The Pennsylvania Club is a group that comes together to enjoy fellowship and outdoor recreation. Registered as a Canadian Corporation, the membership meets twice a year to discuss corporate business and recreation. Official club meetings are held in New Castle, Pennsylvania, the home of the founding members and near Sans Souci, Ontario, the location of the fishing lodge. Corporate business discussed at the meetings is most often related to the outdoor recreation or fishing at the club’s facilities in Georgian Bay on Lake Huron in Canada. The Pennsylvania Club owns property and a fishing lodge, located within the boundaries of The Massasauga Provincial Park, on Island B257, known as Pennsylvania Point, in the Township of The Archipelago, in the District of Parry Sound, Province of Ontario.
A group of self-made, highly motivated, and far-sighted men were responsible for the creation of the legacy we know as Pennsylvania Club. Being sons and grandsons of some of the early settlers of western Pennsylvania, their pioneer spirit and love for the outdoors attracted them to the still untouched wilderness of Canada. Accounts of the day suggested bountiful fishing and unspoiled land for the taking.
They prepared for these early expeditions in much the same way one might picture a safari into some unexplored land. They gathered their equipment and food together in wooden boxes or footlockers. Then after packing various and sundry camping equipment, they reserved a baggage car at the west side station in New Castle. The group of men rode together in the same rail car with a large 30’ banner on each side that said “Camp Pennsylvania”. They traveled by way of Buffalo and Toronto to Pennetang and later Midland. These early members and guests completed their trip by taking a steamer either the Waubuno or the Midland City to Sans Souci. The steamer traveled the Pennetang to Parry Sound Steamer Channel, and dropped the Pennsylvania Club guys off at an island called Ellen’s Isle (B324) which is located directly on the Steamer Channel. They pitched tents on the Ellen’s Isle island which is now owned by Wally King from Toronto. From Ellen’s Isle, with rowboats and canoes, they explored various parts of the area known as the Moon River. After tenting a for a few years they found an island with a good harbor and abundant fishing and a short time later they purchased five acres from the crown on the south shore of Island 49B (now known as Island B257). Title of the land was in the name of four of the original members: Jahred Reis, Danny Harlan, Clyde Morrison, and George Welch. They then built a clubhouse consisting of a kitchen and dining room with sleeping quarters upstairs. The plumbing consisted of an outhouse. Water was dipped from the lake. A boathouse and flimsy dock were built. Double-ended Peterborough boats propelled by oars were used for fishing. As time marched on, the Pennsylvania Club members purchased the property with its improvements from the heirs of the original four owners. A Canadian solicitor was hired, and Letters of Patent were recorded with the Canadian government. The Pennsylvania Club is now an Ontario registered corporation. The Pennsylvania Club facilities are open to members and their guests from about the 1st of May until about the end of October.