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. Watch for this feature every Saturday morning.
In 1889, a developer named J.P. Secord and seven other Orillia investors opened the Red Cross Hospital on Orchard Point. Plans were to sell $5 certificates to anyone in good health and that entitled them to free lodging, food and medical care for one year. This hospital venture lasted only five years.
Around 1900, a group formed by R.O. Smith, a main street book merchant, converted the building into a summer resort. The Orchard Point Inn underwent several improvements and additions and attracted many summer visitors.
The message on the back of this postcard is testimony to its popularity. Mailed from Champlain Point, Atherley on Aug. 24, 1920 to Mrs. J. W. Fitzgerald, Buffalo, N.Y. “Have just heard that you passed through without coming to see us all. Would have liked you to see the children and the effect the air here has had on them. We just love to have visitors drop in to see us. Love to all, Mary Hayward”.
The Orchard Point Inn changed ownership several times before being destroyed by fire in 1957.