Bobs Lake - Maberly, Ontario
The Morning sunrise
My family has been vacationing at Bobs lake since 1952 and I have been going there since I was born. Well actually it was 1960 (the year after). This month we spent a weekend with my brother and his wife at the cottage for their yearly return to the lake. Last year they spent their honeymoon at the lake, as did my friends daughter whom I introduced to the lake back in the early 1980's. Needless to say, once you see the beauty of it,, you get addicted!
Sugarbush Point near Patterson Bay. I always loved the idea of this little screen house which you enter from the back door and just go out the front door and jump right into the lake. A great idea for swimming.
This family has the right idea for an excellent swimming barge, complete with a high dive. I just love the idea of swimming in deep water away from the weeds.
Laura Lee Davidson probably said it best in her book "A Winter of Content" (published 1922)..
"There may be other places as beautiful as the Lake of the Many Islands, although I cannot believe it. But Many Islands at sunset, its quiet waters all rose and saffron and lavender, under a crescent moon; when the swallows skim the surface and dip their breasts in the ripple, and the blue heron flaps away to his nest in the reeds - Well! I shall see no other spot that so moves my heart with its beauty, until my eyes look out beyond the sunset and behold the land that is very far off."
Laura spent the winter of 1914 on Mica Island to write about the changing seasons of the lake. I wish I could have met this brave woman, as in her writings she fullfilled a dream that I have always had, to see the changing seasons on the lake. It best describes it in this quote...
"I am tired to death," I stormed. "I need rest for at least one year. I want to watch the procession of the seasons in some place that is not all paved streets, city smells and noise..I have loved the woods all my life, I long to see the year go round there just once before I die."
I want to give a special Thank You to Cynthia Threadgill for selling me her copy of "Isles of Eden"
Me in the early 60's
As a child I always jumped out of the car first thing and ran to the edge of the lake and just wondered where this place came from, because it was like I was in another world. It was like I found a place that was just created. A place that no one knew about and it never seemed to change. And thankfully it hasn't changed too much over the years. Maybe I should erase this whole page so no one else goes there! Well the horse flys and mosquitoes will keep most people away, but it is a small price to pay for the peacefullness and beauty of Bobs Lake!
The door to the cottage. The screened-in front porch is hidden by the cedars. A nice place to sit and watch the rain move across the lake.
Returning from a morning of fishing!
Catch of the day! Theres nothing tastier than a fish fry of Bass and Walleye! Beats Red Lobster any day!!
The fish of years ago.
My brother and Murton Badour launching a boat.
We have know Murton Badour since we have been coming to Bobs Lake. Murt is featered in John Lovelace's episode "In Search of the lost (mica) mines" on his TV series Wings over Canada. I remember as a child my Dad taking me to the mica mines and I still have a big chunk of mica that I found that day. The tape can be ordered from Johns site or Aviation World. I would like to thank the guys at Aviation world in Toronto for getting me the tape in a hurry to surprise my brother for his birthday!
You can also read the Environmental History of Bobs lake in Lloyd B. Jones book "The Dammed Lakes" This book tells you so many interesting stories about the History of Crow and Bobs Lake.
Crow lake is actually attached to Bobs by a small channel. All my life I always had a recurring dream that I was at the point at Cedar Haven Camp and the lake dried up into just a small stream. Much to my surprise after reading Lloyds book, I realized that this wasn't a dream, but how the lake looked before it was dammed in 1821. Lloyd's latest book is called "Living by the Chase" and is about the Native people of Crow and Bobs Lake. You can read some of his research on this site entitled "Many Islands" which is quite interesting. His books also discusses alot about Laura Lee Davidson and her love of the lake.
We pass by Crow Lake on the way home.
A visit to the Crow Lake General Store has always been a yearly event to get bait and an ice cream or some pop. Cream soda was always my favorite! There used to be Fanta and Royal Springs, but now its Cream Crush, the Lime Crush is great too, if you can find it.
Cedar Haven Camp
My family started going to Bobs Lake when Chick and Elsie Reynolds owned the camp. It was called Chicks Camp. In fact Elsies Island was once a part of Cedar Haven (the island across from the point of Cedar Haven) and one year they stayed on the island, but my Mom didn't like being so isolated.
My family on Elsies Island in the early 1950's
Before Chick and Elsie owned the camp it was called Ed's camp we think, as my Brother saw this on one of the cement blocks.
My father used to tell me this story about my first lake experience in 1960 when I was 11 months old. Tom and Mildred Fletcher purchased the camp around 1958 and renamed it Cedar Haven Camp. Some people by the name of Jake and Lena took my family out for a boat ride. The propellor broke on the boat and a storm came up fast. (they always do for some reason) Some girls towed us to the main land (this was somewhere in Big Bobs or perhaps Green Bay) untill we could get someone to pick us up by car. When Tom came to pick us up, they had to tow the trailer out of the sand with the farmers horses. The only milk they had to feed me was un-homogenized milk and someone thought it would not be a good idea to give it to me, being I was so young.
My dad would be saying "those damn power boats making all that noise!" hehehe The Next owners of the Camp were Frank and Ruth Zendzian, whom I thought were the nicest people in the world and also the luckiest to own such a great place! They kept the place spotless! Frank was always helping out people on the lake. He would take me for a ride on the barge when he had to deliver an appliance to the Lewis's or the Bigler's. It was a treat for me.
Me and Frank returning the barge, with my Dad following us by boat.
Cedar Haven at its Best!! I just found out the picture on this post card was taken by Peter Zendzian while flying over Cedar Haven Camp with a bush pilot.
Then one day when all the kids said Johnny Unitas is in the boathouse,, I replied "Whats that, a new type of motor?" They laughed and informed me he was a great football player for the Baltimore Colts. I met him a few times with his son, and also his coach Bobby Boyd. Bobby Boyd's kids even showed me how to do a summersault off the dock. To me they were just ordinary people who also enjoyed getting away in peaceful surroundings to forget about the real world. Because to me, Bobs lake wasn't the real world, it was like a Utopia to me! Johnny Unitas became the new owner of the camp. He then hired Verne Trivett to run the place.
Presently Cedar Haven Camp (now Cedar Haven Cottages, ltd) is owned by some Canadians who did major renovations to the place. They really fixed it up. New siding on the cabins (I'm american,, I still call them cabins hehehe) new decks, dropped ceilings, and they even ripped some of the old ones down and put up duplex cottages. To me, its just not the same. I'm a creature of habit and I miss the old rustic look. I miss the open ceilings,, when I could throw smelly socks over the wall in the middle of the night and wake up my brother. And they ruined the nicest cabins by adding additional bedrooms and making the living areas smaller (3 bedrooms and a couch was enough). And the best thing they did was screw up my Fathers 30 year reservation. Jane Badour then offered to rent him her cottage which had so much more privacy. The only renovation that I like at Cedar Haven is the nice swimming area they added. I wished it had been there when I was a kid!
Cedar Haven circa 1992
The "BIG" dock (what we all called it) and my brother in a good ole wooden cedar strip Peterborough boat. This is how the front of Cedar Haven looked in the early 50's
Cabin 2(left) and Cabin 3
Cabin 3 was at one time the ice house which stored blocks of ice cut from the lake in the winter. It now has a bedroom upstairs which is rather nice. Cabin 2 was always our favorite when I was a child because it was close to the shallow swimming area, sand box and the docks. Cabin 2 lost its coziness when they reduced the size of the spacious living area and made an extra bedroom. Its now claustrophobic when your stuck inside during a rainy day. There was a huge picture window, which you lifted up and attached to the ceiling, and I recall a huge storm coming in and us watching one of the trees fall on Cabin 1. The people in the cottage didn't know what hit them, luckily no one was hurt.
Cabin 1 in the early 50's with the nice rustic look.
Cabins 6 (left) and 5 on the point which we stayed in latter years. Cedar Haven camp is situated on a point on the lake, so it is surrounded by water on both sides. These cabins always had the nicest view's and some better swimming in deeper water.
Many fish stories were swapped here at the fish house. It was once a busy place at nights. You just had to take lots of bug spray to go in there! hehehe
The Christman's Cottage next to Cedar Haven. I always loved the outdoor screened-in kitchen they had overlooking the lake. I thought what a great idea to have a kitchen which wasn't a part of the main house.
We met and became friends with this family from Buffalo, NY. Mr. Christman would always tell the story on how we met. I kidnapped his dog when I was a child. He came looking through Cedar Haven for "Hunter" and he saw me (about age 4) peeking out my bedroom window with Hunter right next to me. It seemed Hunter could tell when I arrived at the lake every year, because he always came right over to greet me. Although it could of been the pancakes and bacon I would feed him every morning. hehehe
Mr. Christman would tell us wonderful stories about his early days of coming to Bobs lake via the train to Crow Lake. His daughter became a teacher in Canada and I still see his son on occasion when we return to the lake. I could see that he felt the same way about Bob's lake that my brother and I do. The lake will always have special memories for us. I look at Bob's lake now with a different perspective. Its like it has a magnetic pull that keeps bringing us back year after year!
The above photo of Hunter is courtsey of Margaret Ann Comeau (Christman)
She shared this photo with me, along with another Hunter story. Seems I wasn't the only one that Hunter would visit looking for goodies. He would venture down the dirt road to visit other cottagers from Ohio and their dog Bridgette. Bridgette was a West Highland terrier who was a picky eater. When she returned to Ohio for the winter they would tell her here comes Hunter and she would quickly eat her food before Hunter "could get it."
Another fishing camp on the lake is Bowers Camp. It is located across the bay from Cedar Haven. We stayed there once I think it was back in 1962. It used to be called Broughtons.
This is how it looked in 1962^^
This is how it looks now.
A nice blog I found on Bowers:
Bowers Camp on Bob's Lake
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