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Simcoe Lodge was a popular lakeside retreat for summer tourists

From 1880 until 1930s, Oliver Thompson and his family operated the seven-bedroom lodge and boathouse that was often used for dances
Simcoe Lodge was built in 1880 by Alexander Kennedy who operated a nearby mill.

Postcard Memories is a weekly series of historic postcard views and photos submitted by Marcel Rousseau.

Some were previously published by the Orillia Museum of Art and History and in the book Postcard Memories Orillia.

In 1860, Oliver and Anne Thompson along with their seven children bought land in Atherley and built a successful farm operation. Anne passed away in 1892 and Oliver sold the family farm and, with his children, Minnie and Jack, bought a large house that stood where the Lakeside Inn is now located on Creighton Street.

The house was built in 1880 by Alexander Kennedy who operated a mill on the lakeshore nearby. They named it Simcoe Lodge and made a good living catering to the summer tourists.

The house had seven bedrooms, a living room and one bathroom. They soon added a big dining room, kitchen, two pantries, laundry room, tea room and living quarters for several hired girls.

On the lakeshore across the road was a large two-storey boathouse. The top floor had a piano and was used for dances. At the back of the lodge was a large garden tended by Oliver as well as a croquet lawn and tennis court. 

Oliver died in 1915 and Minnie and Jack continued to operate the business into the 1930s. Jack died in the 1940s and his sister, Minnie, died in 1952 in Aurora. The Lodge was torn down about 1963.