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Visitors danced ’til dawn at the glorious Lakeshore Lodge

Zachary Flavelle shows Brittany Williams how to do the Charleston on the foundation of the former dance hall at Lakeshore Lodge. The two Sandbanks summer staff members were dressed in period costume as part of the Friends of the Sandbanks’ annual Lakeshore Lodge Day, celebrating the history of the one popular destination spot. A combination dance hall and games room was built in the early 1960s to replace an earlier structure. Dancing took place most nights, often to a live band.

Friends of Sandbanks Provincial Park hosted a flashback to the glory days of Lakeshore Lodge on Wednesday at the once wildly popular vacation destination at West Point Park, Prince Edward County.

Staff dressed in period costume, played games of yesteryear and served corn and lemonade. Volunteers from Macaulay House in Picton also provided period games and showed newcomers and return visitors a glimpse into the history of the lodge and point.

Lakeshore Lodge was built in four stages between 1870 and 1893 and operated 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. A swimming pool was available in the 60s and the remains of the diving board base are still visible.

A row of nine cottages was built in the late 1800s. They had no indoor plumbing or electricity until 1904 when a diesel generator was installed for the Lodge. Hydro connections were made in 1939. The Lodge closed in 1972 and was destroyed by fire in 1983.

Along the point, a lamp-lit boardwalk linked the Lodge with West Point Park. The Macaulay House guide map explains the flat rocks at the point were not used for swimming as the water was too deep, but they were popular with young couples who enjoyed the seclusion, as well as “…spinsters with good books, who sat on their handkerchiefs to protect their dresses.”

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  1. martha says:

    Kingston. Ottawa. Lakeshore Lodge. Do you remember promising that we’d always be in touch? That I had said that the moon had left a path for us to travel?

  2. Lawrence Arthur McKenzie Kosowan says:

    Audrey asked; Where could I get more information on the History of Lakeshore Lodge?

    Well. May I suggest the archives building on the north side of Main Street west in Picton. I think across from the public library. They showed me a huge volume with some of my own family history in it. They had some wonderful books on their sales table too. It seems that the marine field is the specialty there.
    I heard there is another achives in the town to the west along Hwy 33. I think it’s Wellington. Ask anyone. The libraries in both towns had online access and the librarians may know some more local reference websites. I’m going back to do more exploring in the area and I’ll use those resources again.

  3. Lawrence Arthur McKenzie Kosowan says:

    On a tour of art studios last week in P.E.County we took off for a day on the beach and discovered, with the help of a gentleman walking his dog, the old dance floor with the insignia LSL. What a terrific history. Those were the glory days. My great grandfather may have cut a rug there in the late 1800’s. I’ll look for more references to this site.
    Thanks for your update.

  4. Audrey says:

    Where could I get more information on the History of Lakeshore Lodge?

  5. Marilyn says:

    A great day … congratulations to all who participated.

    M & J

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