has been many things in his lifetime, a son , brother, uncle, nephew, great-uncle, husband, step-father, employee, employer, newsmaker, friend and lover. He now has another couple of titles to his name as he was ordained in the Universal Life Church in July of 2005 and in 2006 became Prince Edward Island’s first Marriage Commissioner.
Marriage Commissioner gives Jim the ability to civilly marry couples both straight and gay. Give Jim a call and he can arrange your marriage with service, cake, food, photographer and even make a DVD of the event. He loves to have people come to visit at the Lodge and everyone is special.
As the sign outside the door says "THERE ARE NO STRANGERS HERE ONLY FRIENDS WE HAVE YET TO MEET". Come and enjoy our Island way of life,
Who knows Jim may even show you a house or two that may interest you as a summer home or permanent one. Jim would love to see more gay people move to the Island and enjoy what he is enjoying in this the last tranquil place in Canada.
Green Gay Bulls B&B
Well folks I am back at it! I have opened a new B&B called Green Gay Bulls. I have closed the Rainbow Lodge and moved up the road, just over the bridge. Looking forward to seeing guests from the previous 25 yrs and meeting new ones. :)
Green Gay Bulls is a restored Victorian Home built in the late 1800's
It stands at the front of 3 acres of manicured lawns & gardens with a section of woods and 149 feet of water frontage on the Vernon River.
This home has had an interesting past, now being a private home but at one point was the United Church Manse & a home for the minister and his family. There have been many weddings and christenings done in the parlor and now as a B&B we continue the tradition, as Jim is the first appointed Marriage Commissioner of PEI.
The B&B has 3 rooms, each with queen size beds : The Rosewood Room has a gorgeous antique sleigh bed suite. The Maple Room has a beautiful birds-eye maple headboard and wash stand. The Walnut Room boasts an unique headboard, made from the back of an antique cameo sofa. The room also has an eyebrow window facing the front of the house, a flat screen TV, and sitting area.
The rooms are individually posted on Air BnB too
The 3 rooms share a large bathroom with stand-up shower for 2, bathtub, toilet and vanity. There is a smoking veranda at the front of the house and a deck bordering the fish pond and flower beds in the back yard. There is also plenty of parking available for guests. We are a very casual B&B wanting our customers to feel right at home. In the morning come down to the dining room and have a full breakfast. Fresh muffin, eggs, bacon, coffee, tea and homemade preserves await you after a good night's sleep.
For the more adventurous, there are designated areas where nude sunbathing is acceptable at Green Gay Bulls.
Jim and Kenneth would be happy to greet you and help you enjoy your stay at Green Gay Bulls.
Can accept cash, or MasterCard/ Visa
As a guest of Green Gay Bulls,..you not only have access to your own room , but as well as 2 Bathrooms , Family/TV Room, Parlor, Dining Room, Sun room & Gentleman's Porch, Yards & Gardens, as well as the water front,..we never want our guests to feel compelled to stay in their room,..
Interaction with Guests: Jim will greet you upon your arrival,at breakfast and upon your return, after a day experiencing the beauty of our gentle Island. If you need him you can find him either in the house or in his upholstery shop. As well as respond to any queries you may have, regarding travel and attractions on PEI or offer you travel suggestions.
On the Trans- Canada Highway, Green Gay Bulls is 20 minutes from the Wood Island ferry terminal, coming from Nova Scotia or 20 minutes outside of Charlottetown.
Located a short drive from Charlottetown, Montague and the Ferry. We are just far enough out of town to enjoy the rural feel, but close enough for your urban needs and wants.
Close to Historic sites, light houses, some of Canada's best golf courses, fine dining, theater, beaches, and site seeing.
Bring your bikes, get on the Confederation trail and head into rural PEI. Bring your canoe/ row boat or kayak. There is a wharf within a few feet, where you can also launch a boat or if you have a kayak go for a scenic trip up the river and be back in time to see the spectacular sunsets in late afternoon.
Guests would require their own transportation, Vernon Bridge is approximately 20 minutes out of Charlottetown.
The Neighbourhood: Vernon Bridge is a quiet, close knit community where everyone knows everyone, are will greet you with a friendly "hello"
Getting Around: There is no pubic transport in the area so guests will require their own transportation
Other Things to Note: Licensed, & inspected B&B Also a member of the PEI Gay Tourism Association House Rules: No smoking indoors! No pets! Safety Features Smoke Detector Carbon Monoxide Detector First Aid Kit Fire Extinguisher