Past Recipients of Built Heritage Awards
The following is a listing of buildings that have received heritage plaques from the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation over the past two decades. The year of awarding the plaque and location of the building is found in each heading. The year of construction appears beside the building name.
1990 Port Cunnington Lodge and Resort
Port Cunnington Lodge and Boathouse, 1890
Port Cunnington is the oldest continuously operating lodge on the lake. Established in 1890 by Boyce Henry Cunnington, this lovely Victorian ear resort is still operated by his descendants, the Loader family.
Pioneer Memorial United Church, 1892
In 1867, the Reverend Robert Norton Hill, came to Muskoka to seek land for himself, his four sons and two daughters. He located 700 acres of good clay/loam soil on the shores of Peninsula Lake, east of Huntsville on what is now highway 60. He blazed a Trail called Hill’s Trace (now Highway 60) and as the first pioneer in the district he opened a Post Office in 1878 called “Hillside”, which later became the name of the community.
Seabreeze Community Church, 1887
Burton’s Bed and Breakfast 1872
The building, known as Scotty’s Place, is a lovely old Victorian brick home on Baysville’s main street. It was built in 1872 by William Henry Brown, one of the earliest settlers in McLean Township. The house was built using bricks hauled by oxen from Washago and from Dorset by canoe. The front door and most of the glass at the front of the building are original. The baseboards and trim came from W.H. Brown’s sawmill over 120 years ago. The dining room floor was planed from a single maple tree. The post office as situated in the present dining room. Four generations of the Brown family were post masters. The current owners are Bob and Shirley Burton, Shirley being the great grand daughter of W.H. Brown. Together with the help of Shirley’s sisters, the Burtons operate a Bed and Breakfast. The Burton and Brown families are very active in the community today. The home has been modernized for safety and comfort without the loss of its very unique heritage features.
Alderside and the Stewart Family Cottages, 1881
The original building was a log cabin and used by a sawmill owner prior to being bought by E.J. Goulding, the founder of the village of Dwight. It was later purchased by Rev. William Alexander Stewart along with one acre of land. He named the cabin Alderside after the many Alders that grew on the property. In 1892 and addition was built on the front of the cabin. In its place was built the centre section of the present house. It had a dining room and bedroom downstairs and 3 bedrooms upstairs. In 1906 the log cabin was torn down and a large kitchen was built behind the dining room using the materials from the log cabin. A small verandah running from the kitchen to the dormitory was added. Twelve to fifteen guests were common during the summer months. Alderside had two fireplaces built by William Blackwell; a great stone fireplace in the living room and a brick fireplace in the dining room. In 1960 some repairs were made on the outside and repainted in the now familiar green.
Langmaid’s Store, 1875
John Langmaid and his wife Eliza settled in Baysville in 1871 and raised their family of 10 children. John was active in musical activities and the home was the central to the village’s musical scene. John was shoe maker and in the workshop of the family home he made shoes for the many river-drivers and fine shoes for women of the day. One of the children William (Billy) in 1904 opened a general store in the original family homestead. Billy was known for doing good deeds, but not a successful merchant. Such one of the nearby neighbours who sold pork in the store eventually took over the business. Joe Bell sold groceries, fresh farm food along with the pork in the store he called Langmaid’s General Store. In 1919 Ellen (Nellie) Connelly was working at the store and purchased the building in 1966. She operated the store until 1985 and changed the name to Miss Nelles. In the year 2000 Mardi Barker and Don Corey purchased the building and started an antique business and small café. They called it Langmaid’s Café/Miss Nelle’s Antiques in preservation of the past history of the building and operate a thriving business on the site.
Lockman House 1888
The first settlers to Dorset were Francis Harvey and Zac Cole whom opened a trading post and hotel respectively. The area grew as a logging boom turned Dorset into a “thriving lumber town.” One of these companies was the Gilmour Co. which set up headquarters in Dorset. An office building (the Lockman House) was built in 1888 followed by a boarding house (the Dollar House) next door. The Gilmour Co. had an amb itious plan to move logs to the Trent Canal over 300 miles away by means of a chute and canal system (The Tramway). This only operated one year and the Gilmour Co. left Dorset. Erastus (Tass) Lockman and his wife Aggie (nee Murdock) were raising a family of four on Hardwood Lake. In 1904 they purchased the building to be closer to schooling for their children. Between 1905 and 1925 Tass made many improvements to the home. Dormer windows were built and a back kitchen was added along with the wrap around veranda. The house was painted yellow, the colour it remains today. The home was lived in by a Lockman relative until 1966. The current owners Jack and Rose McIntrye purchased it in 1989. They are continually working to maintain the character of the house and have made no substantial changes.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Newholm, 1889
This church is the second on this site on Brunel Road. The first church, Trinity Anglican Church, was constructed of logs and stood from 1877 to 1888. This church took on the education of the children in reading, writing and sums, as well as religious knowledge. The present building was constructed in 1889. It is heated by a very attractive pot- bellied stove. The baptismal font is hand-carved by William Morgan, and is reputed to be made up of every type of wood to be found in Muskoka. It was exhibited at the Chicago World Fair in the 1890s. Morgan was one of the first to be buried in the graveyard. Also of interest is the organ. This was financed in large part by the efforts of Alberta Howard, who knitted socks for lumberjacks in return for contributions to the organ. In 1994, the local citizens organized the restoration of the church.
2005 Point Ideal
Savage Den, 1904
In 1904 Reverend Edward Young and his wife Constance purchased 900 feet of shoreline and 9 acres from Boyce Cunnington an early settler who owned most of the lake between Haystack Bay and Dwight. They travelled every summer with their three small children who continued to long after the death of Mr. and Mrs. Young. The building remains in its original state, the only changes being the addition of electricity and indoor washroom. The property remains family owned through a corporation, the Savage Den Society. The right to join went to all the descendants of Rev. and Mrs. Young. Members all have equal rights to the enjoyment of the corporation’s property.
Point Ideal, 1907
Point Ideal was built as a resort building by the Boothby family who operated the hotel for over 80 years until 1987 when the land was divided into many parcels and the main buildings were purchased by Mark and Judy McLean in 1989. There are two buildings – the Main Lodge and the Residence. The Lodge is a large three storey building with a mansard roof and dormers with a generous covered porch on three sides. The front doors lead into a large central hall, and at one end is the original post office window. One half of the ground floor served as the dining room where they seated 80 people for three meals a day. The Residence is a two storey five bedroom house with a bell cast roof and front porch looking out on the bay. Both buildings were built between 1905 and 1907.
Ellis Homestead, 1899
The Ellis Homestead was built in 1899 by Mr. Bushnell, an early teacher at the first school house in Baysville, now the Parish Hall, St Ambrose Church. The home was sold in 1919 to Robert and Emma Ellis where they raised a family of four. The frame house with its large windows and verandah on three sides was surrounded by acres of land and many feet of beautiful shoreline. After Robert died in 1939 Emma remained living in the home until her passing in 1976. To support herself Emma divided waterfront lots and sold them. The home no longer has any waterfront property yet the beautiful gardens remain. Rod and Anne Mason purchased the home in 1989 and revived the fading building.
Parish Hall, first school in Baysville, 1875
The founder of Baysville, W.H. Brown donated a cleared piece of land for the first school house to be built. The school opened in 1875 and remained in its original location for over 20 years. In 1919 the school was sold to the Women’s Auxiliary of St. Ambrose Anglican Church and the school was moved to its current location beside the church. For the first two years the building was used as a church until the current church was built. Very minor changes have been made to the hall and it has been thoroughly restored in 2008-09 with a new foundation and exterior wood framing.
Burnt Island, Peck family, 1920
In 1920 David Billings Peck and his wife Janet built the cottage on a sheltered bay on the island. Originally, the cabin was in two parts, joined by a breezeway. There was a kitchen and living area on one side and sleeping rooms on the other. With the arrival of hydro in the late 1950’s, the breezeway was converted into a kitchen, while the former eating area became two bedrooms. Over the years, several other cabins were constructed. An ice house was situated behind the main cabin and the power house still remains, although no longer used for those purposes. The large boat house was constructed to house many of the power and sail boats owned by the Peck family. Stepping on this island is a walk into the past.
Lakeview Seniors Centre formally Dwight Women’s Institute, 1927
The Dwight Women’s Institute (DWI) was formed in 1910 and in 1918 a one acres parcel of land was donated to the institute to build their own hall. It burnt down in 1927 and rebuilt the same year. The ladies of the DWI raised funds had knitting bees, hosted socials and more and there are still 16 active members. However in 1979 the hall was passed on the Lakeview Seniors Club and it remains of hub of activity today.
The Woodcock Home, 1905
William James (Butt) Woodcock brought his family to Dwight in 1905 and purchased land from Peter Newton. Butt and his two eldest sons built the home and it remains in its original state today. In 1939 after the passing of his wife Butt moved to Toronto and the home was eventually sold in 1945 to Bunny and Robert Herman. At that time the home had no running water or heating except the fireplace. The Herman’s worked hard in the early years to fix the home without changing any of the walls or character of the house. Bunny is the sole owner of the house and the grand daughter of Ed Gouldie, the original settler in Dwight.
2008 Norway Point
Norway Point Church, 1944
The first church was built in 1908 and collapsed in the winter of 1943 under a heavy load of snow. The church was rebuilt in 1944 designed by architect L. Somerville and under the carpentry skills of Lewellyn Robertson. The interior was left in its natural state, showing the beauty of the pine rafters and timbers and remains in its original design today. A large cathedral window allows the worshippers to look beyond the green woods and into the blue sky. The pulpit had been saved from the cave-in and also salvaged were the oak chancel chairs. The old hard backed chairs of the first church were replaced with the lovely oak pews that remain in place today. The church has and still remains the focus of the community of Norway Point.
Sunset Cottage, 1919
In 1913 Dr. J.A Dickson and his wife Edith purchased land from Lizzie Brown for the sum of $185. It is believed that the construction of the building may have commenced prior to WW1, although it was completed shortly after the war in 1919. The Dickson’s summered at the cottage until the death of Edith in 1948 whereupon it was inherited by their daughter Hazel Crawford. In 1970 the cottage was increased in size and electricity was installed. From that time Hazel and her husband Toby lived permanently until 1984 after the passing of both Hazel and Toby. The cottage remained family owned, inherited by Susan Speke, daughter of Toby and Hazel. In 2008, the Spekes sold Sunset Cottage to Marnie Wraith and Geoffrey Martin. Sunset cottage remains the same in its simple floor plan with a large front window overlooking the lake and collecting the last rays of sun.
Henderson Cottage, first built 1901, rebuilt 1936
H.B. VanWyck and his wife Jean purchased the Dunbar cottage in the early 1900’s. After the fire at the Wawa hotel the VanWycks feared fire would take down Dunbar. Such in 1936 the first cottage was torn down and a new one built. The building was built with great care, each room having both a door and an easy fire escape route. The cottage was designed for their large family; four bedrooms and a small servant’s quarter off the small kitchen. Most of the family’s cottage life was spent on the verandah. The vaulted ceiling in the living room meets at complex corners that were sawn by hand. The dinning room is totally glassed, producing a feeling of a “light box” absorbing. The glass in these windows rose from the ceiling to the floor and was often stuck to the ceiling and difficult to open. The unique design of the cottage enthralled the current owners Pam and Gordon Henderson, who enjoy their time as the VanWyck’s first did.
Ferguson Cottage, 1936
This is the site of the Wawa Hotel that burned to the ground in 1923. In 1934 Frank Leslie, owner of the Bigwin, had this cottage built for his personal use. The cottage was reminiscent of the Wawa Hotel in its architectural plan and of Bigwin’s Tea House in its elaborate masonry. The building, designed around a large centre module with cathedral ceilings and huge stone fireplace. At the front of the module was a verandah overlooking the beach and at either side was a large wing where bedrooms, bathrooms and servants’ quarters were located. After the death of Frank Leslie in 1964, the estate sold the home to Robert Fasken who winterized the large screened in porch while maintaining the original lights. In 1989, this residence was purchased by Phyllis and Graeme Ferguson who have maintained the character of the cottage. The Fergusons have renewed the life of the wood floors, returning them to their original state. One of the gazebo’s from the Wawa Hotel remains on the property.
Bain Cottage, 1936
Watson Bain and his first wife Madge had spent many visits to the Wawa hotel and became very fond of the lake. Later, after Madge’s early death, Watson secured some of the Wawa property and built a cottage for his new wife Mary Edith and son James. The cottage was built from the blueprints of architects Saunders and Ryrie. The design ideas represent the preferences of both James and Edith, with cedar ceiling beams and fir flooring. A maid’s quarters exists at the back of the cottage, off the kitchen, with a very small washroom. The kitchen is separate from the dining room and even in the 1970’s Edith would ring a small bell for service. On the second floor two bedrooms for family are included, while the master bedroom overlooking the lake also has a bell to the servant’s quarters.. A large stone fireplace, built by Llewellyn Robertson, warms the cool evenings and the original wicker chairs are still a living room fixture. Today the cottage remains under the care of Peter Bain, youngest son of James.
2009 Seabreeze Road
The Victorian style farmhouse had hand hewn cedar shingles for both siding and roofing. The original cedar siding remains while the shake roofing had to be replaced in the late 1980s. The "farmhouse" was built in the 1880s as a two storey frame structure with up to ten bedrooms, gable roof, steep centre dormer, double window, five porches and a two storey front porch overlooking the gradual slope to the lake and wide beach. It has been in the same family for five generations and is owned today Margaret and John Quayle.
The large log cottage was built by Alfred Chevalier for Dr. D.M.Campbell in 1935. The design of the cottage provided an open loft overlooking the living room, a large open stone fireplace and chimney at one end of the cottage and a similar, but smaller stone chimney for the kitchen wood stove at the other end of the building. The exterior was finished with a hand set flag stone patio and steps. The walls consist of large logs, perfectly notched and chinked to provide a substantial structure of both soundness and attractiveness. The present owners Alistair and Betty Thomson purchased the property in 1977.
The cottage was built over the period from 1914 to 1916 by the Jacksons with the help of all the family members. It was a large, one and a half storey, hip-roofed, dormered frame structure with a large front-screened porch. The interior was finished in wallboard and batons, typical of the day for walls and ceilings, with tongue and groove three-inch pine floor. Four generations of Emersons have enjoyed the cottage. Ted and Edna Emerson purchased the property in 1945 for $4,000.00.
The cabin was possibly built by Gideon Burk in the 1889s. It is believed that this building which has remained as a sleep cabin to the home of the Nystroms was originally constructed out of two old schoolhouses from Dorset. The buildings were towed to the property over a long, rough trail by horse and moved along over a repetition of laying down logs to aid in the mobility of the move. This building still displays much of its original wood, frames, doors, windows and flooring and was referred to as the "Fishbowl" by the local cottagers in response to the openness of its appearance. Although records cannot accurately confirm the nature of the early construction, the integrity of this more than 100-year-old building has provided continual use for well over a century. It is owned by Cathy Nystrom.