Lake Manitou Cottage Histories:
Camping on Lake Manitou 1895:
Mountain View Resort - Much of the history of Mountain View Resort was written by Betsy Bachmann Maxon, whose family had been coming to this resort since 1905. Not only did she record the history of their time on the Manitoulin, but she has also shared her photograph album. Mountain View Resort, named for its wonderful view of the geological rock formation called the ‘Cup and Saucer’, was originally a farm owned by John Tobias Nighswander and his wife Esther Lehman, who came to the Manitoulin with their family around 1877.
This resort, originally called "Nighswander’s Camp", was run by the Nighswander family for over 60 years. It is said to be one of the oldest tourist places on Lake Manitou. American fishermen would arrive in Manitowaning by steamer, and then travel to Nighswander’s either by boat from Vanzant’s Landing, or by car/taxi on very rough roads. At first, tourists slept in the barn. The first recorded date for the resort is in the 1895 Diary of Dudley Wetmore Smith. He and his friend, Avery, had brought their own tent, but ate their meals at the Nighswander’s. At this time, Joe Nighswander was the proprietor, and his mother was the cook. She had remarried in 1881 to Jonathan Bassingthwaite and they had one son, Harold (Hal). When Jonathan died in 1884, Esther Nighswander/Bassingthwaite returned to the Nighswander farm.
The attached article was written by a Mr. Dudley Wetmore Smith about a trip he made to Manitoulin Island in August 1895. The diary was found in a cottage at what was known as the Nighswander Lodge which is now Bob & Peggi Hildebrant ’s Mountain View Resort in Sandfield Township by Lake Manitou. [According to Betsy Bachmann Moxan, this copy of the diary was hand written by her mother, Elizabeth Bachmann.] The diary was donated to the Central Manitoulin Historical Society by Bill and Irene Montgomery of Big Lake.
We thought you might enjoy reading about camping on Lake Manitou in 1895 (more than 100 years ago)!!