Ontario Abandoned Places

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Database location #308
Public Location
Created by OAP (CONTACT)
This member has donated.
Creation Date: 1/1/2006
Last Photos Uploaded: 1/1/2006

J.R. Booth's railway brought life to many whistlestops along his line to Depot Harbour. In the southern portion of Algonquin Park, the small community of Joe Lake sprang to life. The abundance of lumber make the area ideal for cutting trees and shipping them out by railway. A mill was constructed (Jamieson Mill) and operated from the early 1900's until 1926.

To accomodate the tourists arriving by train, Tom Mernill opened a hotel in 1908 which he named the Algonquin Hotel. Mernill maintained the hotel until 1917 when it was bought by the Colson family. In addition to the hotel was a log train station, Colson's general store and Outfitters Supply Store. To make sure all was in order a man named Bill Mooney acted as park ranger.

The usual post office stood, as did a dozen homes and barber shop. A cookery and two bunkhouses kept the men fed and dry. To provide medical service to the community, Dr. Wilfred Theodore Pocock looked after the men. For his services, he was paid one dollar a month for each man in the logging camp.

The town's population began to dwindle in the 1940's. The hotel was removed in 1956, with the remainder of the buildings following in 1957.

To see a detailed map circa 1922 of the entire park check this link: http://www.markinthepark.com/downloads/algonquin_park_maps/1922/1922_cnr_algonquin_park_map.jpg

Nothing remains today although old paths can be found in the Joe Lake and Canoe Lake area dating back to the logging days. Remains of the Omanique Mill and of the trestle to the mill over Potter Creek are close by.

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The original Algonquin Hotel

Reminiscences of an Algonquin Park Ranger’s Daughter
by H. Eleanor (Mooney) Wright
ISBN 0-9686025-0-9