1943 The Colwell family from Ohio state, bought a small fishing camp from a man named George Cranston. They renamed the camp Fred’s Camp after Fred Colwell, the owner and the father of the Colwell family.
The camp had a few small cabins, but no running water or electricity, and only outhouses for a convenient upgrade. The camp was lit by either oil lamps or Aladdin style lamps. The camp is situated on a bluff which is a point in Lake Kagawong , which is the second biggest in land Lake on Manitoulin Island Getting water was very difficult, the water was carried by hand from the lake or later pumped to a water tank, and every winter the water would freeze, making life difficult.
As it was a fishing camp for vacationing Americans, Fred’s Camp offered boats and motors and fishing guides, the worms were sold for 2 cents each and the minnows were sold by the dozen.
1944 to 1947 The family built on a hallway and four bedrooms to the main house And another 2 more overnight cottages were built to accommodate more quests.
1948Fred’s Camp finally got electricity which meant running water for the first time, only in the warmer months, with the same freezing problems as in the past. However the winter months when the ice was on the lake in March, they would cut out blocks of ice to store in the ice hut with sawdust or wood shavings from the saw mills, to stock the ice box (refrigerators) in the summer months for the quests.
1960 Betty Colwell (the main cook for the camp and mother of the family) got a job at the lawyer’s office in Gore Bay working for Cliff Boyd. This meant she was no longer at Fred’s Camp to cook food for the guests. That led to all the cottages being converted to house keeping cottages. The cottages now had fires cook stove inside and guests were expected to cook for themselves. Most of the guests were American fisherman or hunters so cooking their own food was not difficult.
1963 Fred’s Camp was sold to Stanley Slavinsky, which seemed to be a struggle as the maintenance was began to show over time and with the deterioration and no improvements, Mother nature and her creatures starting to move in Mr. Slavinsky need to sell the camp.
1988 Fred’s Camp was sold to the Lautenschlager family, the family immediately started improving and restoring all the cottages and building new bungalows which included indoor washrooms and shower also a work shop buildings and residential bungalow, raring down all buildings that were to far gone. Initially taking the first 2 years building 10 new buildings and 7 cottage restore including new roofs, bringing Fred’s Camp up to more recent times. Mr. Lautenschlager passed away in the summer of 1995. Leaving his son to continue, and finish Fred’s Camp.
Today Fred’s Camp is now 80+ years old, is a place for people to enjoy there vacation, the simple enjoyment of Mother nature, and natural beauty. The camp is still used for fishing and hunting, however the improvements made it more appealing for the entire family, family reunions, weddings, couples getaway, group occasions and corporate retreats.
View more old pictures and reconstruction pictures.