REMEMBER: Slightly Scary Stories – Mardon Lodge Part 1


In this week’s Remember This, Mary tells us about MPP Donald McDonald Hogarth and his rise to this early part of Mardon Lodge history.

Large mansions and summer residences, the Barrie area has certainly had its share. What better place to build a royal getaway than on its high hills or on the tranquil shores of sparkling Kempenfelt Bay?

Over time, many of these opulent homes have grown too large for the owner’s personal use. You can only sleep in one room at a time, as the saying goes, and some of these beautiful homes have been given a second life as a hotel, resort, or wedding venue.

This is the story of one of these houses. It started out as a peaceful sanctuary for such a wealthy and busy family, and ended in the setting of a top-notch conference center with some rather spooky stories attached to it.

MLA, highly decorated war hero and prominent mining magnate Donald McDonald Hogarth was a dynamic man. Hogarth was born in Osceola, Ontario, to William Hogarth, who had a dry goods store near Pembroke, and his wife, Jane McDonald, in 1879.

Donald Hogarth, like his father, had good business acumen. Straight out of high school, he began to seek his vocation and eventually settled on real estate which paid off a lot when he found himself in Port Arthur during the boom that followed the arrival of the railroad. of CP there.

In 1911, Hogarth was MLA for that region. His run, which lasted until 1934, was punctuated by a hiatus during which Hogarth served overseas during the Great War.

Hogarth, at 35, was a bit older than the average rookie, but he had obvious talents that were immediately put to use. His rise through the ranks was meteoric. At the highest level, Donald Hogarth was Brigadier General and Quartermaster General, responsible for all supply and transportation matters relating to the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Hogarth returned to Canada with a new wife, having married Margaret Paterson in 1917. He again turned to his political life, but had new ambitions – to become an actor in the world of gold, iron and wood.

Once again, its rise has been spectacular. His name was associated with a number of mines, both as financier and executive, but he is probably best known for the Steep Rock iron mine and the gold mines in Geraldton, Ontario.

Lake Simcoe is a long way from all of these places, but maybe that was the point. It is in any case at Big Bay Point that the Hogarths decided to build their getaway. Margaret Hogarth was very involved, perhaps due to her husband’s busy schedule, and she was the one who handled most of the real estate transactions and pre-construction design.

Georgian College, which operated and expanded the property from 1982 to 2017, described Hogarth Lodge in a brochure.

“The lodge was designed so that every room faces the water and spans the entire length of the building, capturing the southern light. It featured a stately sitting room with pine beams cut from the trees of the property and was dominated by a huge stone fireplace.

Each week, Barrie’s Historical Archives gives BarrieToday readers a glimpse into the city’s past. This unique chronicle features photos and stories from years gone by and is sure to please the historian within all of us.

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