Known as the “Sin Bin” of the Opeongo Line, the Costello Hotel was one of three active hotels in what
was once the busiest community on the old development road. Although referred
to as a ghost town, Brudenell still has 36 registered parish families, most
of whom are descendents from its 1850s town founders.
It is largely agreed that this remaining structure was once the inn belonging
to James “Black Jim” Costello and then Hugh “Cooey” Costello,
reported to have offered many pleasures such as gaming and women. It was also
a general store and residence in its time. It later became the offices of
the Brudenell and Lyndoch Telephone Company.
About 200 people populated Brudenell in its heyday in the latter-years of
the 1800s, along with three general stores, two blacksmiths, a race track,
church, meeting hall and school. It was also thought to have a daily stage
service to Eganville, Rockingham and Combermere.
The decline of Brudenell occurred in 1893 when Prime Minister Laurier routed
J.R. Booth’s railroad through Killaloe instead of the Opeongo Line,
taking much of the business and lumbering activities with it.