More Lake Manitou History (by Ron MacDougall)

In response to our request for some history of Lake Manitou, we received this letter from Ron MacDougall of Manitowaning. “My grandparents moved here to the Manitoulin around 1878 and settled on the shore of Lake Manitou just west of Holiday Haven, now Manitoulin Resort.

My grandparents were Thomas Norquay Sr. (1839-1927) and Jane Simison (1840-1925). Both of them were originally from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. They settled in the Budge’s District where they resided for almost 50 years. Here they raised 4 boys, John, James, Thomas and William, and a daughter, Margaret (my mother). Margaret married Lachlan McDougall in 1913 on the Norquay family farm at Lake Manitou.

My mother told me about the sawmill off Manitoulin Resort. The logs were brought to the lake, sawed into lumber, taken to Manitowaning by team and sleigh or wagon, and then shipped out by boat. There was a little island just east of Vanzant’s Landing. There they built a dock and a warehouse to store equipment and nets. They also built a causeway made of timber and stone out to the island. This causeway is still visible today. My mother also told me that there was a boat built on the next point. She showed me holes in the rocks that were used for anchor cables. The MacDougall family still has a cottage on the above-mentioned point. The original cottage was built about 1935 by my father, Lachlan MacDougall.”