Ontario’s southwest region is full of gems waiting to be explored. And within the area is Oxford County, which is home to the town of Ingersoll. The area is full of history, along with nature, and it is home to over 12,000 residents. If you’re looking for a day trip, or perhaps an overnight getaway, Ingersoll has a landmark inn & spa you may want to check out.

The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa has been a landmark in the area since 1872, according to the establishment. It combines “historic charm and scenic beauty with the modern amenities today’s travellers have come to expect from a premier boutique hotel.” Historically, this was the location of the James Harris Cheese Factory, back in 1865.

And cheese is the other big attraction in this town. Now, as well as in the past.

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According to the Inn & Spa, this is the “birthplace of the Canadian commercial cheese industry.” James Harris, who founded the factory on the grounds, went on to produce the 7,300 pound “Mammoth Cheese”, which was co-manufactured by local producers to put Ingersoll on the map.

“The famous ‘Mammoth Cheese’ travelled to exhibitions in Toronto, Sarasota, New York, Paris France and London, England,” states the Inn on its history page. And this is why the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum is located in the region.

The Inn itself was built back in 1872, and it was the residence of Harris and his family. The Gothic style mansion became a dining spot after the property was sold in the mid 1970s, and the 49-room Inn was built later in 1988.

Today, the original 19th-Century Carriage House with its rustic wooden beams is a popular venue for events like weddings.

As for the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum, it has over 20,000 artifacts on display. Not only that, it also has Canada’s only cheese-themed playground for the younger visitors.

The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa is located at 415 Harris St., Ingersoll. And the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum is at 290 Harris Street.