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1890s style picnic evokes memories of grand days at Lakeshore Lodge

Miss Lauren Bauman and Master Cameron Bauman, of Barrie, dressed in the style of the day and posed infront of a painting of the Lodge.

Miss Lauren Bauman and Master Cameron Bauman, of Barrie, dressed in the style of the day and posed infront of a painting of the Lodge.

A glorious old-fashioned summer’s day in the sunshine was enjoyed by hundreds of guests enjoying fun on the grounds of the former Lakeshore Lodge, at Sandbanks Provincial Park, Wednesday.

Hosted by the Friends of Sandbanks, visitors stepped into the past as staff and volunteers dressed in period costume to lead games of yesteryear – including potato and spoon races, three-legged races, tug of war, nail hammering and rolling pin toss. Guests refreshed themselves with corn and lemonade, walks along the shore and beach and horse-drawn wagon rides.

“We have been coming here for years,” said Heather Drewett, sitting on the grass with her son Rhys while munched on a cob of fresh cooked corn. “We love camping here and we usually come around this time of year and love coming here for the fun and games.”

Jack, from Prescott, and his new friend Avery, from Clinton, were proud to show off the line of ribbons on their chest earned from such games as “Eat Two Biscuits and Whistle”, sack races, cheering and rolling pin toss.

Larry Cuschier and his family were at the park for the first time.

“It’s our first time here and it’s beautiful,” he said, noting they were camping at the Sandbanks and were delighted to attend the picnic for some old-fashioned fun.

This popular 1890s style picnic evokes memories of the heyday of the lodge, built in four stages between 1870 and 1893 and operating for 102 years. The large, three-storey building boasted numerous guest rooms and a dining hall that could seat more than 100 diners.

Guests could pick up and mail letters, buy stamps, postcards, gum and candy in the reception area. The Lodge appealed to guests as well as local residents who would picnic on the grounds and make use of the facilities – including a shuffleboard pad, change houses, and recreational opportunities that varied from owner to owner, including a merry-go-round, baseball diamond, riding stables, rallies, boating regattas, fishing derbies, special events and dances. The foundation of the original dance hall remains.

Blaine Way's Carriage took visitors on a horse-drawn tour of the area around Lakeshore Lodge.

Blaine Way’s Carriage took visitors on a horse-drawn tour of the area around Lakeshore Lodge.

Families and friends tried on the clothing of the day and posed for photographs.

Families and friends tried on the clothing of the day and posed for photographs.

Karolane, 5, of Quebec, was resplendent in her summer hat and dress.

Karolane, 5, of Quebec, was resplendent in her summer hat and dress.

Children earned ribbons in old-fashioned games such as the three-legged race.

Children earned ribbons in old-fashioned games such as the three-legged race.

The children work together in a tug of war between them and the adults.

The children work together in a tug of war with the adults.

The adults pull on their end of the tug of war rope

The adults pull on their end of the tug of war rope

Hammer game participants tested their speed and skill.

Hammer game participants tested their speed and skill.

Rhys sits with mom, Heather, while watching the games and munching on some fresh cooked corn.

Rhys sits with mom, Heather, while watching the games and munching on some fresh cooked corn.

Larry Cuschier, of Angus, photographs family members as a reminder of an old-fashioned day in the sunshine.

Larry Cuschier, of Angus, photographs family members as a reminder of an old-fashioned day in the sunshine.

 

 

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