By Bruce McCraw
Bustling station systems, with old fashioned steamers within reach, frequently seem on early Sparrow Lake postcards. It was once on the station that rail passengers have been met and brought by means of boat to 1 of the over 20 resorts that after flourished during this vacation sector. this sort of journey may possibly take approximately 3 hours in this approximately three-mile lake, bordering the southern Muskoka arm of the Canadian guard. Upon arrival, the outside beckoned to 1 and all. classic postcards illustrate the tales of an past time in "cottage country." Bruce McCraw's lifetime familiarity with the lake has been augmented by means of contributions from neighborhood citizens and site visitors of Sparrow Lake motels.
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Extra resources for See You Next Summer: Postcard Memories of Sparrow Lake Resorts
From Port Stanton to M a p l e G r o v e SPARROW LAKE (MASSEY) CAMP Anyone passing by Sparrow Lake Camp today might see a flotilla of canoes or a troup of knapsack-laden children on a hike, or hear a dinner bell or singing by an evening campfire. However, it did not begin as a camp for children, but, in common with other early resorts, was originally an adult/family camp. 8 Since 1940 the Camp has been operated on a self-sustaining basis*9 This card was mailed from Wenona Lodge, called "Wenona House" by the sender, on August i, 1911 suggesting that postcards of Massey Camp were available to lodges on the Lake.
A. Hunnisett was a camp leader. The camp is now referred to as Sparrow Lake Campy and for a period prior to Church Union, the name Methodist Young People s Camp was also used on postcards. This site is also where Captain Tom Stanton built his first log house in the iS/os/5 From Port Stanton to Maple Grove ROEHI/S H O T E L ( T O R P I T T ) All the resorts on the northwest end of Sparrow Lake - RoehPs Hotel, Torpitt and Grandview, as well as Maple Grove, were established on what was originally RoehPs property* The RoehPs resorts, - RoehPs Hotel (later Torpitt) and Grandview had their beginnings because of the energy and initiative of Mr Otto Roehl (1862-1955)* His father, Otto Sr*, (18051874) had emigrated from northern Germany in 1860 to join his brother William who, some years earlier, had settled where Torpitt Lodge is today* Otto's father and uncle each purchased 100 acres from the Crown and together these two tracts stretched from Duck Bay to Deep Bay* As the first settlers on the northwest side of Sparrow Lake, the brothers established homes and began farming* Their joint land was eventually owned by Otto Roehl and to this day some of it remains in the family* On the Severn River as well as near the Lake, the RoehPs farm was also an ideal camp site* By the i88os fishermen, and no doubt some hunters, were requesting permission to stay on the RoehPs property* The first visitors were the Erhardt brothers, Fred and Leonard, from Pittsburgh who camped on RoehPs pasture where the Torpitt golf course was later developed* Fred first came in 1883 and Leonard joined him in 1886* During a personal conversation in 1990 with Abby Cox shortly before he died, Abby, a long time resident of Sparrow Lake and the original proprietor of nearby Maple Grove, said that at first Fred Erhardt fished from a small birchbark canoe which he had made by a local Indian* Up until the mid-19405 the Erhardt brothers came every year to Sparrow Lake.
41 * * 42 * SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER Relaxing on what is today part of the Torpitt golf course. The two horses pulling the hayrake indicate that the Roehls probably still kept farm animals. The path in the background is still there today. TORPITT LODGE The story is told of a tourist in the 19208, who, after getting off the train at Port Stanton, intended to go to Lakeview House* However, instead of getting into the launch to take him to Lakeview, by mistake he got into the Torpitt launch and to his surprise found himself a guest at Torpitt* He enjoyed himself so much that he continued to go to Torpitt year after year for over 60 years.