Compiled by Barbara Sargeant

The Flynns and Pollocks came to the nearby island cottage by a three day trip by train- the Santa Fe train to Chicago and then the Grand Trunk to Toronto with a night in the Royal York and then the CPR to Belvedere Hill in Parry Sound and then a boat trip right into the cottage with Scotts Livery. (Senator Flynn was a director of the Santa Fe and Judge Pollock was a lawyer for the Santa Fe.) They would put all their stuff in large chests and lock the chests and send them and the servants up on the train and boats.

It was a day trip by car for the Sargeants to get to the old cottage. The family left around 8 am. First the family went to lunch in Gravenhurst at Sloan’s Restaurant and then took a very bad road to Parry Sound arriving around 2.30 pm. They would do the shopping at Beatties Department Store and Emes Grocery store and then come in by water taxi with Scotts Road Livery and later with McIssacs Boat Livery. One of Mrs. Sargeant’s favorite boat drivers was Charlie Sweet. He was always chatting and seemed to steer the boat by magic as he rarely looked where he was going. It was an hour and half trip to Woods Bay from Parry Sound.

When they opened the Indian Marina at 12 Mile Bay in 1964, the Sargeants started to come in that way. Usually if they were having a group, they used the Indian Boat Livery. At that time, they would arrive at the Marina after dark and it was a hair raising ride in as the Indian drivers were feeling no pain and just gunned the boat the whole way. Since it was a long and expensive trip to get in, everyone had to wait until all the guests for the weekend had arrived before we could leave. The bugs were terrible.

Frequently we had to wait a long time because the road up from the 400 was just one lane and the traffic was terrible around Coldwater/Fesserton  and they had a policeman there to help cars get around the turn. One time when the Sargeants were driving themselves and the Jakes in, they went on the wrong side of the Hole In the Wall and hit a rock. When they finally got the boat off the rock, the engine was locked and they couldn’t get it into forward and had to back the boat all the way in.

The Grisdale brothers put in the original log road extension to the road from Mactier, that was the predecessor to the road we use to get in nowadays, so they could bring in trucks and tractors and supplies.

When the Moon River school was discontinued the year round residents needed a way to get their children to school in Mactier. The province improved the old loggers road in from Mactier and we began driving into George and Marian Grisdale’s place. In the early days the road was terrible– washed out in many places –and people would get stuck. You couldn’t stop to help them as you would get stuck too. Frequently the water would cover the road in the various low lying places.  Eventually the road got good enough that we were able to stop wintering the boat at McIsaacs and we started wintering at Leo’s Marina (now Mariners Cove.)

Recently we all voted to pay to have the road improved and the Conservative government courtesy of our member Tony Clement put in the current well paved road which is just great except the speed limits are just ridiculously slow for the summer. In the early days of the new road the roads department would cover the road with tar. If you drove on the road soon after it was tarred your car would get covered with tar and you would have to go through the car wash about three times to get the guck off.

At one point when George raised his prices, we considered leaving George’s and going over to dock at the Hawk’s Nest at the time when it was owned by Helmut. Helmet came over to discuss the matter with us and informed us that the best thing about docking with him was that  “he never interfered with an insurance claim”.  Since we needed our boat when we arrived, needless to say, we did not leave George. George had always looked after us and our boats very, very well.