Temagami, Ontario: Canadian History in Vintage Postcards
Highlighting in vintage postcards the history of towns and townships in the greater Lake Nipissing and Lake Temagami areas of Northern Ontario, Canada, including the Nipissing District and portions of the Parry Sound district which are in the “Blue Sky Region.” These Canadian postcards are shown in digital, virtual museum format for educational purposes. If you have images or historical information which you’d like to share with our virtual museum, feel free to do so. To navigate these pages, mouse over the top navigation bar. Drop-down menus will appear of the areas of interest. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. Close the larger image before opening another thumbnail. The occasional duplicates for sale can be found using the search box on the main (home) page of VintagePostcards.org.
The handsome playing cards seen above came in an equally handsome late Victorian box. Richly embossed in gold lettering and graphically striking, the gilt-edged cards were intended to promote the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) and Canadian travel. Each card depicted a different scene along GTR routes from the Atlantic Ocean to the head of the Great Lakes. The playing cards were manufactured by Chas. Goodall & Son, Ltd. of London, England.
Please note that while you are certainly welcome to visit the virtual museum as often as you’d like (and we encourage you to do so), these scans are owned by VintagePostcards.org and, as such, they are not to be re-used or re-purposed in any way, for any other reason — including use on another website, on social networking websites, in brochures or print-outs, etc. — without our prior express written permission. Under the terms of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), such use without permission constitutes copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. We hate to have to make that so clear, as we want you to enjoy the museum and we put these images up due to our love of Canada, but the actions of a few have prompted this notice. For further information, please see the footer of this page.
Finlayson Point Provincial Park — Finlayson Point offers a gateway to Lady Evelyn Smoothwater, and serves as a base for anglers, boaters, canoeists and hikers. Campgrounds and sandy beaches are available. A plaque honors Grey Owl, a well-known English conservationist who tried to morph into a Native American. From Finlayson Point, one can also hike to the Caribou Mountain lookout and fire tower.
The second vintage postcard from left, an RPPC (real-photo postcard) showing an Ojibway First Nation member with an infant in a kenagan, can also be seen on the Temagami First Nation page. Perhaps she had traveled to Garden Island — which is on Lady Evelyn Lake — and posed in a similar fashion, or the same image was recycled for use on a Garden Island postcard. We believe this is a Bear Island postcard, as seen first on our Temagami First Nation page.
Herridge Lake Lodge
Hotel Ronnoco / Minawassi Hotel
Hutchings Cabins — First known simply as “the cabins,” then called Hutchings Cabins and then known as “White Top Cabins”
This c. 1945-1949 Azo real-photo postcard shows James Lake along Highway 11 (the Ferguson Highway). The sender wrote: “Arrived safely this evening. The wind is blowing hard which makes the lake rough, but Roy and Dad are out anyway. The lake is small though, and we can see them wherever they are. The fishing is supposed to be excellent here. Our cabin is down behind the main building on the picture. It’s really wild here — nothing else but forest for miles around. Lots of love, RJC.” The foreground sign on the camp property says “Cabin Drive;” a taller sign (along the roadside and beyond the white building) is illegible but similar in size and configuration to period gas station signs. Unmailed, the card is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Sherryfelt / 365 Dravo Ave. / Beaver, PA.
The Lady Evelyn burned in 1912.
McNulty’s Shining Wood Lodge
Ministry of Natural Resources — The Department of Lands and Forests (DLF), which existed from 1920-1972 (during the time period in which these vintage postcards were created) was a department of the Government of Ontario under the Ministry of Natural Resources. By 1964, the DLF tower was gone. Before 1920, the DLF was known as the Department of Lands, Mines and Forests, from 1906 to 1920; the Crown Lands Department from 1905 to 1927; and the Office of the Surveyor General (Upper Canada) from 1792 to 1827.
North Woods Camp
Ontario Northland Boat Lines (ONBL) and the Dock
Other Cabins, Camps and Hotels
Railroad: The Temagami Station, a handsome stone structure with a Tudor architectural style influence, was built in 1907 by the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway (T. & N.O.), now an Ontario Crown Corporation known as the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC). Only two years later, the station’s interior was destroyed by fire; however, it was immediately reconstructed. An earlier frame station (later used as a restaurant) and a freight building shared the platform to the north; at the south end of the platform was a garden which had “Temagami” spelled out in flowers. The stone railroad station is all that remains of the complex.
The train station has undergone many alterations over the years. Originally divided into three sections, the main floor’s central core, with bay windows on the east and west façades, contained the railway office, signal equipment, telegraph, ticket counters and washrooms. The north and south waiting rooms, which were open to a cathedral ceiling, were reserved for ladies. Several alterations have occurred over the course of time. In the 1940s, false ceilings were added to waiting rooms as an energy-saving measure. The north waiting room and office areas were remodeled after a 1976 fire in 1976; the ladies’ waiting room began to be used for freight and general storage.
When the station’s agent retired in 1996, the ONTC requested proposals for operating the building. The ONTC chose the proposal of Claire and Richard Smerdon, who established the Temagami Station Restoration Trust to restore the train depot and keep it open to the public.
Sheelers’ Lost Lake, or Chambers Lake
This c. 1953 real-photo postcard shows a charming cottage at Sheelers’ Lost Lake Camp (now known as Chambers Lake). The postcard contains valuable historical information on the reverse. Someone named Minette wrote: “This picture was taken at 9 PM in Feb. when Bill & Keller were here.” The postcard was sent to Mrs. F. S. Bartlett of Castine, ME. According to Pamela Glenn Sinclair’s Temagami Lakes Association: The Life And Times Of A Cottage Community, Keller Sheeler was a railroad executive in Pennsylvania, who canoed in the area in the 1920s with Adrian Newcomb. The first cabin was built on the island (number 2034 in Chambers Lake) in the 1930s. According to Sinclair, Keller built “five log sleeping cabins, three docks and a large ‘cook’ cabin replete with propane stoves, refrigerators and lights.” Mr. Sheeler’s son William, a stockbroker, (the Bill referred to by the postcard sender) married in 1948; Adrian Newcomb gifted the island to William Sheeler and his new bride, Mildred. William and Mildred Sheeler gifted the island to their daughters — Lynn, Dana and Anne — in 1978, and the island remains in the family, with William Sheeler buried at Lost Lake Camp following his 1992 death. Interestingly, the Sheelers are thought to be one of only two TLA property owners whose main cottage isn’t on Lake Temagami; with Gord and Doreen Lak owning the only cottage on Cross Lake.
Sports: Camping, Canoeing, Fishing, Hunting and Water Skiing:
This graphically striking and early (1904) advertisement, 6 x 9 inches in size, offers sportsmen an attractive array of hunting and fishing options in the “Temagami Territory” — provided, of course, that they travel via the Grand Trunk Railway System. The ad boasted that the hunter would find plentiful moose and abundant bears, deer, partridges and ducks. For some unknown reason, caribou are also mentioned. For the fisherman, bass, pickerel, maskinonge (muskelunge) and trout abounded.
The Grand Trunk’s advertising network was extensive, sophisticated and geared in part toward luring vacationing Americans. The agents included T. H. Hanley of 360 Washington St. in Boston, MA; C. L. Coon of 285 Main St. in Buffalo, NY; J. H. Burgis of 249 Clark St. in Chicago; R. Bushby of 6 Burgess Block in Cortland, NY; G. W. Watson of 124 Woodward Ave. in Detroit; F. P. Dwyer of 290 Broadway in New York City; J. D. McDonald at Union Station in Toronto; J. Quinlan at the Bonaventure Station in Montreal; and G. T. Bell, general passenger and ticket agent in Montreal.
Steamships, including a c. 1920s to 1930s short silent movie showing tourists and businesses along the Temagami docks.
Tall Tale and Exaggeration Real Photo Postcards
This scarce real-photo postcard of the Temagami Inn is unusual in that it bears a “Temagami Park” cancel. A one-cent green “Admiral” stamp of King George V helps date the postcard to no earlier than 1913, when the stamp was issued. The postcard was published by Rumsey & Co. of Toronto; Rumsey was particularly active in the Nipissing District in 1914. The unknown sender, writing to Mrs. F. L. Welland of Sharon, Massachusetts, said: “Here we are — away up in the Canadian forest. 300 miles north of Toronto…These lakes are beautiful. We stopped at our landing this a.m. where there were many Indians.” Interestingly, the Library and Archives Canada searchable database of post offices and postmasters lists the name of this post office as Timagami Park rather than Temagami Park as seen in the cancel. Henry C. Reilly and W. D. Hamilton both served as postmasters of the Temagami Park post office in 1913, while M. C. Scanlon was postmaster from 1914 until the post office closed on 1 December 1922. Other vintage postcards of the Temagami Inn are seen below.
For collectors of vintage postcards, old postcards and the antique postcard. Deltiology, the hobby of collecting vintage postcards, is one of the fastest-growing collectibles hobbies. Old postcard collections interest collectors of antiques, memorabilia and ephemera; collectables such as old vintage postcards are used by museums and historians to document what was.