Donald A. Bailey and Hannah J. Bailey Cottage
Oct 14, 2013
Donald A. Bailey and Hannah J. Bailey
2017 Hughes Landing Road
Anglesea Con 11 mpPt Lot 13 irreg.
The original owners, Robert and Edna Dunlop, sold it to Frederick David Bingham and Mary Elizabith Bingham in November 1947 who then sold it to us in 1963. We know very little about the previous owners except that there was a cottage on the top of the hill that burned down as well as many of the trees on the property. It was a big rock with little trees when we bought it. We camped on the property for two years before building.
We discovered Lake Skootamatta while looking for a place to honeymoon and stayed at Harold Maybee’s honeymoon cottage in 1959. We came back to camp on the lake every year – so when we decided to buy, it was where we wanted to be.
Before we purchased our lot, we camped on the small island in the Upper Lake. We had the Upper Lake to ourselves and enjoyed the solitude – never seeing another person. We were even able to safely ski by moonlight! In those days there was an Air Force Camp up there. One day they staged an airplane crash, complete with debris all over the place and guys lying on the ground. It sure gave us a scare!
After we bought our lot in 1963, (located all by itself in the Lower Lake at the mouth of the Narrowa) we used to camp there. We would arrive at Land’s End at midnight after the long drive from Hamilton. Mr Maybe who owned the cottages there at the time, would always leave us a block of ice for our ice box. We would put the boat in the lake, boat across – no matter what kind of weather- and arrive at our tent tired but happy to be there. We would camp from Spring until Thanksgiving. We would cook the Thanksgiving turkey on the camp stove along with all the fixings and enjoy a wonderful meal with any friends or family who were crazy enough to join us.
In April, 1965 we had our prefab cottage delivered to the Landing. It was unceremoniously dumped in the mud, but Mr. Tully, who erected the building with his sons, did not mind. He loaded it on a pontoon boat and ferried it across the Lake to our point and put up the 24 by 24 cottage in the bugs. The company had sent side panels instead of doors, and they were too short. In the new cottage, we were sleeping in our sleeping bags on the floor and were awakened by a porcupine crawling over the top of the panel . This was the first of many porcupine incidents.
When lots opened up on the Narrows, friends of ours (the Reddens), purchased one and many years of fun began. They had a road, which we eventually used. We would leave our boat at their place rather than the Landing. This still meant putting a boat in late at night, carrying our supplies down their hill and then up the rocks at our place. It was a lot of work but well worth it! We had many fun times with the Reddens. Dressing up in costumes and waterskiing in October was one of many.
We would go to the cottage even in the winter. We had an old space heater. One year we had some trouble lighting it. Our friend kept adding more kerosene to the heater and dr/sopping lit tissues into it. The fuel finally ignited with a ball of fire and smoke. Our friend turned to us with a completely black face from the soot which was terribly funny until we noticed that the ashes and soot were also falling all over lunch that was spread out on the table. Another winter memory was the winter we came up even though it was way too cold. First of all, we had to break the ice in the water pail in the kitchen. We boiled the kettle to make coffee but when the hot water was poured into the coffee cup, the cup broke and the coffee froze to the floor.
In the early 70’s , there was a massive snow storm. We came up to shovel the roof because we were concerned that it might cave in with the weight of the snow. There was so much snow , we could walk off the roof of the cottage right onto the snow banks – it was really that high!
When loggng started at the end of the bay, a road was put in which now goes all the way to Gunther. For many years we parked our car at the end of the bay, lugged our supplies down a path to a dock we had built there, walked in to the cottage, put the boat into the water, and then went back to the end of the bay to collect our gear. Getting into the cottage is much easier now with ATV access to the cottage.
We have had many other changes to our place over the years. When we first started coming we had an ice box, then a propane stove and fridge (and still do). The propane used to be delivered , by Mr. Wickware, to the Landing in 100 pound containers. We would put two in our boat, bring them across the lake (sometimes in fog or giant waves), and haul them up to our cottage. We used to have only kerosene lamps until we updated to propane lights in the late seventies. We finally got a generator in the late eighties to give us electric light in the main rooms.
In 1982, we finally were able to purchase the only open lot on our side of the narrows. We tore down the old shack that was there in 2010 as it was falling apart.
When we first came to the lake Mr Harold Maybee had the only store on the lake. You had to climb the hill to his house to make your purchase. Then a store was opened down by the lake and gas was also sold. The popular store was run by Stan and Georgina Huges where you could get almost any supply you needed. They have all closed now, and so if you run out anything, it means a trip to Cloyne.
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