This history written by Ann Clifford (born Keller) first appeared in a past MLPOA newsletter and tells the story of the American's who came from Pennsylvania in 1895 to fish every summer. Some of the families then bought land and built summer cottages.
Photos were generously provided by the Staples and Keller families
Group photo of the American's who came to the lake to fish in the early 1900's
Hanging out around the camp
Early swimming costumes 1900's
This was the first cottage built on the lake by Thomas Kane who owned the land. The land was purchased from the Wessell and Valentine family who are the earlier homesteaders in 1906.
The whole camp was named "Camp Russell" after their guide, Windlow (Win) Russell who knew the Wessell's and was the one who had brought the group of Americans up from Pennsylvania to fish in 1896.
Circa 1915 - it later burnt down but was the original cottage used by the group as they built their own cottages
Camp Dining tent circa 1905 - Arthur and Phoebe Staples are on the far right hand side. The dining tent was on what is currently the Soares property (formally owned by the Africa and Kane family) just North of the Lookout.
Wessell felling a giant tree near the lake. The area was heavily logged in the 1800's to provide England and the colony with timber.
Grocery and supply shopping
Fishing was what brought them here!
Early floating dock party
Mrs. AJ Clark around 1900- their family originally owned the Rocky Roost point and the area around it
The Americans would travel to Toronto, then take the train to Coboconk then take a wagon up to the camp, sometimes overnighting at the Pattie House.
Early 1900 photo of the Pattie House in Coboconk. The Americans would travel to Toronto (then York) and then take a train up to Coboconk, often staying overnight at the Pattie House before travelling further up to the lake
Ralph Hilborn ( in a tent at Camp Russell around 1912-1916) provided by descendants of the Hilborn/Rockwell family
Alden Clark, Arthur and Phoebe Staples on the steps of what is now the Jervis cottage
Inside by lamplight in what is currently the Staples cottage circa 1923
Another photo of the tents at Camp Russell circa 1910?
Photo postcard sent to Herb Rockwell