The Old Village and Milton
In the 1850s through to the turn of the century the centre of the village of Colintraive was just over the Milton Burn bridge on the site of the present village hall. It included one or two houses, the inn, with a stable, and a byre, a shop, the meal mill with its mill dam and importantly the smiddy, the blacksmiths bothy and his croft .
Changes at Colintraive Village
After the pier was opened a small post office and shop were built at the pier head. The hotel or inn was replaced by the present hotel about the 1900s, and later a stable and a coach house, (now the Heritage Centre) were added. The increase in visitors saw the building in the early 1900s of a new shop and larger post office across the road from the pier. Both are now private homes.
The steamer service ran daily to Glasgow, reaching it in two and half hours and the mail coach ran, daily, to Glendaruel. The Colintraive hotel provided its own motorboat service and a daily tour coach to Glendaruel, connecting with the steamer service. It later ran tours with its own motor charabancs. The present shop was a tearoom which also acted as the village hall, with regular dances and social evenings often with Gaelic singing.
Changes 1930s Onwards
The smiddy continued to operate between the wars and the blacksmiths bothy and croft remained nearby. In addition to the bothy there were a couple of houses. The mill and the stables became a workshop. All these buildings continued to be used in much the same way until their demolition in the late1950’s. The present village hall which replaced them opened in August 1960.
The post office by the pier closed in the late 1940s. The shop, by then including the post office, continued serving the village until it too closed in the 1990s.
After a few years, the shop and post office reopened in their present position beside the hotel and, with one gap, they have continued to operate there. The bowling green opened in June 1994 and has indoor and outdoor clubs. The community garden on the site of the old mill dam opened in August 2003 after a working visit by the Beech Grove Garden team in June 2003.