Monday, October 29, 2007

The Old-Timers

Summer. Port Sandfield, part of the old marina. When this boathouse was new, there were still a lot of cottagers. At a Jazz Night do at some old community hall I ran into a table of them. Asked these old-timers how they got here. For one thing they didn't look like old money or new. And the cottage and boat talk wasn't about fixing a hole in the roof of a cabin. Still are cottages like that, $120,000. They were old cottage friends, several tables of Canadians and Americans, colorful characters. Basically there were two stories, the Canadian and the American. Most Canadians had family cottages handed down to them. Most Americans bought land when it was cheap. For real cheap you have to go way back, but a couple said their grand uncle left them some Muskoka land as a gift, paying a dollar an acre to the government. It was no good for farming, so they gave it away, millions of acres, whole islands for $200.00. Others built a little more every year, subdivided their lots and built and subdivided. All nodding together, big grins. Never could afford my own place now!

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