Cottage-bound travelers in the early part of this century did not have to battle the congested traffic of today, but it was a major undertaking, lasting a full day or more. The trip to Georgian Bay involved a car or train, and at least one boat connection, as described in this letter from Maynard Grange to her mother in 1935. [Scroll down to read transcription.]

Hand written letter - page 1 Hand written letter - page 2

Keys Family Fonds, L44 Series V. Letter from Erskine Keys to Mrs. D. R. Keys, September 1, 1935
Pages 1,2

Go Home
Sun. Sept. 1/35

Dearest dareleenest Beadie,

      We had a nice ride up to Midland, just missing a storm on the way. We stopped at our usual picnic spot on the side road just before Alandale. I suggested to father that he take the Bird for a walk to give us as well as him, a chance for loo-badies. He enjoyed the trip up, talked the whole time, so interested in everything. When we reached Midland we stopped at the Wood Products Co. to enquire about ordering lumber, & the man was awfully nice, said if we wrote Monday they’d see it got on the next boat up. After depositing the baggage on the boat. I returned to town with Winnie while she packed the car in the garage, as I wanted to buy a chisel. Father preferred to stay on the boat, so we took Tim along with us. He was very good. As we had a whole hour to wait before the boat would leave we stopped & had a 10c soda in the drugstore & bought some p.c’s besides nut bars so that father would have one. Winnie sent her Beadie a P.C. from Midland, but I wanted to write a little note & decided you’d get it just as quickly if I wrote on the boat and had it posted in Parry Sound. ...


Although the trip may have changed, the cottage spirit has survived. Once they arrived, the cottagers pursued the same activities we do today: fishing, canoeing, rowing, swimming, board games and reading.

Hand written letter - page 1

Keys Family Fonds, L44 Series V. Letter from Erskine Keys to Mrs. D. R. Keys, September 3, 1935
Page 1

Go Home
Tues. Sept. 3, 1935

Dearest wee darleen Beadie,

      The boat has come in earlier to-day for some reason – at 3:30 instead of 5:30. We’re expecting, at least, hoping, our lumber will be on board, so are anxious to go over & see that it is brought right over. So I’m writing my letter early, as we only go to the dock once a day.
      Yesterday I went to the dock with father, he rowing there, slow & stately, while I rowed back. My I love rowing! ...
 

Continue >>

Source: Special Collections, Toronto Public Library.