Lumber and logging activities dominated the early years of the property. The first year was 1887. The decibels of the saw and the whistle of the machinery going all at once were heard all over the area. The crew and the team of horses traveled the basic path to town that you know today. In 1910 the lumber industry started declining and the tourist trade started to trickle in. Many of the, already established, buildings of the mill site were rented to people looking for a holiday spot. Travelling to Muskoka was an all day affair from anywhere. The trains came from southern Ontario joining a side track spur due West to Gravenhurst Wharf. Then, passengers, luggage, trunks and supplies were picked up by horse drawn carriages. The travel along the corduroy path to Muldrew Lake, previously known as Leg Lake must have being quite the ride to say the least.
As tourists talked to others they started to come by train in flocks. Soon after, cabins and cottages were hard to come by. Then came (circa 1940s)Miramichi Lodge. It was constructed to handle more guests, allow space for cooking and entertaining, and storage space enough to hold the things needed in order to have all the conveniences in one place, the lake.
In 1972, Miramichi Lodge was renamed the Inn On The Lake Hotel.Some of the seasonal cottagers have worked at the hotel and restaurant and bar. In its hay days it would comfortably handle up to 60 guests. There were, at one time, 10 different sleeping cabins or cottages available. Its amenities included a gas station (White Rose then shell then independent) for cars and boats, tennis courts, a huge dance hall with famous bands playing and even a marine shop, post office and grocery store for the lake’s seasonal residents. Movies where played in the dance hall that attracted a crowd. The cottage craze of the 1960s began and a lot of regular customers wanted their own place on the lake.
With the popularity of the hotel on decline some of the buildings were torn down or burned. To adapt to the travelling camping crowd the owners, at the time, accommodated people to stay on the property in their own small camping trailers and in doing so answered to a new kind of tourist trend. In the winter of 1980-1981 the Inn burned to the ground in the way many Muskoka wooden buildings had in the past. Our family took over the already existing camping business that spring with 75 sites