History Of Wolfe Lake

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Algonquin Indians - Early 1800's

  

"The Chief of Grape Island (near Belleville) in 1828, John Sunday, told the government that more land was needed.


Sunday suggested a site at Wolfe Lake, approximately 3.5 miles west of Westport. "Nineteen lots in Concessions IX, X, and XI of Bedford Township**" were surveyed for a total of nearly 2,700 acres and the new Wolfe Lake Reserve was ready for the Mississauga at the end of the summer of 1832.


Maps indicate that the Mississauga chose the land that may have been considered less-desirable, perhaps hoping it would hold less appeal to the settlers, and prevent the newcomers from taking their lands from them, yet again.  (The map on the right shows the 19 lots given to the Algonquin Indians on Wolfe Lake - the name each of the lots reads Indian.)   By today’s tourism standards, the lots that the Mississauga chose would be considered prime real estate, as they consisted of mainly stone cliffs overlooking the lake.

However, in the 1800’s, with the main focus of land ownership being the ability to farm, the acreage lacked potential. Just under 145 acres were given to each family, but the rocky, unworkable land couldn't supply them with the lifestyle that was so important to them, and there was little to keep the Mississauga at the Wolfe Lake Reserve.


Documents from the old Tett store in Bedford Mills indicate that the Bedford Mississauga continued an active trade with the local establishments in fish, rice, furs and lumber even after the Indian Department ordered them to leave the area. Although they were told that they had to abandon their land at Wolfe Lake and move to a new reserve in Alnwick, many did not follow the call of the government and remained quietly on the land as independents."

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Public Notice - 1917

Cutting and Removing Ice

 Notice is hereby given that any person cutting and removing ice for sale or domestic use from the water of Wolfe Lake, can cut and remove the same in Rideau lake on the North Shore opposite Bryan's pointe, thirty rods from high water mark.  In Sand lake west of from Thomas Greene's summer cottage thirty rods from high water mark.  And in Wolfe lake 100 rods northwest of the Government Dam.   The opening in the ice in each case  to be located so as not to endanger travel on winter road, and also to be well guarded by placing  a number of danger signals so as to safeguard from danger teamsters and pedestrians who may be on the ice in the locality.  By order of the Board of Health , Municipality of North Crosby January 23, 1917  they are.

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Site Content

Green Shingle Lodge 1950

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 The Lodge was owned by the Guggenheimers prior to the Shillington/McCulloch ownership.  J.C. Guggenheimer (might be an incorrect spelling) was from New York and he and his family cottaged at "Green Gables", as they called it then.  There was often controversy over the large urns with swastikas on them, which were remnants of the Guggenheimer days 

Green Shingle Lodge

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 The  lodge was purchased in 1946 by Westport locals – George & Alice McCulloch. In 1968, Bill & Anna McCulloch assumed management of the lodge and, with the help of their six children, successfully ran the family fishing retreat for the next 38 years.  

Pine Crest Lodge - Landmark destroyed

The Pine Crest Lodge was situated at the Eastern corner of Wolfe Lake.  A landmark overlooking Wolfe Lake for 60-65 years.  There were three owners from the the 1950's included  Mrs. McNichol, Vince Lupo (a Real Estate Agent from Toronto) and Peter Glenister of Kanata.  


On May 23, 1992, the Glenisters had just gone to the lodge to open it for the season.   They opened the windows to air it, turned on the hydro and left for town.  A neighbor spotted flames coming from the lodge around 2:00 pm and it was gone in about an hour.    



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Pine Crest Lodge - Review Mirror (Westport) May 27, 2019

A history Lesson by Lucille Breesee

Fermoy

The small hamlet of Fermoy is situated in Bedford Township on a hill at the upper end of Wolfe Lake, 10 miles west of Westport. 


In the early 1900's it boasted a hotel, general store and Post Office, an Anglican Church, a blacksmith shop, a Township Hall; the Orange Lodge Hall (later the school house) and a population  of 40 residents. 


News Letter 2003 - page 15 

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The Derbyshire Farm (Now Known as Camp IAWAH)

A Refection by George Derbyshire (from 1994)

In September 1949, the building were destroyed by fire.  The last grain that went through the threshing machine had a stone in it, which, through friction in the machine, ignited. All the farm buildings, except the pig house, burned,   It is still there.   With no feed or shelter for the farm animals they had to be sold before cold weather came.  That was a sad day.  Mother and Harold moved to Westport later that fall where Harold unwilling to sell the farm for commercial development.  Mother held it until 1956.  Then it became Camp IAWAH.

Excerpt from News Letter 2015, page 20

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tornado Strikes Wolfe Lake August 26, 2003, 6:30 p.m.

Additional Information

 Over 100 trees were blown over, at least eight cottages had trees across the roofs and others had outbuildings damaged. One cottage had most windows blown out and it was blown off of it's foundation and likely will have to be completely demolished and rebuilt. One other huge cottage had at least 4 trees on the roof and suffered major damage. A number of boats and docks were blown onto the shore and destroyed. A 19 foot inboard/outboard boat was blown off of it's lift and flipped upside down into the water and the lift was blown upside down into the lake. (thanks to Peter C. for the description) 


More Information News Letter 2004, page 16-17 - Tornado 2003 by Bob Smyth

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Maps of Wolfe Lake From 1800's

Section of Wolfe Lake in North Crosby

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North Crosby Township (now part of Rideau Lakes)

Wolfe Lake in Bedford Township

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Wolfe Lake was amalgamated in 1998 from the former townships of Bedford, Loughborough, Portland, and Storrington into the Township of South Frontenac.