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Display anchors history of schooner, MacDonald family and Lakeland Lodge

Keith and Eleanor MacDonald, centre, with guests attending the unveiling the the anchor schooner and an interpretive display of the property's history.

Keith and Eleanor MacDonald, centre, with guests attending the unveiling the the anchor schooner and an interpretive display of the property’s history.


A 200-pound anchor believed to be from the Schooner Enterprise, which went ashore at West Point on Nov. 24, 1882, has been restored to the MacDonald’s former Lakeland Lodge property at Sandbanks Provincial Park, along with plaques honouring the history.

Tuesday, representatives from the Sandbanks, the Mariner’s Museum and the MacDonald family, officially welcomed the anchor and new plaques in a brief ceremony.

One of the three new plaques on the property explains that in the 1860s, to help fund the American Civil War, taxes on liquor were raised to $2 a gallon from 25 cents – turning the average whiskey-drinking American into a beer drinker. American Brewers preferred the superior quality of Canadian barley and Prince Edward County profited from this thinking. Farmers grew barley, sailors transported it across Lake Ontario and shipbuilders provided boats.
“Barley Days” ended abruptly in 1890 with the McKinley Tariff, designed to protect American farmers from foreign competition.
“The night the tariff changed, barley dropped from a dollar to 70 cents a bushel. Two schooners were waiting… and before we got them loaded the price had dropped below 50 cents a bushel.”

With the end of Barley Days, the MacDonald-Hyatt wharf and grain sheds were removed to make way in 1929 for Lakeland Lodge.

Five generations of the MacDonald family lived and worked on the land. Following the success of Barley Days their expanded farm continued with orchards and dairy products and as the County became popular, Lakeland Lodge was ready for the tourist trade.

“People generally stayed for two weeks or a month and they would come back for years,” recalled Keith MacDonald. “The young people enjoyed the farming part that we had across the road. They learned to milk cows. It was quite a thing. It was the beginning of tourism in this part of the County.”

Lakeland was open from 1930 to 1974 and featured a two-storey building with 12 cottages that could accommodate 80 guests. A one-week stay in 1973 cost $30.

Keith MacDonald, sits by the anchor, in the photograph taken when it was hoisted out of the water.

Keith MacDonald, sits by the anchor, in the photograph taken after it was hoisted out of the water in July 1941.

MacDonald, former municipal councillor, warden and MPP, will be 88 this month. He recalled the finding of the anchor, in July of 1941, by a Lakeland couple (Marjorie Orrell, of Ottawa) who were regular guests to the lodge, and sailing fans.

“He loved to sail and always took the boat out every day and every time he’d tack over in the wind, he’d see this anchor in the water. So I got a hold of a first cousin of mine, Dean Ostrander and we, along with my dad, lifted it up.”

The anchor was a the hotel for many years before the MacDonald family donated it to Mariner’s Museum where it and the new plaques will continue to be stored over winter months.

“The Friends of the Sandbanks thank Keith and Eleanor MacDonald who were instrumental in providing valuable information, photographs and financially supporting these plaques,” said Yvette Bree, Natural Heritage Education Leader. She also thanked Diane Denyes-Wenn, curator at the Mariner’s Museum, for her help with background information for the interpretive displays.

Doug McQueen, of Scarborough, has been friends with the MacDonalds for many years and used to stay with his family at Lakeland Lodge. He is the son of Doctor Kenneth and Hannah McQueen. The doctor’s interesting time in the County is explained in a display at Macaulay Museum in Picton. He opened his practice in Bloomfield in 1931.

The son noted that although he lives in Scarborough now, the County is still home.

“It feels like home to me. I’ve been coming here since I was six-years-old,” he told the crowd. “So I am happy to represent my parents, and my sister today. They would all be proud of this. The park did a terrific job developing this.”

Keith MacDonald, Diane Denyes-Wenn and Doug McQueen look at one of the three new plaques.

Keith MacDonald, Diane Denyes-Wenn and Doug McQueen look at one of the three new plaques.


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  1. To add to the confusion, there was also Lakeview Lodge, sort of in between the two. It was located just around the sharp bend when you leave the lake where the boarded up yellow house and huge walnut tree are beside the road. The new Lakeview Trail that runs from there to West Point is actually named after that lodge. There is a photo of it at the bottom of the photo collage at this link on my website:

  2. Gilbert says:

    Oh! Thanks, I never knew there were two places with similar names. That must’ve been confusing.

  3. ADJ says:

    No mistake…Lakeshore Lodge was a resort further to the west and on a dead end road.. Lakeland Lodge was owned by the MacDonald family and was just a right hand turn as you pass the main gate of the SandBanks Prov. Park It was situated across the road from the MacDonald farm and looked onto the present day Sandbanks Prov.Park beach..

  4. Gilbert says:

    Countylive: Does the author mean Lakeshore Lodge, or was there a name change I’m unaware of?

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