MARBLE POINT ROAD AND THE HOTELS
MANY FROM PETERBOROUGH ARE FREQUENT VISITORS - THIRTY-FIVE COTTAGES AND MORE BEING ERECTED
Peterborough Examiner July 26, 1923
Another of the many summer resorts in Central Ontario that is growing in popularity with the tourists from both sides of the border, is the one at Crow Lake, about two miles from the village of Marmora which now has a population of over 200, each one of the 35 cottages on the beach being occupied and the two summer hotels being filled to capacity.
The first thing that attracts the attention of autoists as they leave Marmora for Crow Lake is the novelty in the highway which leads from the village to that resort. For over half the distance the surface of the road is as smooth as asphalt, consisting as it does of natural flat rock. It is an easy matter to build a road there. All that is necessary is to remove the soil to a depth of about one foot, when the solid foundation that will last forever without the expenditure of a cent for repairs, is laid bare. For the construction of the rest of the thoroughfare the Provincial Government has made a substantial grant which has been supplemented by local funds. All this money will be laid out on this highway during the year so it will be one of the main attractions to visiting autoists.
The Crow Lake resort has been popularized this year through the energy and enterprise of A. T. Neal, who, on the 1st of May started the construction of a summer hotel which he has completed and which is now in commission. Visitors to Crow Lake who have travelled extensively over the continent and who are familiar with all of the leading watering places pronounce this new hotel one of the most complete in location and design of any that has come under their notice. Mr. Neal, before his latest venture was well known to the travelling public as the proprietor of the Royal Hotel in Marmora, a place of entertainment that is modern in all its appointments, a credit to the village in which it stands.
In the construction of this new building at Crow Lake he has shown the same taste in the arrangement of all the details. The hotel is situated on the shore of the lake, a fine body of water seven miles long by three in width. It is two storeys in height, the dining room, kitchen and other departments of the hotel proper, every room commanding a splendid view of the lake, being on the ground floor, while the spacious upper storey, reached by a handsome rustic stairway, is a handsomely arranged dancing pavilion. The dancing floor is railed off and on the outside of the railing are easy chairs for the accommodation of those not taking part in the dance.
On both sides of the building are large windows - the walls being really composed of nothing else- all of which are covered with wire netting. The ventilation of the place is perfect and at night the entire building is lighted by an electric plant which Mr. Neal has installed and which he operates at his own expense, another recent innovation at Crow Lake.
The music for the dancing is furnished by the Myers Orchestra of Toronto. This consists of three pieces, Wynn Myers being the conductor and violinist; his brother, H. Myers, pianist, and Fred Boland, drummer. The work of this trio has been so satisfactory to the patrons of the pavilion that they have been engaged for the entire season. Besides the week night dances a concert is given in the pavilion every Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock and it is nothing unusual to house over 300 guests at these affairs. Many of the guests at the hotel are lodged in cottages owned by Mr. Neal and situated in a beautiful grove on a high hill overlooking the lake.
From one end of the resort to the other there is a beautiful avenue lined by tall trees. The lake is unexcelled for boating and bathing and the fishing is excellent. The place is growing in popularity every season with tourists from all parts of the United States and Canada. Only the other day Mr. Neal received a telegram from a well known resident of Toronto asking him to secure a desirable location as he proposed to begin at once the erection of a summer cottage.
There are ample playgrounds at the resort, plenty of space for tennis, bowling, lacrosse and baseball. It is the natural holiday resort for Marmora, and on Wednesday afternoons all those who can get out of the village head for Crow Lake. On Sunday afternoon the concerts are a never failing source of relaxation for the people here. Mr. Neal has made a heavy investment but he has the advantage of an established record as a successful and popular hotel keeper, so that it is only a question of time in the matter of making money on his outlay.
MEMORIES OF MARBLE POINT LODGE AND SANFORD LAWRENCE
It was 1923 when Mr. A.T. Neal, Proprietor of the Royal Hotel, Marmora, opened his Pavilion at Crowe Lake on the evening of May 24th, about 400 in attendance...music by the Sills orchestra, Belleville. The building was one of the first dancing pavilions in this part of Ontario, with a floor 30 x 50 feet, with a ten foot promenade and lighting by the Delco system. This building was later known as Marble Point Lodge.
In January, 1925, it was totally destroyed by fire. Valued at $10,000.00, it was partly covered by insurance.
RALPH NEAL REMEMBERS ..........
The letter you printed from Bill McGarvey brought back to me my association with the late Sanford Lawrence, the woodsman, hunter, trapper and guide. My father was the manager and proprietor of the Royal Hotel, when the late Sanford made headlines on the front page of the Toronto Star. I am not quite sure of the time but I feel that it was in 1920 when the Star reporter interviewed Sanford at the hotel. The story was about Sanford shooting five timber wolves. I cannot recall the exact story or the circumstances but I can tell you that he informed the reporter that he saw this pack of nine or ten wolves coming across Crowe Lake. He climbed up into a tree and he shot five of the pack. I can assure you they were Timber Wolves, not coyotes, because when Sanford had his picture taken, holding the five hides, he stood on a chair and their tails were touching the floor. The following year (1921) my parents built Marble Point Lodge (on the south shore of Crowe Lake) and Sanford was hired as a handyman and guide for the tourist season. I was more or less in charge of operations at the Lodge and it was during this time that Sanford and I became such good friends.I will try and relate some of these happenings during that year.
One day, Sanford was returning to the Lodge with a fishing party and one member of the party dropped his fishing pole into the lake. Sanford came to me and informed me what had happened. He insisted that I put on the bathing suit and try to retrieve this rod, so I agreed. We rowed into the lake and Sanford informed me that it had a big silver reel on the pole. When I got to the spot, I dove off the bow of the boat and I thought I saw what appeared to be the reel so I went to pick it up. Instead of the reel, I had stuck my hand into the mouth of a snapping turtle. Boy oh boy, did I ever pull my hand out of that turtle's mouth fast. When I came up, I never stopped to get into the boat. I made shore in a very short time, and that turtle just peeled the skin off my middle finger. Sanford came in and wanted to know what had happened and when I showed him my hand he said we would get that turtle. That night, we set a nightline and the foJlowing morning we had three turtles.
At this time, we had some American fishermen at the lodge, and they wanted to have our chef make turtle soup for them. I asked the chef if she would make turtle soup for the guests, if Sanford cleaned the largest turtle. She did, and I can assure you the soup was delicious and the visitors congratulated her on her achievement. It was something to see Sanford clean a turtle; it looked as if he had done this an his life.
One Sunday morning, Sanford and I decided to go for a troll, so we left Marble Point in a rowboat, trolled around the foot of the lake, up the north shore to Cedar Point, where we stopped to change position. A pair of loons happened to swim by with a baby loon, and Sanford said to me, "Do you want to catch loon?" Naturally, I said yes because I didn't believe you could catch one with a rowboat.
He informed me not to pay any attention to the old birds but to just watch the baby loon. He then started to row the boat in a circle around the baby loon, always making the circle smaller. He informed me that the loon would go under the boat, and that was the time to catch it; which I did. The Poor little loon was played right out and then Sanford asked, "now what are you going to do with it"? I replied that as soon as it got its wind back, I was going to let it go.
By this time, the old birds were up in Blairton Bay, a distance of maybe a mile and a half. As soon as I put the little loon in the water, it made a sharp little whistle and would you believe it, I never saw two loons come that distance, while sitting on their tails and just making the water fly. When they got the baby, they really put some show of antics on, never paying any attention to us.
In those days, we had no garbage collection so we had our own way of getting rid of it and one was to dig a pit about six feet deep. When the pit got within two feet of the top, we would bury it. Well, this turned out to be a trap for skunks, so we would have to do away with them. Sanford and I would take the .22 rifle and he would shoot the skunks and believe it or not, there was never any odour,
One day, when we were covering the garbage, Sanford noticed that there was a lot of bees around so he said to me, there is a bee tree around here somewhere. So he and I decided that we would line the bee tree. We were about an hour and a half before we found the tree, but we decided to wait until after Labour Day when the Lodge would close for the season. It was a big basswood tree on our own property.
Well, this turned out to be a disappointment, because when we decided to do the job, somebody had beat us to it. They had felled the tree and according to the remains, Sanford said it had been loaded with honey.
I found out that the late Norman Cooper was the person who cut the tree, and I can assure you, it would be welcome food for his family, so I didn't begrudge the loss. Another thing Sanford taught me was how to clean a Muskie. He always took the outer skin off, leaving the inner skin. This I couldn't master, as I couldn't keep a sharp enough knife to do the job. In closing, these happenings are just a few of the fond memories of my association with one of the greatest woodsmen, hunter and trapper I have had the privilege of knowing.
by Ralph Neal Marmora Herald March 13, 1991
MARBLEPOINT AND THE SANDBAR AT THE MOUTH OF THE CROWE RIVER - 1995
According to the Marmora Herald in 1932, the oldest cottage on Crowe Lake was that of A.W. Carscallen, followed by the erection of the cottage of James and Ann Boldrick in 1882.
The Mystery of the Missing Island! This was photographed off the Backus-Campbell cottage, where this island no longer exists.
Backus-Campbell Cove, referred to in this old postcard as the cove between Tipperary House and Marble Point Lodge.
MARBLE POINT CHARACTERS
Marmora Herald - Aug. 24, 1922
Mr. A. T. Neal, proprietor of the Royal Hotel, has purchased a strip of land at Crowe Lake including the bathing beach and "Marble Rock" from James Parker. Mr. Neal expects to erect an up-to-date summer hotel and pleasure resort on this ideal location.
April 26, 1923 Mr. Neal has started work on the erection of a dancing pavilion at Crowe Lake. It will have a hardwood floor 50 x 30 feet and will be up-to-date in every particular. It is Mr. Neal's intention to have dressing rooms for bathers under the pavilion which will be a big convenience. He will also install a lighting system.
MARBLE POINT LODGE
Marmora Herald July 9, 1936
The above is the new name for what was formerly called "Marble Cliff Pavilion", and in future the conducting of dances will be altogether secondary to providing lodging and service for guests particularly during the holiday months. Many changes and improvements have already been made, but it will take most of the season to complete the improvements now under way, although the Lodge will be opened for guests on Saturday. Most of the improvements to the Pavilion, or main building, are being left until work on the cottages is completed, but some important changes have already been made. Perhaps the most noticeable change is to the dining room. It has been enlarged, remodelled and decorated in a very attractive manner. Four windows overlook the lake or marble cliff, with a view hard to surpass in any country. Table accommodation is provided for thirty-two at one time and more could be taken care of on special occasions. Electric lights have been installed with a very pleasing indirect lighting system. The kitchen has also been fixed over and will have hard and soft water supplied by an up-to-date pressure system. A new sink, new lighting system and modern equipment will make it much easier to provide meals for guests or other visitors and the dining room is to be specially featured at Marble Point Lodge. Sleeping accommodation will be provided for about 36 guests. All the cottages and main building will be sided with British Columbia shingles and eventually painted white. Some of the buildings are already shingled. The four room cottages, as well as the others, will each have separate steps and entrance, a screened in porch and in most cases a rear door as well. The partitions are installed so they can be taken out for parties using two, three or four rooms so they can go from one room to the other without going off the porch. The rooms are well ventilated, comfortable furnished, lighted by electricity, and have a wonderful view of the lake. The beds have spring mattresses as well as modern woven springs. The cottages are separated so as to give quiet and privacy to guests and the log cottage on the very top of the cliff is ideal for a couple seeking a quiet restful holiday with delightful surroundings. The grounds are cleared of brush and a comparatively easy path leads to the main building and dining hall. Two of the newest type chemical toilets have been placed in the Pavilion and two others will be placed convenient to the cottages. They will be odourless and sanitary in every respect. When the changes are completed The Lodge should prove highly popular with tourists. This season at least a special effort will be made to attract Toronto and other Ontario guests. While dances may be held once or twice some weeks the Pavilion will be a place of entertainment or amusement for guest. A piano and radio will furnish music and ping pong and other games may be installed so that if the weather is unfavourable or in the evening guests may have some place to put in time. While the grounds and beach will not be open to the public as formerly they may be used either by the season or day on payment of a set fee. It costs a lot to run a summer resort and past experience has shown, unfortunately, that providing free picnic and bathing facilities does not pay the bills.
Highlands of Hastings Brochure 1950
JOHN GREEN'S SUMMER HOTEL
May 31, 1906 - John Green is now putting the finishing touches to Crowe Lake Cottage. The new addition is two storeys high and contains 16 rooms. There are two verandas around the entire building.
OCT 4, 1914
Deloro Sunday School Picnic 1919 Marble Point Beach. Teachers - Mr. & Mrs George Blake
Frank Morse of the Pink Palace