Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Let's hear it for the little guys...

little houses for the little people
...or, Ozymandias goes to the beach.

I stopped to admire a bracket fungus array on an ancient maple, on the road to West Point, the warm October sun belying the strength of the cold wind whipping the lake waves into a para-sailing paradise.

On foot this trip, I took time to truly appreciate the tiny cabins nearby. A neighbourly woman came to chat; she identified their owner, and revealed their story.

The tiny shed-roof cottages to left and right (joined by the later addition) are thought to be maid's cottages, residences of domestic servants who catered to the wealthy tourists beginning to pour into Prince Edward County in the nineteenth century.

(See, there IS nothing new under the sun).
Bracket fungus...the dying tree's gift

The maids worked at Lakeshore Lodge (c.1876), a grand resort hotel (sure, not Lake Como, but elegant nonetheless with its gallery verandah  and its incomparable location on a rocky bluff overlooking Lake Ontario and the dunes of the baymouth sandbar at West Lake.)
Lakeshore Lodge - courtesy PEC Library & Archives, and the lovely Krista

The LSL crest in the terazzo floor from
 a dance pavilion of later date
you're still welcome to come in to dream
Lodge...clearly missing from this image
Lakeshore Lodge was destroyed by fire in 1982. It had sat abandoned for some time after the land was sold for the new Sandbanks Provincial Park, and succumbed to a devastating fire while plans were being floated to restore it for a year-round hostelry. Our dad always wondered if some local with a practical and not-at-all tourism oriented attitude had played a role.

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