Souvenir History of Bruce Beach



FOR well over forty years the Summer Resort known as Bruce Beach on Lake Huron’s friendly shore has been the holiday rendezvous for health-seekers, pleasure-seekers and tor those who were just tired. From a very modest beginning the popularity and the population have grown by leaps and bounds. The need of having some sort of historical souvenir which would preserve the happy annals of the Beach had been keenly felt for a long time. It was not, however, until the year 1915 that the meeting of this need took concrete form.

A committee consisting of the Rev. A. B. Dobson, Dr. Richard Davidson, and Mr. Angus Munn was at that time appointed and charged with the task of gathering up the facts that should find a place in the proposed souvenir. At the next meeting of the newly formed Bruce Beach Association this committee produced a history to date, in loose leaf form, and requested that the Rev. Dr. W. A. Bradley be appointed the official historian.

For eighteen years Dr. Bradley (otherwise known as Erin Go Bragh) being of frugal mind, kept the records at first in an ordinary school scribbler, but the good doctor’s preference for things permanent led him to purchase a more durable book, into which he transcribed the forty year’s history of the Beach and at the next annual meeting in 1934 it was decided that steps be taken to secure the publication of an historical booklet which might become the possession of the campers as a souvenir of their sojourn at Bruce Beach.

To bring about this goodly intention Dr. Bradley, Dr. McKerroll and Dr. McNamara were appointed a committee to look into the matter more closely and to bring in a report at next annual meeting. When this report was presented the cost of a suitable book seemed to be prohibitive and yet the Association did not seem willing that the project should be abandoned and decided that the committee should be continued with the addition of the name of Rev. W. A. Bremner.

In 1936 the committee reported that the cost was still too great and requested to be instructed to so edit the available material that the number of pages might be reduced and also to find some way of providing for the cost of illustrations.

In 1937 Mr. Bremner reported that if the Association would assume the cost of the cuts, a book of approximately one hundred pages could be procured at a reasonable price and could be sold for $1.00.

This the Association agreed to and after adding the name of Mr. Thos Kennedy to the committee, gave instructions to proceed.

So, out of these somewhat prolonged negotiations there has come into being the Bruce Beach Souvenir which your committee takes great interest in presenting.

History of Bruce Beach

AS far as is known The Bruce Beach Summer Resort had its origin in 1894. On the 24th day of May of that year, a picnic party from Ripley met in Mr. William Tout’s grove, which among others comprised the McInnes, Munn, McCrimmon and Jackson families. During the course of the day someone remarked that such an event might be frequently held. Whereupon Mr. Angus Munn suggested a place nearer to the lake, and led the party along the shore to the spot where Rev. Mr. Maxwell’s cottage now stands.

During the course of the same day, as the site seemed favorable one, Messrs. Gongia, McInnes, and A. Jackson agreed to pitch a tent there later in the summer, which they accordingly did, and spent the holiday season there, calling the place “Sylvan Beach Home”, which name they had printed on a large streamer.


DURING that same year also the first cottage was erected by Messrs. Kennedy and Jackson, on the site of the present Anderson cottage. The building was a small double one, with adjacent kitchens, on either side, and part of it is embodied in Mr. Anderson’s present cottage. During the time of their annual holiday upon the Beach, these campers were visited almost every day by Mr. Robert McCosh Sr., whose farm fronted on the lake, and who jokingly called them “The White Indians”. Mr. McCosh was a man with a fine sense of humour, and his daily visit was eagerly looked for by his camping friends.


IN 1896 Mr. McInnes built the cottage still occupied by the family, but which has since been remodeled, and is now one of the most attractive on the shore. Mr. Munn also erected his cottage later in the same year. For some years these three were the only cottages in the colony. It was then known as “Ripley Beach”.


IN 1900 Mr. James S. Anderson purchased the Kennedy-Jackson cottage, which has since been greatly enlarged and beautified. From the beginning of the encampment the founders insisted on a reverent regard for the Sabbath, and for religious worship. Accordingly religious services were held each Lord’s Day evening in a tent furnished by Mr. James Anderson, and later in the open air on McCosh’s flats, near the hill leading to the road. The colony was thus auspiciously begun.


IN 1902 Mr. Chapman built a cottage now known as the Harris Cottage. The Harris family having acquired it a few years later.


UP to this date the population had been composed entirely of the lay element, but in the year 1903 the clerical element appeared in the person of Rev. Robert Martin of Erskine Church Hamilton, later Dr. Martin of Knox Church, Stratford, and First United Church, St. Thomas. Dr. Martin’s arrival signalized a clerical movement toward the Beach, which has resulted in the addition to the population of many others of that profession.


MR. MARTIN was followed in 1904 by Rev. Mr. McNab of Walton, later of Underwood, and for three years these two brethren were the only ecclesiastics on the shore. By this time the location began to be known as “Bruce Beach”which name was given to it by Mrs. James S. Anderson.


IN 1907 the fraternity that usually knows a good thing, when it is visible, was enlarged by the appearance of Revs. McNamara, of Drayton, Perrie of Wingham, Burnett of Molesworth, McLeod of Ripley, and Dobson of Fordwich, each of whom erected cottages. After five years Mr. McNamara disposed of his cottage to Mr. Maxwell, while Mr. McLeod almost immediately after the first season, also disposed of his, and left for Scotland, where he still resides. Burnett summered at the Beach for some years, but after his removal to Dorchester, Ontario, he was called to his eternal rest, and Mrs. Burnett sold the cottage to Rev. William Cooper of Mount Forest in 1914, in which year Mr. Cooper became a resident of the Beach. But we must not neglect to mention here, that the Royal game of Golf, which had been introduced by Dr. Martin, and an organization affected in 1907, was emphasised The mime given to the Association was The Bruce Beach Golf Club, and it has done much to enliven and invigorate the social life of the’ Beach.


THE season of 1908 saw a considerable addition to the place, as during that year the Revs. W. J. West, D. T. L. McKerroll and W. A. Bremner and Messrs. Archer and Hamilton erected cottages. It was during this year also that the Bruce Beach Campers Association, which has done so much for the general good of the community, was organized.


DURING the year 1909 there were no building operations, but in 1910 Mr. Barker of Lansing, Michigan, Mr. Treleavan of Ripley, Mr. John S. Robertson of Ripley and Mr. Pollock of Ripley joined the company and erected cottages. Mrs. Barker in 1915 disposed of her cottage to Rev. A. J Mann of Brussels, who then joined the ranks.

About this time the Camper’s Association instituted Field Day, and Regatta Day sports.


THE year 1916 witnessed the completion of a fine cottage by Rev. W. A. Bradley of Teeswater, as well as that of Rev. D. A. McLean of Ripley, and Mr. S. W. Huff of Detroit, and the disposal by Rev. Mr. Stewart of his cottage to the Misses Morgan of Ripley.

And what shall I say more? The time would fail to tell of the origin of the bonfires, picnics, excursions, and other interesting items in connection with the history of our beloved Beach.

Compiled to this point by a committee, appointed by the Association consisting of Rev. A. B. Dobson, Prof. R. Davidson and A. Munn.

At the annual meeting of the Association in 1916 Rev. W. A. Bradley was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Association, and also appointed official Historian of the Beach. He noticed that certain Beachers bore a Beach nickname, as he was promptly given the sobriquet of Erin Gobragh.

He wrote the following poem on…


Draw near ye gods, lend me your ears, attend,

While I my hearty greetings do extend,

To all the men of head, and heart, and speech,

Who grace the sacred precincts of Bruce Beach.

Thy trysting spot, where champions of the Truth,

Forget their cares, and here renew their Youth,

This noble race of men of high emprise,

Familiar cognomens will recognize,

Among the clan illustrious on the strand,

In foremost rank did Dougal Angus stand,

In statue large, and just as large his heart,

A leader strong with whom we could not part;

Our Billy Kaiser’s not like Deutschland Bill,

Who put Old Europe in a mess, but got his fill;

But in our sports with Ritchie, Cooper, Baird,

And Malcolm Murdock, of whom all have heard,

He takes his place with Max O’Riley bold,

Lends Irish wit more valuable than gold,

Our Robert Dhu, and Al’ster Bann, divines,

Each in the pulpit, and on golf links, shines,

Combine their wisdom, and their counsel sound,

To make the Beach a sacred, hallowed ground,

Harnwell, serene, ranks high in the profession,

McKenzie’s ruling elder of the session,

But what shall I say more for time at best,

Would fail to tell of Davidson, and West,

Perrie, McLean, McNabb, all sons of Knox,

Deserving a monument like Brock’s,

But here would I foreglance, the future brave,

And lay my grateful tribute on the grave,

Of one whose gentle mien and courtly grace,

And influence strong that time cannot efface,

True, noble, kind was Dobson in his life,

The burden laid he rests beyond the strife.

Erin Go Bragh.



Dougal Angus ………………...………Rev. D. T L. McKerroll

Billy Kaiser ………………..…………..Rev. W. A. Bremner

Max O’Reiley …………………………Rev. J. A. Maxwell

Malcolm Murdock …………………… Rev. M. McArthur

Robert Dim .………………………….. Dr. Robt. Martin

Alister Bann .…………………………..Rev. A. J. Mann

Erin Go Bragh ..………………………..Rev. W. A. Bradley


DURING the year 1917 our boundaries were extended beyond the eighth concession, and cottages were erected by Roderick Martyn of Ripley, Samuel Pollock of Ripley, and Thomas Clark of Detroit. During the same year Dr. Axford of Alvinston and Rev. W. H. Burgess of Chatham also erected cottages, while Rev. A. J. Mann, who had been a resident of the Beach for three years, disposed of his cottage to the Rev. F. Q. Nichol, of Amherstburg, the latter getting possession about the middle of August of that year.

Mr. Nichol’s sojourn at the Beach was of short duration. In January 1918 he died in a Detroit hospital, as the result of an operation, and Mrs. Nichol sold the cottage to the Henderson sisters of Lucknow.

At the annual meeting of the Association the question of having the cottages numbered was discussed, and Mr. J. S. Anderson was asked to procure numbers, and have them forwarded to the Secretary. Subsequently the secretary Rev. W. A. Bradley, and Mr. John S. Robertson, tramped the length of the occupied territory, one October day, and placed aluminum numbers on all the cottages.

Officers: Pres. Rev. M. McArthur, Vice-Pres. J. S. Anderson, Sec.-Treas. Rev. W. A. Bradley.

Mr. Robert McCosh Sr. Friend of the Campers, and who gave them the name of “The White Indians”.

Mr. Robert McCosh Sr. Friend of the Campers, and who gave them the name of “The White Indians”. 1918

DURING the year 1918 Dr. Martin made extensive improvements in his cottage, which is now one of the largest on the Beach.

Owing to the growth of the colony towards the North, the place of the Sabbath services was moved, from the McCosh flats, beside the hill, to the Tout flats behind the Henderson cottage.

A feature of 1918 was the organization of a Ladies’ Orchestra, with Miss Mildred Bradley as leader (mandolin), Mrs. Duncan Munn, and Miss Irene Harnwell (guitars), and Miss Eloise Baird, Miss Beatrice Huff, and Miss Beth McLennan (Ukuleles). Their first performance was given at the annual concert, the proceeds of which amounted to $62.00, which sum was given to the Red Cross Society of Ripley.

The only building erected this year was a boathouse by Dr. J. F. McKenzie.

At the annual meeting of the Association expressions of regret “were given at the loss of our fellow camper” Rev. A. B. Dobson, and the following resolution was ordered to be spread upon the minutes.

“We the Members of the Bruce Beach Campers Association, in this annual meeting desire to express our keen sense of loss, occasioned through the death last winter of one of our .oldest, and most highly respected members, the Rev. A. B. Dobson of Fordwich.

“It was largely due to Mr. Dobson’s community spirit that this Association came into existence, and the very interesting history of our pleasant summer resort, incorporated in our records, was’ written.

“By his genial disposition, his habitual unselfishness, and his sterling worth, he won his way to all our hearts, and we shall greatly miss him in our annual holiday gatherings.

“To Mrs. Dobson and the bereaved family our sincerest sympathy is extended, and I’ve earnestly pray that they may ever have the unfailing riches of a Heavenly Father’s affection and care.”

Officers: President-Rev. J. W. Baird, Vice-Pres. Mr. J. S. Robertson, Sec.-Treas.-Rev. W.A. Bradley.


WITH the Great War ended, and the people released from the strain of those four terrible years, 1919 saw a greater number of visitors than on any previous year, though we missed some of our former young men: The words of Mrs. Heman’s are appropriate here in her Graves of Household:

“One sleeps where Southern vines are dressed

Above the noble slain,

He wrapt his colors round his breast,

On a blood-red field of Spain,”

But in this instance it was where the poppies grow, on a blood-red field of France.

The only cottage built, was by F. H. McMullen of Ripley, on the site where Rev. J. M. Wesley had in 1915 put in a cellar, and which he disposed of in 1919, on his return from the war.

The executive of 1918 had discussed the question of procuring seating for our Sabbath services, and the matter was left in the hands of the President, Rev. J. W. Baird, who went about the matter vigorously when he arrived in 1919, with the result, that seating for 125 persons was procured, and set up in Tout’s grove. A platform and folding pulpit were also procured. These conveniences, with the formation of a choir, greatly increased the attendance of the Sabbath services. The cost of these furnishing was met by the proceeds of the annual concert, and the offerings taken at the meetings.

The musical and literary numbers put on by the Ladies orchestra became a feature of the annual concert, and many verses of local application were much enjoyed by the audience. A few are here appended.

Bruce Beach shall shine tonight,

Bruce Beach shall shine.

The headlights of the autos,

Are all arranged in a line.

Bruce Beach shall shine to night,

Bruce Beach shall shine.

When the sun goes down and the moon comes up

Bruce Beach shall shine.

Bruce Beach shall shine tonight,

Bruce Beach shall shine.

Its beauty and its gaiety

In our affections twine.

Bruce Beach shall shine tonight,

Bruce Beach shall shine.

When the sun goes down and the moon comes up

Bruce Beach shall shine.

Bruce Beach shall shine tonight,

Bruce Beach shall shine.

The Campers and their friends are here,

And the fun begins at nine,

Bruce Beach shall shine tonight,

Bruce Beach shall shine.

When the sun goes down and the moon comes up

Bruce Beach shall shine.

Another selection by the Orchestra composed by the Secretary of the Association, Rev. W. A. Bradley, in praise of the Beach was sung to the tune of “Solomon Levi”.

If you want to spend a holiday,

And have a pleasant time,

Where the air is pure and bracing,

And the sunsets are sublime.

There’s a place by Old Lake Huron

That’s a little hard to reach

But of all resorts of summer,

There are none that beat Bruce Beach.


Bruce Beach, Bruce Beach,

Tra la la la la lee,

Bruce Beach, Bruce Beach,

Gay and beautiful place to be.

The girls are fair, the boys are rare;

And as you may plainly see,

But come along and join our throng,

For this is the place for me.

To be up to date with other institutions a Bruce Beach yell was composed by the President, Rev. W. J. Baird.

Bruce Beach, Bruce Beach.

Give a cheer for Bruce Beach.

Bruce Beach. Bruce Beach.

Pass the word along.

Bruce Beach, Bruce Beach.

Come next year to Bruce Beach.

And bring a friend along.

B-r-u-c-e B-e-a-c-h.


This year also saw the formation of a Camera Club, with .Miss Mabel Dobson as President, and Rev. J. W. Baird. Sec.-Treas. The charter members were seventeen in number.

Officers: President, Rev. J. W. Baird; Vice-Pres., Mr. J. S, Robertson; Sec.-Treas., Rev. W. A. Bradley.


THE year 1920 was a year of interest and progress at the Beach. Applications for cottages to rent were numerous, and exceeded the ability of those concerned to supply the needed accommodation. More than twenty applicants were unable to procure cottages. Many cellars were put in, and lots staked out by prospective builders. Four cottages were erected by the following. Miss Ruth Warren of Walkerton, Mr. W. E. McCorquodale of Detroit, Rev. J. R. Hosking of Huron township, and Rev. J. R. Kirkpatrick of Ripley, while substantial improvements were made in their cottages by Mr. Duncan Munn, Rev. D. A. McLean, and Rev.’s Bremner and McKerroll.

A Sunday School meeting at 3.30 p.m. was organized, with Dr. J. F. McKenzie as Superintendent, which was well attended, and much appreciated by both children and parents.

Religious services were made interesting this year by the presence of two Foreign Missionaries, Rev. I. W. Pierce from Turkey, and Miss M. Robertson from Egypt, who took the Sabbath services on three occasions.

The year 1920 was also signalized by the organization of a Men’s Glee Club by Rev. W. A. Bradley, who became its first leader. The Club was composed of the following members, Rev, W. A. Bradley, Rev. F, J. Maxwell, Rev, H. J. Harnwell, Rev. F. C. Overend, Rev. J. U. Stewart, Rev. J. W. Baird, Rev. W. J. West, and Dr. J. F. McKenzie and Mr. E. F. Lambert.

Their selections rendered were from the University of Toronto Song Book and were much appreciated by the large audiences at the annual concerts.

Steps were also taken at the annual meeting of the Association to provide greater facilities for sport, and each Division appointed a committee to look over the ground best suited for a Tennis court in their immediate vicinity. Thus a Tennis court was provided in each Division. One on the McCosh property in Division one, one in Division two on the Tout flats, and one in Division three near the 8th concession.

The Association discussed the need of better provisioning of the Beach. No storekeepers in Kincardine or Ripley thought it worth while to cater for the patronage of the colony, but arrangements were at length made with Mr. J. W. Crawford of Ripley to visit the Beach three times a week with groceries and provisions, and with Mr. Emmerton of Kincardine to visit the Beach twice a week with vegetables and fruits.

File:5 Rev A B Dobson Rev A B Dobson

[1]Rev. H. J. Harnwell, President 1920

As a result of the formation of the Camera Club, the Bruce Beach Snapshot Album was circulated among the members for inspection. It contained many of the photos that are in this book.

The only change in real estate in 1920 was the purchase of the Cooper cottage by Rev. J. U. Stewart, who returned to the Beach after an absence of four years, and the purchase of the McNab cottage by the Rev. F. C. Overend.

Officers: President, Rev. H. J. Harnwell; Vice-Pres., Mr. J. S. Robertson; Sec.-Treas., Rev. W. A. Bradley .

[2]Many of the finest cottages of the Beach have been designed and constructed by the owners. Above: Rev. W. A. Bremner’s cottage in the process of building.

[3]Front Row: Rev. J. W. Baird, Rev. W. H. Burgess, Miss Mildred Bradley, Rev. W. J. West. Standing: Rev. W. A. Bradley, Rev. F.A. Maxwell, Rev. W. H. Harnwell, Dr. J. F. McKenzie, Rev. F. C. Overend, Mr. F. E. Lambert, and Rev. J. U. Steward.

[4]Regatta Day 1918


THIS year saw an increased population at the Beach, and an activity in building scarcely excelled in any previous year.

Cottages were built by Miss Agnes Hamilton of Goderich, Mr. J. R. McLeod of Montreal, Mr. A. Love of Detroit, Mr. A. Jackson of Seaforth, Rev. C. A. Malcolm of Lawrence, .Mr. J. S. Robertson of Ripley, Miss Ruth Heather of Guelph, Rev. J. E. Hunter of Belmont, Dr. D. Martyn of Detroit, and Mr. E. F. Lambert of Toronto, while a small summer house was built by Dr. McLennan of Windsor, and a study by Rev. W. A. Bradley of Teeswater.

Steps were taken by the Association at its annual meeting to secure a title to the ground on which our cottages are built and two committees were appointed, one consisting of Rev. W. A. Bradley, Mr. J. S. Robertson and Mr. Robt. McCosh, to interview the Huron Township Council, and another consisting of Rev. D. T. L. McKerroll, Mr. J. E. Robertson and Mr. J. S. Anderson to interview the Provincial Government, and report the following year. Tennis courts were laid out in each of the three divisions, and a very successful Tournament conducted. Rev. W. A. Bradley resigned as Secretary of the Association, which position he held for five years, but was continued as official historian of the Beach. Rev. J. E. Overend was appointed in his place.

The only transfer of property this year was the sale by Mr. John S. Robertson of his new cottage to Mr. T. L. Hamilton of Listowel.

The local song of the year, sung at the annual concert was a parody composed by Rev. W. A. Bradley, and sung to the Tune, “There’s a tavern in our town”.

We are the Glee Club at Bruce Beach, at Bruce Beach,

A place to summer that’s a peach, that’s a peach,

We greet our friends with laughter free,

And ever after think of thee.


Fair thee well for we must leave you.

Do not let the parting grieve you.

And remember that the best of friends must part, must part.

Adieu. Adieu. Kind friends Adieu. Adieu; Adieu

We can no longer stay with you, stay with you.

So we’ll hang our harps on a little cedar tree.

May the world go well with thee.

Our holidays are free from care, free from care.

Your pleasures and your joys we share, joys we share.

At golf and tennis, and the oar,

We spend our time upon the shore.

O come next summer to the Beach, to the Beach.

This invitation we give each, we give each.

Come and enjoy a while at ease,

With a cottage ‘mong the trees.

Officers: President, Rev. W. J. West; Vice Pres., Dr. R. Martin; Sec.-Treas., Rev. W. A. Bradley.

[5]A Group of Clerics. Left to Right: W. A. Bradley, F. C. Overend, H. J. Harnwell, Glibert Gomm, George Gilmour, J. R. Kilpatrick, D. A. McLean, W. A. Bremner, W. J. West, F. A. Maxwell, D. Campbell, J. W. Baird, J. U. Stewart.


THE Royal Game of Golf at Bruce Beach is inseparably connected with the name of Rev. Robert Martin, now Dr. Martin of First United Church, St. Thomas, Ontario.

Mr. Martin erected a cottage in 1903, which he named “Couthie Brae”, at present owned and occupied by Mr. Thomas Kennedy. When he told Mr. Anderson of his location the latter said, “Well your location is a good one, but don’t you think you are getting away too far from the pump?” In those days the McCosh pump in the lane did duty for all the dwellers at the Beach. But like McTavish, who claimed ancestry before The Flood, when he was asked to explain how his name did not appear among those who had gone into the Ark, explained the omission by asking, “Did you ever know a McTavish that didn’t have a boat of his own?” Even in this remote past, Dr. Martin had visions of a pump of his own.

[6]Presidents of the Golf Club, Dr. R. Martin, Dr. D.T.L. McKerroll, Mr. Fred Yates

One afternoon almost all the Beachers were engaged in throwing horseshoes in front of the Anderson cottage, when Miss Margaret McInnes said to Mr. Martin, “When are you going to show us that game of yours?” Mr. Martin immediately went for his clubs, and the whole party, composed of the Munns, McInnes’, Andersons, Chapmans, and Martins, went out to what is now the second tee. The whole party arranged themselves along the second fairway, some proposing to catch the ball. Mr. Martin took his mashie, and sent the ball high over the heads of the admiring spectators. This was the first ball driven on the Bruce Beach Golf grounds, and so far as known at present, the first golf ball driven in Bruce County.

The above named families, with the addition of the family of Rev. P. J. McLaren, immediately became pupils of Mr. Martin in the study and practice of golf.

One evening Rory McLeod came to see Mr. Martin, and said he would like to take up the Game of Golf. Mr. Martin told him he would be pleased to instruct him if he would get a set of clubs. Rory’s countenance fell, and a look of disappointment was plainly visible in his face, as he said, “Oh I thought you had sticks enough for everybody.” Rory did not become a golf enthusiast.

[7]Dr. J.L. Murray - Sec.-Treas. of the Golf Club

[8]Mr. C. W. Yates, First Honorary Member and Generous Patron of the Golf Club

[9]The Club House

In 1903 Mr. Martin laid out a six holed course, one at each end of what is now the Frank Tout property, and one at each end of the two sections of the McCosh property. This constituted the golf links for four years, but up to the middle of 1907 there was no golf organization.

On the 5th of August of that year a meeting was held in Mr. Martin’s cottage for the, purpose of organizing a Golf Club. By this time the population of the Beach had materially increased. At this meeting the following officers were elected: President, Rev. Robert Martin; Vice President, Mr. Duncan Munn, Secretary-Treasurer, Rev. J. W. McNamara. The Rev. P. J. McLaren and Miss Margaret McInnes were elected to form the executive.

Thus was launched the first Bruce Beach Golf Club. The name decided on was the name it proudly bears today. The annual fee was placed at 25c per member. The Golf course was re-arranged into a nine holed course by Mr. Martin and Mr. McLaren with suggestions from Rev. David Ritchie, who spent a few days at Mr. Martin’s cottage that summer.

The number and names of the holes on the course were as follows: No. 1 ̶̶ The Juniper, 80 yards; No. 2 ̶̶ The Pit, 211 yards; No. 3 ̶̶ The Basswood, 214 yards; No. 4 ̶̶ The Roadside, 193 yards; No. 5 ̶̶ The Kopje, 93 yards; No. 6 ̶̶ The Maples, 206 yards; No. 7 ̶̶ The Poplars, 383 yards; No. 8 ̶̶ The Mulberry, 221 yards and No. 9 ̶̶ The Hawthorn, 169 yards.

A tournament was arranged, 300 score cards ordered and prizes offered as follows: The Handicap competition ̶̶ First prize ̶̶ one Golf ball, “The Colonel”; Second prize ̶̶ one Golf ball, “The Corporal”; Approaching and putting ̶̶ First prize ̶̶ one “Corporal” Golf ball for each event; Ladies’ Approaching and putting ̶̶ one “Corporal” golf ball for each event. A fee of 10 cts was charged each person entering the contests. In the Approaching and Putting contest of the following year Mr. McKerroll and Mr. McNamara tied. As this was not played off at the end of the season, Mr. Martin generously donated a golf ball to each.

From the organization in 1907 up to 1912 the annual fee was 25 cts per member but in this year an advance was made to 50 cts per member, ladies half price, and 25 cts per week for casual players.

The work of preparing the grounds each season devolved upon the members, as the following item from the minutes of 1910 indicates, “It was agreed that all available members repair to the grounds the following day at 10 a.m. with a view to putting them in better condition.”

In 1913 Bob McCosh is paid $1.50 for work done on the course, and Frank Tout is paid $1.00 rent for the part of the course situated on his property, and Bob McCosh $2.00 for the use of his flats.

In 1914 the Golf Club took action to organize a Tennis Club, and after looking over the grounds decided to prepare and lay out two courts on Stephen Tout’s property, and Mr. McKerroll was instructed to interview Mr. Tout, and report to the secretary. Two courts were laid out, one near the centre of Mr. Tout’s property, and one at the south end near the stile over the wire fence. But though much work was put on the latter it was never used. A fee of 25c was to be charged for membership.

While few records have been preserved of meetings of the club in the early years, one is recalled that was held at the McCosh pump in the lane, at which the following members were present: Mr. D. T. L. McKerroll, Mr. W. A. Bremner, Dr. Richard Davidson, Mr. N. A. MacEachern, Mr. M. McArthur, and others.

Mr. McKerroll was elected president and for a number of years held that important position, with Mr. MacEachern as sec.-treasurer.

Among the subjects discussed was the erection of signs and barricades to protect the grounds from visitors to the Beach and cottagers driving their buggies and autos over the grounds used by the golfers, and it was decided to erect a barricade at the foot of the hill, to protect the green at that point and the fairway extending north to Steve Tout’s fence, which was becoming tracked by vehicle wheels. The barricade was accordingly erected, and on a number of occasions torn down, one individual declaring that he would drive where he pleased, as he was here before the golfers, though the Club was at that time paying rent to Bob McCosh for the use of the property. One of the members played the part of the historic “Dutch Uncle” to this individual, and admonished him in no uncertain terms, that such conduct would not be tolerated.

The growth of the Golf Club may be judged from the increase in receipts. For the first five years, up till 1912, the annual receipts ranged in the vicinity of $7.00, then years later they had increased to $133.60. In the present year, 1933, they have increased to more than $500.00.

In 1923 the annual fee was increased from 50c to $1.00.

In this year the Lady Golfers believing with Byron

̶̶ “That man to man so oft unjust,

Is always so to women,” ̶̶

decided to form a Golf Club of their own which they did, with Miss Agnes Hamilton, President; Miss M. Dobson, Vice President; Miss Mary Anderson, Sec.-Treas., and Miss Eloise Baird, Mrs. McKerroll and Miss Jean Martin to form the executive. The fees were the same as those paid by the men.

A discussion arose as to whether all their funds should be given to the Golf Association. On motion it was decided to give one half the gross proceeds to that institution.

The club also decided that their executive would I co-operate with the executive of the Men’s Club.

During the four or Jive years of their separate existence the Ladies’ Golf Club carried on its Own Tournament events, purchased a valuable cup to be given to the winner in the Annual Contest, which is still doing duty, but if any lady won it for three successive years it was to become her property. The Club also gave prizes for all the other events in the contest.

The Club also brought before the General Executive rules for the protection of children on the links, and named two days per week when children under 16 years were to have the free run of the course from 1 to 3 o’clock, providing they were accompanied by a parent or adult.

These suggestions became incorporated in the rules and regulations of the Golf Association. They also provided the refreshments at the annual meeting.

In 1926, like Noah’s dove, the ladies returned to their former ark of safety,’ and were given equal representation On the General Executive. Byron again expresses the sentiments of the returning wayfarers.

“ ’Tis sweet to hear the watchdog’s honest bark.

Bay deep mouthed welcome, as we draw near home.

‘Tis sweet to know there is an eye will mark

Our coming, and look brighter when we come”

In 1923 through the good offices of Dr. Drummond and Dr. Sedgewick a secondhand horse mower was procured from the Ancaster Golf Club for which they received the thanks of the Association at the annual meeting.

In 1924 Mr. Frank Tout notified the club that he would require $10.00 rental for the use of his property.

This amount was given him with a promised increase, and the Club’ felt that Mr. McCosh should receive the same amount, which was accordingly given.

At the close of the season Mr. Tout plowed up the field occupied by the Golf Club, and the following year the course was extended throughout the width of Mr. Stephen Tout’s property. But returning in 1926, the floods of that spring had done so much damage, and the ground was so wet, that the Steve Tout part of the course bad to be abandoned.

It was then that Mr. D. E. Kennedy and Dr. Gerald Wilson purchased the McCosh property between the road and the lake front, comprising some 40 acres for $3000.00 for golf purposes.

Mr. McCosh expressed a desire that the cottagers behind his property should be owners of the property sold. This was readily agreed to by the purchasers, and the cottagers were given the opportunity of fanning themselves into a joint stock Company, and taking over the property within a year. To this proposition the cottagers willingly agreed. A Company was formed, and a charter obtained. The name inserted in the charter was The McCosh-Grove, Limited. The price paid was $3000.00, and the property placed at the disposal of the Golf Club, as a permanent playground.

This circumstance, together with the accession of a number of enthusiastic golfers into the landscape, infused a new life and activity into the Club, that to this day is manifestly operative. The assistance of Mr. Ritchie was sought, and a new course of nine holes laid out. A new horse mower at a cost of $250.00 was purchased. Boxes were set up at each of the Tees, and benches procured for the convenience and comfort of the players, while the valuable prizes donated by Mr. C. W. Yates, Dr. Wilson, Dr. Young and Mr. D. E. Kennedy, put a new enthusiasm into the annual Tournaments. With each succeeding year improvements were made on the course. Trees and stumps were removed to widen the fairways, hazards created, and the services of a caretaker engaged so that the grounds might be in playing condition when the cottagers arrived.

For his special interest in the club and for his many benefactions Mr. C. W. Yates was made an Honorary Member of the Club, and the Association took steps to have his name perpetuated in the Club by giving annually a prize in the Tournament contest to be known at the C W. Yates Trophy. In 1928 the fees were increased to $2.00 per member for the season, and $1.00 per week and 50c per game for strangers but guests at cottages of members were to be charged 25c per game.

In the following year the season rate was advanced to $3.00 per member, the code of the previous year for other purposes remaining the same. Mats were procured for three of the tees, and the matter of sand greens discussed, and it was agreed to have three sand greens prepared to be ready for the following season’s playing. The improvements made at the first tee were particularly noticeable. Steps were put in the bank to assist the players ascend to the first green, and to descend from the 8th tee – a decided convenience – but the most welcome convenience was the steps put in the hillside in the ascent from the 2nd green to the 3rd tee. With the assistance of the wire fence, the hardy mountaineer could reach the summit with the minimum of fatigue, and feel like singing,

Climbing up the Golden Stairs”

In 1932 the annual dues of the club were revised as follows: Per day 50c; per week $2.00; per month or season $5.00. Cottage owners, and their families and guests were allowed a discount of 50% on the daily and weekly rates, and 40% on the monthly and season rates.

But the climax of advancement was reached in 1933 when two valuable cups were given to the club both beautifully inscribed. One by Mr. C. W. Yates to be contested for at the annual Tournament, and one by Mr. C. R. Miller to be contested for by the Kincardine and Bruce Beach Clubs.

But this year also is more especially notable for the erection of a neat and suitable club house at the first tee, which reflects credit on the aesthetic tastes, and progressive enterprise of the club. This convenience will meet a long felt want.

But the good will and generosity of our Kincardine compeers was this year abundantly manifested by the presentation to our club of a beautiful flag, to be flown from the flag-staff at our newly erected club house. As the Bruce Beach Club existed some years before the Kincardine Club had its birth, and was a strong incentive to our friendly neighbours to organize such a club in their town, that club generously accorded to the Bruce Beach club a special rate of 50c per game, to all members of our club, who desire to play a game over their course. This favor is much appreciated and constantly taken advantage of by the members of our home club.

One of the pleasant features of our Bruce Reach life is the annual meeting of the Golf Club. The distribution of prizes won in the Tournament and the social hour enjoyed afterwards over the teacups has become one of the most enjoyable events of the season that we spend together during our annual holiday.

Nor can we forget to mention the part that the lady members of the club and their friends have played in adding interest and eclat to the social functions of the club which were held when visiting clubs played here with our club. At a good deal of inconvenience to themselves the visiting clubs were royally entertained and went away with unstinted praise and good wishes for the kind and gracious ladies who had been their hostesses when they visited Bruce Beach.

We cannot close this short history to date without calling attention to the spirit of friendship and good will that has characterized the members of this club. In fact the same spirit has always been a marked feature of Bruce Beach life and our sincere hope is that as the years go by the same spirit may characterize the coming generations as has prevailed among the founders and early dwellers of this beautiful summer resort.

Lives of great men all remind us,

We can make our lives sublime,

And departing leave behind us,

Footprints on the sands of time.

[10]Judge West’s Cottage

Bruce Beach---

With Sports like these are all their cares beguilded,

The sports of children satisfy the child.

[11]The McCosh team on the beach for a load of gravel

[12]== A Children’s Paradise == “The Friendships of Childhood!”

[13]On McKerroll’s Rock

[14]At the mouth of Tout’s Gulley


THIS year saw campers at the cottages earlier than any previous rear. Some were occupied from the first of June till the last of September.

New cottages were erected by Chid Jackson of Ripley, C. W. Yates of New York City, Dr. W. H. Sedgewick of Hamilton, Thos. King of Wingham, Rev. H. B. Parnby, of Belmont, Rev. D. R. McKay of Dresden. Rev. W. H. Burgess of Walkerton, James Clark of Detroit, Rev. J. R. Gordon of Mitchell, Rev. Chas. Farquharson of Newhury. Rev. A. C. Carr of West Lorne and Rev. A. Laing of Fordwich, while our boundaries were extended to the tenth concession.

As a result of the action of the Committees appointed at the last annual meeting of the Association to interview the Township council and the Government, a Provincial inspector visited the Beach in August. The Government also appointed a surveyor to survey the Beach, but the visit was postponed till the following year.

The transfers of property for the year were the sale by Rev. W. A. Bremner of his cottage to Rev. D. T. L. McKerroll, and the purchase of Mr. John S. Robertson’s cottage by Rev. N. A. MacEachern of Toronto.

Mr. Robertson was an active and useful member of the Association. He served for a number of years on the Bruce Beach Executive and was also assistant treasurer for a number of years, but failing health forced him to retire, and in less than a year he passed into the great beyond. He was a valuable member of the Bruce Beach fraternity, a genial companion, and a courtly gentleman.

This year also records the first fishing adventure by the disciples of Isaak Walton on the Beach. In the first week in August a fishing party, including Rev. Dr. Davidson, Rev. W. A. Bradley, Rev. W. A. Bremner, Rev. N. A. MacEachern, Dr. L. R. Pattison, Rev. D. T 1. McKerroll, and Mr. Norman Slater, set out in two Ford cars for Miller Lake in the Bruce peninsula. They arrived at their destination at 6 p.m. after a journey of 94 miles. They fished the following day and returned the third day with 41 fine fish.

As a result of this trip The Bruce Peninsula Fishing Club was formed with Rev. W. A. Bradley, President; Mr. Norman Slater, Vice President; and Rev. Dr. Davidson, Sec.-Treasurer. The intention of the club is to make an annual visit to this excellent fishing ground.

An item of interest to campers this year was the installation of a Radio outfit in his cottage by Mr. Thomas Clark of Detroit.

The song of local colouring sung at the annual concert by the Ladies Orchestra was arranged by Rev. W.A. Bradley to the tune of “A Student of Cadiz” as follows:

When I was a camper at Bruce Beach

I played my Hawaiian guitar;

I contended all sports with reach,

And proudly possessed a Ford car


Ring ching ching, ring ching ching, roll in ye waves,

O roll in ye waves, O roll in ye waves,

Ring ching ching, ring ching ching, roll in ye waves,

I played my Hawaiian guitar;

I journey’d one day to Kincardine

Some strings to get for my guitar;

Not a string could I get. Beg your pardon

Nor gasoline for my Ford Car.

Officers for 1922: President, Rev. W. J. West; Vice President, Dr. R. Martin; Sec.-Treas., Rev. F. C. Overend.

[Photo of Rev. W. J. West, President, 1921-22]


THE Records of Bruce Beach would be incomplete without a history of the Fishing Club. The genesis of the Club, and the experiences of the fishermen in their first venture were related in a Sporting Magazine by Rev. W. A. Bradley, a short time after the trip to Miller Lake, and reproduced here:

There is situated on the shore of Lake Huron, some six miles south of the town of Kincardine, a summer resort known as Bruce Beach, which numbers about seventy-five cottages, about one half of which are owned, or occupied, by clergymen, comprising theological professors, city and country pastors.

One night last camping season my cottage was invaded by a number of genuine successors of Peter; James, and John, sons of thunder as well as possessors of the instincts of the fisherman, who proposed a fishing trip to some good fishing ground, and inquired if I was familiar with any. I told them that the Bruce County Council bad three years ago held its June meeting in Tobermory, the extreme point of that index finger of Bruce county, that points to the north star, and that one of my men, who had accompanied the party, on his return, when I inquired how the fishing was in the Bruce peninsula replied, “Fishing? I tell you that the bass are so plentiful and gamey in those lakes up there, that you have to go behind a tree to keep them from seeing you bait your hook, or they will be out after it.” One of the party said that he had a suspicion that the story must be true, for he had a man in his employ who had fished in a lake up there, but who so far had escaped the attacks of the bass, who had told him similar stories of fishermen’s luck, and who had placed a tent and fishing paraphernalia at his disposal, if he should ever go to Miller Lake for a fishing outing. “That settles it,” chimed in the other members of the party, “we leave for the peninsula tomorrow morning at 5 o’clock.” However next day we concluded that the week was too far spent, and as some of the party had to preach on Sunday, that we would wait till the following week, and riot limit ourselves to time.

[15]The Preparations for a good fish storyLeft to Right: Norman Slater, D. T. L. McKerroll, W. A. Bradley, W. A. Bremner, R. Davidson, N. A. MacEachern.

Our party consisted of a theological professor, two city pastors, one of which had accompanied our troops in France, who shall be known as the Captain, a pastor from Cobourg, the writer, and (as no Presbyterian church court is complete without an elder) an elder from Hamilton.

[16]The Fisherman’s Catch

W. A. Bremner and Norman Slater, with D. T. L. McKerroll in the background

Bright and early the next week two Ford cars were filled with sleeping blankets, cooking utensils, fishing tackle, cutlery, thermos bottles, cups and saucers; sufficient for the party, and 8 o’clock saw these clerical disciples of Isaak Walton heading for parts unvisited before by any member of the party.

Considerable scepticism was expressed by the wives of the party as they saw binder twine sacks being taken along in which to bring home the fish, and suggestions were made that the fish brought back were not to cost more than 13 cents per pound. All this chaffing the fishermen endured with Christian fortitude and resignation as becometh saints.

Kincardine, Tiverton, Underwood, Port Elgin, Southampton, and Allenford, we passed through, and Wiarton reached by 12 o’clock noon. Here the party waited till the arrival of the G. T. R. train from the south which was to bring the sixth member of the party, the elder from Hamilton.

After a sumptuous dinner in the Arlington Hotel whose genial proprietor well deserves mention here for the excellency of the cuisine provided in that hostel, the party set out for Lion’s Head, which was a little over half way from Wiarton to our objective point.

[17]The 1923 Fishing Party. Left to Right: Norman Slater, J. R. P. Sclater, R. Davidson, L. R. Pattison, W. H. Sedgwick, J. Robertson, J. F. McKenzie.

Here begin the turns and twists in the road that have made the peninsula famous. I had heard of an Englishman, Irishman, and Scotchman, telling stories of the sharp turns in the roads that they bad experienced in their travels. The Englishman had been on a road so tortuous that he could never see twenty yards straight ahead of him. The Scotchman told of a trip he had to the centennial in Philadelphia years ago, where the curves in the railway were so sharp, that he, in the baggage car, handed his chewing tobacco to the man on the rear of the last coach of the tram, and got it back at the next curve. The Irishman said that driving around the Lakes of Killarney the curves in the road were so sharp that on a number of occasions he saw the back of his own head. But on the peninsula roads we were told that the driving horses were all fat, because at every curve in this road they could eat out of the back of the buggy to which they were hitched. “Well these roads,” said the Toronto pastor, when we reached Lion’s Head, “are crooked enough to make a snake dizzy.”

Here we inquired about the fishing at Miller Lake, and the distance to that place. The opinion expressed was that the fishing there was not very good, and the distance in the minds of many to whom we spoke was uncertain as we were told that it was 14 miles by some, 15 by others, and 17 by the hotel keeper, who recommended Stokes Bay as a better fishing ground, and his house for our accommodation at night, as there was no accommodation at Miller Lake. However we were not to be diverted from our objective, and set out for Cape Chin, over roads that made the Rocky Roads to Dublin unworthy of the name, for while the road from Wiarton to Lion’s Head was over rocks and hills, the road from Lion’s Head to Cape Chin made us experience Roller Boller thrills. One member of the party remarked that these roads were up and down and in and out at the same rime. As we passed a curve in the road a large bill board with the sign


Navy Chewing Tobacco

stood out before us. “That is encouraging,” said the pastor from Cobourg. “The black bass in this country chew tobacco.” We were satisfied however that Premier Drury and his capable Minister of Public Works, to whom the province owes so much for good roads, had never visited this part of the province or the roads in the peninsula would be better.

At 6 p.m. we arrived at our destination. Here we presented a letter of introduction to a Mr. West, to whom we had phoned from Lion’s Head, and with whom we expected to stay while in the vicinity. Mr. West was somewhat perplexed by the clerical invasion, as already two fishing parties, from London, Ont. were camped with him. He said he could accommodate us with meals, but as for sleeping quarters, he did not know what to do, but we removed his perplexity by telling him that we would be content with the hay mow. He told us that the elder’s friend had left a tent here that we might have, so under the instruction of the Captain, whose experience in France stood him in good stead, we soon had it pitched on the lawn in front lawn of our host’s house. Two cots were placed in it, and preparations made for the night. Two of our party, the Captain and the Cobourg pastor occupied the cots, while the remaining four of us betook ourselves to the barn, rolled ourselves in our blankets, while the moon shed its silvery light through the cracks between the boards in the side of the barn on the four sleeping beauties testing for the first time the comforts of a hay mow. One of the tent sleepers remarked in the morning that they thought they heard a fog horn blowing throughout the night, but concluded after some deliberation that the sounds proceeded from the hay mow, while the other said that when Mr. West’s cows came in from the pasture, in the moonlight to lie beside the barn, as was their custom, when they heard strange sounds proceeding from within, listened for a while, then erecting their tails in the air as though they had been attacked by a swarm of heel flies, turned, and with furious speed, sought safety among the rocks in the direction of Tobermory. These were the snoring stories we heard next morning as at 5.30 the fishermen were performing their ablutions around the kitchen door of their capable hostess, while the savory and appetizing smell of bacon and eggs etc. proceeded from the cooking utensils on the range within.

[18]The 1922 Fishing Party to Silver Lake Left to Right: W. A. Bradley, W. A. Bremner, D. T. L. McKerroll, R. Davidson, Norman Slater. Left foreground D. R. Drummond.

Here I must make mention of two genuine disciples of the piscatorial art, Mr. Thomas Ball, and Mr. Norman McLeod his companion, both of London, Ont., whom we met at the home where we were staying. Mr. Ball has visited this part of the peninsula for sixteen summers, and is himself a sportsman of the first order; for he placed his boat and his fishing paraphernalia, as well as information about the grounds at our disposal that morning. This provided our party with two boats, and 8 a.m. saw the two fishing craft anchored a few yards apart in the Lake where Messrs. Ball and McLeod had marked out choice spots by small pine tree buoys.

Here the fishing was all that could be desired, as the gamey small mouthed black bass−the only kind in this lake−made the reels sing, and the vigorous pike struggled to free himself from the hooks of the fishermen.

The theological professor had hooked a large fish of the latter species, but it got away, taking also his hook. Soon he was reeling in another fish, and when taking out his hook announced that it was the same fish that he had hooked before, for there in its mouth was his hook and one inch of his line. “What splendid business instincts we fellows have shown,” said the elder, “in electing the professor the treasurer of our party, for he will not even permit a hook to be lost.”

“That reminds me,” said the Captain, “of a story I heard of an incident that happened in the north of Scotland,” but just then he was interrupted by a bending rod and the excited shouts of “you have got him” from the other boat. When the fish was landed he began again, but was again interrupted by “stay with him Dick” from the same boat. When this fish was safely over the gunwale, the Captain again started, but before be had reached in orthodox homiletical style the 15th place 261y, he was again interrupted, by the same trio with “hold steady, hold steady old boy!” The landing net was got into position and a beautiful three and three quarter pound bass proudly landed. “Here,” said the Captain, “If you fellows in that boat don’t stop landing fish I will not be able to finish my story.” The theological professor then in pedagogical tones ordered all hooks to be taken from the water, in order that the Captain might not again be interrupted in telling his story. So he began anew as follows. “There was a kirk in the north of Scotland where the two deacons, Sandy and Donald, counted the collection after each service. One day a stranger had dropped in unobserved, and when Sandy and Donald were counting the coppers, they found among them a ten shilling gold piece. There was astonishment and amazement on the faces of the two deacons. Sandy declared “There must be something wrong.” Donald said “Sandy, it must be a counterfeit.” “Well I’ll try my teeth on it,” said Sandy, “and see if it is.” He put it in his mouth and in his efforts to see if he could dint it, swallowed the coin. Consternation prevailed, and a Doctor ‘with a stomach pump was hastily summoned, but with all the doctors efforts he could only get out of Sandy’s stomach nine shillings and sixpence.”

“Well” said one of the party, amid the laughter, “the fish that won’t bite after hearing that story is a poor sport,” and the hooks were again lowered with fresh bait.

By noon we had captured twenty-five fine fish: These had to be carried a distance of half a mile to our host’s house, and it was no small load, as they weighed about seventy pounds. But by use of the binder twine bag, and a pole they were safely transported and placed on ice in Mr. West’s ice house and covered with sawdust. No one seemed more pleased at our success than Mr. Ball who congratulated us on our catch, and held the end of the rope on which we strung them, in order to have them photographed. The story of finding the hook in the pike’s mouth was told by the Theological professor, but Mr. Ball went him one better, by telling of an experience he had on one occasion. He and his son were still fishing from a boat, and both had a vigorous strike almost at the same time, His son was struggling with a strong fish, but it broke his line and got away, and he, in the excitement, let his steel rod fall overboard and it sank, They probed around in the water with his son’s bamboo rod, but no trace of the steel rod could be found. They still continued to fish, and in less than an hour landed a huge fish, when to their astonishment they found his son’s hook in its mouth, and another hook also, with a line attached. They pulled on the line, and up came the steel rod which he had let fall into the water, thus procuring the lost hook and the lost rod. Some of the party were inclined to play the part of doubting Thomas, but the narrator assured them that it was so.

In the afternoon we were accompanied by Messrs. Ball and .McLeod, and sixteen more fine fish were added to the catch. On one occasion the Toronto pastor, brought a large pike into the boat with such haste that it described a circle and almost knocked the pipe out of Mr. Ball’s mouth who was sitting opposite to him. Mr. Ball removed the pipe and sang

“O the bulls won’t bellow, and the cows won’t low,

The hens’ won’t cackle, and the cocks won’t crow,

The turkeys won’t gobble and the ducks won’t quack.

And nothing will go right till my Jean comes back”

amid the applause and laughter of the party.

As the sun was beginning to set, the boats pulled to the shore, and the catch brought to the house, and placed beside that of the morning. A good supper was enjoyed, and the tent and the hay mow again became the resting places for the night, all the party feeling that as they had a successful day’s sport they would enjoy a good night’s rest.

Some of the party suggested in the morning that we try our hand again for a few hours before returning home, but the majority thought that 41 fish ought to satisfy the average fishing party. So after the catch had been packed in two sacks with ice and sawdust, and placed on the running boards of the car we bid good bye to our host and hostess, and the two fishing companions we had met, and set out for Bruce Beach, but not before we had formed a fishing club, with the writer as president, the elder, as vice president, and the theological professor as secretary and treasurer, our purpose being, if spared, to make an annual visit to Miller Lake. Four o’clock saw us back again at our cottages after a journey of 188 miles.

The news spread that the fishing party had returned, and before long the fishermen were surrounded by an eager company of spectators, who snapped their cameras as they saw the display of fish.

It only remains to be said that more campers on the Beach ate fish next day than on any day of the season, from the distribution of the catch that was made by the fishing party. The following year the membership of the Club was enlarged by the addition of Dr. J. R. P. Sclater Dr. W. H. Sedgewick, Dr. L. R. Pattison, Dr. J. F. McKenzie and Mr. J. Robertson, the fishing was rather a disappointment this trip. Dr. Sclater hooked a fine bass, with considerable skill played it up to the boat, but in a final struggle, after many leaps from the water, it threw the hook and got away. The fishermen were all attention as they watched the manoeuver, but were disappointed when they saw the result of the struggle.

However, rather than return empty handed the members purchased $15.00 worth of lake trout Wiarton, on their way home, that their friends might not also be disappointed if they returned without fish. In 1924 only six members of the club made the trip. The fishing was good, the merriment up to that of former trips, and the little outing enjoyed to the fullest extent.

The Author has dedicated the following poem to his splendid fishing companions.


I will hie me away on a bright summer day

To a fisherman’s haunt, no mistake,

Where the clear waters flow, that are colder than snow,

On the shores of the fair Miller Lake.

How my heart beats with joy, with the mirth of a boy,

When the springtime has come, and I take

Down my rod, and my reel, that have proved true as steel,

And I long for the fair Miller Lake.

What an outfit they are, the unconquered Ford car,

That refused no burden we take,

And the blankets that say ‘we delight in the hay

That is furnished at fair Miller Lake’.

When the collar that’s white, laid aside, and it’s right

That we should for the present forsake

Both the garb, and the gown, and the dress of the town,

When ye go to the fair Miller Lake.

For the bass and the pike compensate for the hike,

That our zeal for the sport makes us take,

But we always are paid for the trips we have made

To the shores of the fair Miller Lake.

How often we’ve thought, if no fish had been caught,

We’re repaid for the journey we make,

For our pleasure is great, and the fun we create

Is the charm of our trip to the Lake.

Members of the Club: Rev. W. A. Bradley, D.D., President; Mr. Norman Slater, Vice-President; Rev. Richard Davidson, D.D., Sec-Treasurer; Rev. W. A. Bremner, Rev. N. A. MacEachern, D.D., Rev. D. T. L. McKerroll D.D., Rev. W. H. Sedgewick, D.D., Rev. J. R. P. Sclater, D.D., L. R. Pattison D.D.S. and J. F. McKenzie, D.D.S.


THIS year, showed still increasing growth, Cottages were built by Mr. W. H. Collins of Kitchener. Rev. T. M. Wesley of Sterling, Miss Nettie Moffat, Teeswater, Mr. J. Johnston, Ripley, Rev. W. A. Bremner, Cobourg, and two cottages by Mr. Bradnock of Gorrie, while improvements were made in their cottages by Rev. D. T. L. McKerroll, Rev. W. A. Bradley and the Misses Dobson.

The Sabbath services continued to increase in numbers, and extra seating had to procured to accommodate the increased attendance.

The Government sent on its surveyor, as requested by the Association, and the Beach from the sand dunes On the South, to the 10th concession on the North was surveyed into 66 ft. lots.

The Annual Concert this year was unusually good. Rev. Dr. J. R. P. Sclater of Old St. Andrew’s Church, Toronto, who was holidaying at the Beach, was chairman. The golf links were improved and a hand mower, and hand roller purchased, which greatly aided in keeping the greens in shape.

[photo of Dr. W. A. Bradley, President 1923-24]

The only transfer of property this year was the sale of the Chapman cottage to Mr. W. S. West of Woodstock, who tore down the cottage purchased, and erected a beautiful new one.

Officers: President, Rev. W. A. Bradley, Vice Pres., Dr. R. Davidson, Sec.-Treas., Rev. F. C. Overend.


THE year of 1924 was also a growing year. Cottages were built by Mr. D. E. Kennedy of Guelph and Dr. Gerald Wilson of Detroit at the extreme South end, while north of the 8th concession several cottages were erected.

An organ was purchased to assist in the Church services, and additional seating capacity provided for the increased attendance at the Sabbath afternoon meetings, while Mr. T. L. Hamilton of Listowel presented the congregation with collection plates.

For the first time in the history of the Beach several cottages were entered during the winter by some mischievous persons, but no material damage was done beyond a few boyish pranks. The boathouse of Dr. J. F. McKenzie was broken into, and his skiff and canoe stolen. These were afterwards recovered at Kintail, where the thieves had to hurriedly abandon them, and escape in an auto. At the annual meeting the Association decided to have a card printed, and placed on each cottage offering a reward of $25.00 for the arrest and conviction of any person breaking into a cottage.

At the annual meeting of the Association Mr. McKerroll reported progress in the matter of procuring titles to the land on which we had settled, and a resolution was passed deciding to remain with, and trust the fairness of the Government, but dissatisfaction was expressed with the rental that the Government was charging. It was intimated in a letter read by Mr. McKerroll that the Minister of Crown Lands or his Deputy would visit the Beach in August and fully acquaint himself with the situation. This visit, however, did not materialize, and there the matter rested.

There was no change in the personnel of the Executive in 1924.

Officers: President, Rev. W. A. Bradley; Vice President, Dr. R. Davidson; Sec.-Treasurer, Rev. F. C. Overend.

Councellors: Mr. J. S. Anderson, G. F N. Atkinson, H. B. Parnaby, Thomas Clark.

Convener Sports: Dr. J. F. McKenzie.

Convener Religious Committee: Dr. Sedgewick.

[Photo A Rendezvous – Dr. Gerald Wilson’s Cottage]


THE Men’s Glee Club, as an organization, did nut come into existence until 1920. The annual Concerts were not an integral part of Bruce Beach life until the outbreak of the war in 1914.

Previous to that date, generally once during the season, the Cottagers met on some part of the shore, usually around a bonfire, and held an impromptu entertainment, consisting of songs, speeches, with an occasional musical number, but in 1914 it took on more of the form it now possesses, though with no organized committees to look after its arrangements, In 1917 ‘18 and ‘19, previous to the concerts, Rev. W. A. Bradley invited a number of men to his cottage where stirring college glees were practised to be sung at the Concert. These were taken from the University of Toronto College Song Book compiled in 1886.

[photo of the Bruce Beach Glee Club 1920 Sing “Johnny Schmoker”]

In 1920 be proposed that the singers form themselves into an organization, to be known as the Bruce Beach Glee Club. The suggestion was agreed to and he was chosen as the first leader. Until her marriage in 1928, Miss Mildred Bradley was their accompanist, for a number of years upon the Mandolin, and, after the purchase of an Organ by the Association, upon that instrument. The concerts were held upon the McCosh flats. At first near the turn of the road going up the hill, but later the place of meeting was near the present No. 2 golf green. There were no seats in those days, the audience sat on the grass. At the latter place they sat in rows on the hillside. This gave them a good view of the stage. Autos with their headlights turned on, were arranged in a semi-circle around the stage, and from these light was given for the performances.

When seating was procured for the Church Services, the concert was moved to Tout’s grove, where it continues to be held.

Light there is furnished by gasoline lanterns, provided by the cottagers. These are suspended from a wire stretched across the stage.

Subsequent leaders of the Club have been: In 1922 and ‘23 Rev. R. G. McKay; in 1924, ‘25 and ‘26, Rev. Dr. W. H. Sedgewick; in 1927 and ‘28, Rev. G. S. Lloyd; in 1929, Rev. D. G. Paton; in 1930, Rev. R. G. McKay, in 1931, Rev. W. A. Bradley, in 1932, Dr. Gerald Wilson.


THIS year found the population still increasing, and cottages occupied early in the season.

The development in cottage growth was now shifted to the North End, as vacant lots in the South end could not be obtained.

For a number of years, when the season came to a close, the organ and hymn books were carried to Dr. Sedgewick’s cottage and the benches to Mr. W. J. West’s garage, where they remained throughout the winter. The need of a permanent place for storing them was felt and after some deliberation it was decided to build a permanent Church House, where all church accessories could be stored. Lumber was ordered, and the male persuasion invited to come with their saws and hammers, and assist in the erection. The building was finished in the course of a week.

It now became apparent that something would have to be done to procure a permanent playground as the Golf Course was materially shortened by Mr. Frank Tout ploughing up his field at the south end.

On the 17th day of August of this year Mr. D. E. Kennedy and Dr. Gerald Wilson purchased the McCosh property between the forced road and the lake front for the sum of $3000.00 for golf purposes.

Rev. F. C Overend resigned the secretaryship, and Rev. H. J. Harnwell, was appointed in his place. As the duties of the Sec.-Treas., were becoming more onerous it was moved by Rev. W. A. Bradley and seconded by Rev. W. A. Bremner that a remuneration of $50.00 per annum be granted the Sec.-Treasurer.

Many of the wells on the shore went dry this year owing to the recession of the waters of the Lake. This was in a ‘large measure due to the diversion of waters at Chicago.

Officers: President, ML J. E. Robertson; Vice Pres., Dr. G. Wilson; Sec.-Treas., Rev. H. J. Harnwell.

[photo of Mr. J. E. Robertson, President 1925-27]


A YEAR of interest and pleasure at the Beach. Population still increasing.

The annual Sports and Concert were unusually good.

At the meeting of the Association the Committee appointed to look after the Campers’ interests with the Government reported, through Mr. McKerroll, who advised that no action be taken by the members of the Association as the next move must come from the government.

Upon invitation the Reeve and members of the Huron Township Council were present. The Reeve stated that the government had offered the Municipality the property for the sum of $10,000. He stated that he had promptly told the government that the property was not worth 10,000 cents, and “nothing doing”.

A meeting of the Cottagers behind the McCosh property was held in Mr. D. E. Kennedy’s cottage on August 10th for the purpose of taking over the option of Mr. Kennedy and Dr. Wilson.

A company was formed with Mr. Angus Munn as Honorary President, Mr. James S. Anderson, President, Dr. Gerald A. Wilson, Vice President, Mr. D. E. Kennedy, Sec.-Treas., with Mr. Duncan Munn and Dr. J. M. Young, director.

The property was taken over and $2,800 subscribed at the meeting. The price to be paid by the company for the property was $3000.

It was decided to apply for a charter, and it was suggested that the charter bear the name McCosh.

The thanks of the meeting were tendered to Messrs. Kennedy and Wilson for giving to the Cottagers the opportunity to become possessors of the property. Mr. McArthur sold his cottage to Dr. J. M. Young of Windsor. Mr. C. L Ernst erected a cottage. Mr. Thomas Kennedy of Toronto purchased the cottage of Rev. Dr. Martin. We regret Dr. Martin’s going, but welcome the coming purchaser, who has shown his interest by assisting in every way possible to further the interests of the Beach.

The song of local coloring this year was arranged from “Pinafore” by Dr. Sedgewick and sung by the Men’s Glee Club. “We still remain Bruce Beachers.”

Officers: Same as previous year.

[photo of The Secretary, Rev. H. J. Harnwell and Mrs. Harnwell]


THE Ladies Orchestra dates back to 1918. That summer a number young musicians met in the Bradley cottage previous to the concert of that year. They invited Mrs. Duncan Munn, and intimated their intention of organizing a Ladies’ orchestra. She encouraged them in their project and lent valuable assistance for two years. The Orchestra was organized and preparation made for their first appearance at the coming annual Concert.

The original Orchestra consisted of Mrs. Duncan Munn and Miss Irene Harnwell (guitars). Miss Mildred Bradley (mandolin), Miss Beatrice Huff, Miss Eloise Baird and Miss Beth McLennan (ukeleles).

Under the instruction of Miss Beatrice Huff the orchestra put on at the Concert a number entitled THE HUMAN ZENEPHONE, which for technique and clever performance has seldom been equalled. The eight ladies composing it—all competent musiciansrepresented an octave. Their names were Miss Beatrice and Miss Marian Huff, Miss Irene and Miss Muriel Harnwell, Miss Florence Bradley. Miss Beth McLennan, Miss Eloise Baird and Miss Stanley. Miss Mildred Bradley was the director and musician who played on the Zenephone.

[photo of Glee Club]

The tuning up of the instrument was an amusing part of the performance. This was done by twisting the ear of the lady representing the note. They were all out of tune but Miss Eloise Raird who always sounded her note (c natural) correctlv. From this note the other human notes were tuned.

After an amusing amount of ear twisting and sounding the name of their perspective note, the instrument was tuned.

Miss Bradley then ran up and down the scale touching each human key with her baton, and each lady named her own note in tune correctly. She then addressed the audience in the following words.

“This unique instrument has sounded forth its melodious notes before such distinguished personages as the Rev. Dougal Angus. D.D. L.L.D. of Toronto and Dr. J. F. McKenzie L.D.S., D.D.S., of Detroit and several other notables. That the Company was passing from Kincardine to Starvation Point, and, having a spare evening at the earnest solicitation of the Campers of Bruce Beach she bad been prevailed upon to give them a performance on this wonderful instrument, THE HUMAN ZENEPHONE.

[photo of Miss Stanley]

She announced that the number to be played would be Old Black Joe. She then touched with her baton the respective human keys and the old familiar tune was sung, each naming her note, when touched. The verse was then repeated, each naming the word when touched.

The Ladies of the Orchestra received many congratulations and unstinted praise for their amusing production.

The Orchestra increased in numbers and instruments and the instrumental numbers of the orchestra were a pleasing feature of the concerts from year to year.

To the Orchestra fell also the duty of preparing the programme, and securing the chairman for the annual Concert.

[photo of An Afternoon Tea Party and photo of Glee Club, 1933]

As time advanced the members of the original orchestra fell out, and as stringed-instruments became less numerous at the Beach, the Orchestra became the Young Ladies’ Glee Club, The latter were no less competent than their predecessors in putting On amusing stunts for the entertainment of the audience at the annual Concert. A few are here mentioned.

The Evolution of the Marriage Proposal. From the cave man “who by speed of foot and physical prowess captured his bride, through many periods and mutations to the modern suitor clown on his knees pleading in plaintive tones to be accepted by the indifferent flapper, who stood over him unmoved by his entreaties.

Another, Lord Ullin’s Daughter, where the daughter and her lover were seen fleeing from an angry father. And another The Evolution of the Bathing Suit. This had to be seen in order to be fully appreciated. What abbreviations time has made on the aquatic dress of the summer resorts!

The annual concerts ‘would have been incomplete without the instrumental and vocal numbers and the amusing stunts put on by the Ladies’ Orchestra and Glee Club.

[photo of Margaret Mary Love, Kate King and Jean Ernst]


FOR beautiful weather and sunshine at the Beach this year has not been exceeded. The annual concert was unusually good and the Sports day one of the best in many years.

A new cottage was built by Rev. Gordon Rintoul of Forest and enlargements made by Rev. C. A. Malcolm.

Mr. W, H. Collins of Kitchener, who was transferred to Montreal sold his cottage to Rev. J. W. McNamara, who returned to the Beach after a number of years absence. The Rev. D. G. Paton of Teeswater erected a cottage, and Mr. J. F. Ross of Guelph purchased the Johnston Cottage. Mr. Ross is welcomed to the Beach as a valuable member of the fraternity.

The Cottagers who had formed themselves into a Joint Stock Company to take over the option of Messrs. Kennedy and Wilson received a Charter. The name inserted in the same was The McCosh-Grove Ltd. At its first annual Executive meeting Rev. W. A. Bradley was elected President in the place of Me James S. Anderson, deceased.

Two Tennis courts were laid out on the property at the top of the hill, and surrounded by a wire fence. Mr. Bradley’s garage at the entrance gate was taken over by the Company and moved to a convenient place as a house in which to store the golf horse-mower and other implements.

At the annual meeting of the Association there was some excitement over the notice that had come to one of the cottagers from the Government to pay up or his claim would be cancelled. The committee having the matter in charge were instructed to interview the Government and also to make them an offer for the property.

A representative from the Pyrene Fire Extinguisher manufacturing Company was present, and demonstrated the powers of their extinguisher, Several Cottagers gave orders for the contrivance.

Sorrow was expressed at the untimely taking away of Mr. James S. Anderson, who bad been one of the oldest and most active members of the Association, and a committee was appointed to convey the sympathies of the members to the bereaved wife and family.

[photo of A Church Service]

To beautify the surroundings of the Cottages, Mr. Kennedy procured 2000 pine trees to be planted on the Cottagers’ lots and on the property of the McCosh-Grove Limited.

Officers: President, Mr. J. E. Robertson; Vice Pres., Dr. G. Wilson, Sec.-Treas., Rev. H. J. Harnwell.


OLD Sol did his best this year to make the holidays of the beachers worth while. There were few hours of the days of July and August that he did not beam benignly upon the campers. The weather was delightful and throughout the season few fires needed to be kindled in the fire places. The cottages were ail filled throughout the season.

The McCosh Grove Limited made considerable improvement on their property. The hill road coming down to the cottages was greatly improved and made secure for drivers, by posts and cable, the latter donated by Mr. D. E. Kennedy.

A new road from near the pump to the Steve Tout property northward was cut through, and gravelled, making sites for garages and parking places for autos available.

At the annual meeting of the Association it was announced that the negotiations of the committee with the Government bad failed. That the Government refused to lower the rental, continuing the figure at S12.00 per annum for a lot 66 ft. wide. The committee was thanked for its efforts.

The Golf Tournament this year was of particular interest. Mr. C. W. Yates of New York presented the Club with a beautiful Gold watch to be contended for in the annual Tournament. The contest was keen. It was won by Dr. C. L. Eaton, Mr. Fred Jackson was the runner up. A large gallery followed the players in the final contest.

[photo of Mr. T. L. Hamilton, President 1928-30.jpg]

Mr. T. L. Hamliton, President 1928-30

During the year Mr. J. G. Archibald of Woodstock built a cottage and became a resident of the Beach. It was noticeable this year that the lake level was considerably higher than for a. number of years previous.

Officers: President, Mr. T. L. Hamilton; Vice Pres. Dr. W. H. Sedgewick; Sec-Treas., Rev. H. J. Harnwell.


ANOTHER holiday season of delightful weather. The floods in April had endangered some cottages that stood near the mouths of the streams that come into the Lake but no serious damage was done.

At the annual concert Mr. D. E. Kennedy provided a piano, the first time this instrument figured at the Beach entertainment.

A feature worthy of notice at the Sports this year were the prizes in the contests. These were provided by the Merchants of Kincardine who felt that it was up to them to reciprocate for the patronage they had received from the Bruce Beach population.

At the annual meeting of the Golf Club steps were taken to re-arrange the course to prevent cross, driving, consequently the 9th tee was moved further to the west and trees and stumps taken out to make a new fairway.

The changes in property noted were the purchase of the Baird cottage by Dr. Earle McKenzie of Detroit. The purchase of the Mitchell cottage by Dr. J. Lovell Murray. Dr. Murray removed the cottage bought and erected a fine up-to-date cottage on its site, and the purchase of the McMullen cottage by Mrs. Annie Chilvers of Walkerville.

Officers: Same as previous year.


THIS year the Lake levels were higher than for many years. Wells that had gone dry for some time were again in use with plenty of water.

The 8th concession hill was improved by the Huron Township Council so that autos could descend and return with safety.

Sports day was a great event this year. Many fine prizes were given to the contestants. These were provided by the businessman of Kincardine and Ripley. The Concert In the evening was, as usual, well patronized by the outside public. The Glee Club rendered a number of popular songs all arranged by Dr. W. A. Bradley, to suit the occasion with local coloring. The first was adapted from “The Stein Song”.

Bruce Beachers greet the dear old shore,

shout till the Valleys ring

Stand and view the waves once again,

Let every loyal Beach man sing.


Then sing for all our happy hours,

Sing for our cheerful ways,

Sing for the friends we greet this ev’ning,

And comrades of the bygone days,

To the trees—to the sky—to the spring

In its glorious happiness,

To the youth—to the fire—to the life

That is ever moving and calling us,

To the gods—to the fates—to the rulers

Of men and their destinies,

To the lips—to the eyes—to the girls

Who have loved us always.

The first verse and chorus were again repeated.

A tune from the C.G.I.T. Song Book and accompanying words were made to do duty in naming some of the prominent Beachers.

O Mr. King we’ll sing a ling a ling

With all our hearts for you

We hope there is some thing a ling a ling

That we can do for you

In autumn, winter, spring a ling a ling

In fact the whole year through

And ching a ling a ling for you

O Doctor Young you’ve often sung

With us in the Bruce Beach glee

We hope there is some thing a ling a ling

That we can do for thee,

We’ll be your patients old and young

And we’ll not forget the fee

We’ll sing a ling a ling, and ting a ling a ling

And ching a ling a ling for thee

The Ladies’ Glee Club also provided some excellent numbers.

At the annual Meeting of the Association the question of bringing in Hydro electric light to the Beach was discussed and a committee was appointed to look into the matter and bring a report to a special meeting to be called by the President before the cottagers left the Beach. During the year Mr. C. W. Yates erected a beautiful cottage. Minor improvements were made in other cottages.

The salary of the Sec.-Treas. was advanced to $75 00 per annum.

Officers: Pres. Mr. T. L. Hamilton; Vice Pres, Rev. J W. Gordon; Sec.-Treas., Rev H J Harnwell.


OLD Father Time in his speedy flight brings round again the holiday season, and July and August find us once more upon the Beach prepared to make the best of all too short a holiday outing.

The Golf and Tennis Tournaments were well contested. Golf becomes more popular every year. The annual Sports Day and evening Concert were largely attended. The song composed by Dr. Bradley that caused some amusement was a parody on Alouette as follows:

Don’t relate, O Johnnie, what you ate

What you ate for dinner just today

Each verse took on a different part of the menu.

Ham and eggs; Pork and beans;

Fish and chips; Onion pie; Bologna sausage.

[Photo of File:The Pie Eaters.jpg]

The Pie Eaters

At the annual meeting of the Association Dr. J. F. McKenzie resigned the convenership of the Sports Committee which he had held tor 15 years. During that time he bad been untiring in his efforts to make the sports a success and on motion at Dr. W. A. Bradley, seconded by Dr. J. W. McNamara, the Association took steps to have his name perpetuated in connection with the Sports by giving annually a prize to be known as the Dr. McKenzie award. The money for the purchase of this prize to be taken from the funds of the Association.

A representative from the Provincial Hydro Electric Commission was present at the meeting and steps were taken to secure Hydro for the cottagers.

Officers: President, Rev. J. W. Gordon; Vice Pres., Rev. Dr. J. W. McNamara; Sec.-Treas., Rev. H. J. Harnwell.

[photo of Rev. J. W. Gordon]

[photo of The men were ready for the “thread the needle race”]

[photo of Dr. McKenzie lines up the ladies…]


BRUCE BEACH as a summer resort still grows in interest and popularity. In this year of depression while other Summer Resorts had many vacant cottages Bruce Beach had not one.

Throughout the season the social activities were well maintained. Sports Day brings its usual large crowd of interested spectators, and the Sunday Services are well attended by reverent worshippers.

Hydro has not yet reached the Beach, but a movement is to be made by the Kincardine commission to circularize the cottagers, and request them to sign blank forms, in order that they may ascertain how many will become subscribers.

In no year thus far have the waters of the Lake so far receded as in 1932.

And the annual meeting of the Golf Club articles of furniture comprised the gift given the successful winners in the Tournament. Mr. Fred Yates was elected president.

For the first time since his appointment as Sec.- Treas., Mr. Harnwell was absent through sickness. Many good wishes were expressed for his speedy recovery. Dr. J. F. McKenzie and Dr. W. A. Bradley acted in his place at the annual meeting.

Officers of 1931 were all re-elected.

[photo of Surf-Bathing]


THE year 1933 was a year of pleasure and progress at the Beach. The cottages were all filled by tenants or their owners throughout the holiday season. The weather was exceptional fine during the months of July and August.

Sports day, while threatening rain in the forenoon, cleared up, and a delightful afternoon was spent. The concert in the evening had a record attendance, and the programme was up to its usual quality.

The Tennis Tournament was of particular interest this year. All the divisions met on No. 1 courts. Refreshments were served to more than 100 guests. The club was invited to a friendly game with Kincardine and sent 12 players.

At the annual meeting of the Association a petition was presented by tenants and owners of cottages asking the Association to take steps to prevent or regulate the motor traffic on the shore.

After much discussion in which the legal phases of the matter were explained by Mr. McCrae-president of the Law School, Toronto, and His Honor Judge West the following resolution was adopted.

Whereas Bruce Beach has been long noted as a quiet retreat where the lakefront has been a playground for the children, The Bruce Beach Campers’ Association would respectfully request every cottage owner, renter or tenant, to use motor cars on the Beach only when necessary, and then to exercise care and consideration for children.”

The secretary was instructed to procure cards for distribution in all the cottages calling attention to this matter, and also to have signs erected along the shore calling attention to the shore speed limit.

It is a long call from the early days when the Beachers went begging for some merchant in Ripley or Kincardine to bring supplies to the Beach, without success until 1933. when canvassers from both Ripley and Kin- the Beach soliciting orders for their firms, and the Dominion Store, Kincardine, holding an afternoon tea on the Golf grounds and inviting all cottagers to attend.

But 1933 will be remembered as the year in which the Golf Club erected a beautiful little club house at the first tee, also the presentation of two handsome cups to the Club. One by Mr. C. W. Yates to be contested for by our own club and one by Mr. C. R. Miller to be contested for by the Kincardine and Bruce Beach Clubs, and also the presentation by the Kincardine Club of a nice flag to be flown from the flagstaff of the Bruce Beach Club at the first Tee.

Officers: President, Dr. J. W. McNamara; Vice Pres., His Hon. Judge West; Sec-Treas., Rev. H. J. Harnwell.

[Photo File:Dr. J. W. McNamara President 1933-34.jpg]

Dr. J. W. McNamara President 1933-34


THE Bruce Beach Tennis Club had its inception in 1914 as a subsidiary to the Golf Club. In that year the Golf Club took action to ‘organize a Tennis Club, and after looking over the grounds decided to prepare and layout two courts on Me Steve Tout’s property and Mr. McKerroll was instructed to interview Mr. Tout and report to the secretary.

Two courts were laid out. One near the centre of Mr. Tout’s property, and one at the south end, near the present stile over the wire fence, but though much work was put on the latter it was never used.

This centre court was in use for many years but as the population extended north the need for more courts was felt and in 1920 the Bruce Beach Association appointed a committee in each Division to look the situation over with a view to having a court in each Division.

Accordingly a clay court was prepared in Division I near the road north of the pump. This one, never satisfactory, functioned until 1926 when two cinder courts were prepared at the top of the hill on the property of the McCosh Grove Limited, and the former court reserved, at the request of the Tennis Club, for a future Badminton Court. The Courts on the hill were a popular playing ground until 1934.

[Photo of Division III Tennis Courts]

In 1926 the court in Division II was abandoned on account of the wet condition of the ground and the damage dope to it by the Roods of that spring and the players of Division II united with Division 1, and moved up to its courts. In 1934 Divisions I and II decided to abandon their courts on the hill, and move back to their former court beside the Club House. They had the ground re-surveyed and a contract let for a tarvia court which was to be constructed and ready for operation in 1935. This contract was fulfilled and the court ready at the opening of the holiday season, and it has been a popular ‘place for tennis activities ever since.

Division III laid out their first court (grass) in 1922 in Mr. Pollock’s field, at the foot of the 8th concession hill.

In 1924 they moved across the road into Mr. W. J. Cameron’s field, and prepared a clay court there. This spot proved to be quite a community centre. It was directly behind Dr. McLean’s cottage, and the ladies of the vicinity often brought the vegetables for dinner, and prepared them while they watched the game. A community picnic was held here each year. But the water coming down the hill in the spring did much damage to the court, and it was found difficult to keep it in playing condition.

In August 1928 a meeting of the cottage-owners was held in Mr. J. E. Robertson’s cottage, and it was decided to abandon the court on the W. J. Cameron property, and build a court of a more permanent nature elsewhere. A committee was appointed to look up a suitable site. The Committee decided on a piece of land at the foot of Mr. Hugh Cameron’s hill.

Mr. Webster and Mr. Wilson made a canvas of the cottage-owners, in the Division, for sustaining members and procured seventeen sustaining members at $10.00 a piece. An acre of land was purchased from Mr. Cameron for S100.00.

[photo of A Bruce Beach Tennis Tournament]

[photo of Miss Nettie Moffat (Sec.-Tres. Div. III) and her mother Mrs. John Moffat]

It was decided to build a cement court, and Mr. Webster and Rev. D. G. Paton were appointed to supervise the construction work, which cost $315.35.

The court was officially opened on August 13th, 1929 by Mr. T. L. Hamilton, President of the Bruce Beach Association, who congratulated the residents of Division III on their energy and enterprise. This community dub was free of debt on August, 1931.

The Tennis fans of Division III feel that they have the best court on the Beach.

Division IV is the latest addition to Bruce Beach sports colony. Two or three cottages comprised the group north of the eighth concession until about 1923, but since that time the growth has been steady.

As the number of cottages increased it became financially possible to begin definitely to arrange for sports in this division. Land was rented from Mr. Hugh Cameron, and space was cleaned and levelled for two courts by the “sweated” labour of the hardy pioneers of that day. At first a clay surface was used, but during recent years, with the population of the division rapidly increasing, a great deal has been done to improve the situation and now in 1937 two very fine surfaced courts are available. Each year the playing surface has been treated and improved, and it is now difficult to accommodate the players of all ages who seek to indulge in this very fine form of recreation. The 1937 Tournament was held on these courts.


IT is not only true that “necessity is the mother of invention” but it is equally true that necessity is the father of progressive enterprise, for out of the necessity of a situation grew the Joint Stock Company that bears the name of The McCosh-Grove, Limited.

With the southern end of Our Golf Course plowed up and the northern end rendered impossible by wet ground, caused by Spring floods, necessity led to the purchase of the McCosh property as a permanent Bruce Beach play ground.

It was in the early days of the month of August, 1925, that the writer and his wife received an invitation from Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Kennedy to a Marshmallow roast at their cottage at 8 p.m.

The invitation was accepted and after they had enjoyed the hospitality of their host and hostess around a bonfire the subject of procuring grounds for a permanent Golf Course was discussed.

The party consisted of Mr. and Mrs. John Kennedy, Mr. and Mrs. D. E. Kennedy, Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Wilson and Rev. W. A. and Mrs. Bradley.

It was pointed out by Mr. D. E. Kennedy that the outlook for sport at the Beach, in the future was not bright. That the Golf grounds were being contracted, and we might find on coming to the Beach some year, that not only was golf out of the question, but that access to our cottages might be blocked.

After a free expression of opinion, and viewing the situation from all angles, it was decided to approach Mr. Robert McCosh, with a view to purchasing his property between the forced road and the lake front. Arrangements were made to meet Mr. McCosh at a certain date. Mr. Bradley was invited to be one of the party.

According to arrangements the party consisted of Mr. John Kennedy, Mr. D. E. Kennedy, Dr. Gerald Wilson and Rev. W. A. Bradley met with Mr. McCosh, at his home at the specified hour, August 17th, 1925.

Mr. McCosh was requested to put a price upon the above mentioned property. He asked S3000.00. There was no haggling over the amount. The offer was accepted, and a substantial cheque handed him to bind the bargain.

Then and there the writings were drawn up with the Party of the first part and Party of the second part, used with all the nicety of a Philadelphia lawyer, and the signatures of Mr. D. E. Kennedy, Mr. R. McCosh and Dr. Gerald Wilson attached, and witnessed by Mr. John Kennedy and Rev. W. A. Bradley.

[photo of Dr. Gerald Wilson]

[photo of Mr. D. E. Kennedy]

In the agreement Mr. McCosh and his successor are given the right of way over the present road to the lake, and also the use of the well on the property. Further Mr. McCosh, as long as he resides on his present farm, is given the use of the orchard fruit, pasture land, and fallen timber, in exchange for which he agrees to cut the hay and grass on the land sold up to June the first of each year, but this latter agreement terminates with his removal from his present farm.

Subsequently a joint deed was made out in favour of Mr. D. E. Kennedy and Dr. Wilson. The sum of $500.00 was paid Mr. McCosh, and a mortgage given for two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) to run ten years, with interest at 6% per annum. Thus the 40 acres in question became the property of Mr. Kennedy and Dr. Wilson.

It is needless to say that this transaction created a good deal of talk on the Beach, some expressing grave fears as to what would happen. But the excitement soon cooled down, as calmer judgment prevailed.

Due to the expressed wish of Mr. McCosh, that the cottagers behind his property “should have some Ownership in the property, assurance was given him by the purchasers, that an opportunity would be given them of forming a joint stock Company, and becoming possessors of the land, if the option was taken up within a year’s time.

This opportunity the cottagers took advantage of and at a meeting held August 10th, 1926, in Mr. Kennedy’s cottage, almost every cottager behind and adjacent to the purchased property was present.

Rev. J. U. Stewart was appointed Chairman, and L. A. Bradley, secretary. After full discussion it was unanimously decided to form a Joint Stock Company and take over the option. The amount to be paid for the property was three thousand dollars ($3000.00). Two thousand eight hundred dollars ($2.800.00) was subscribed by those present at the meeting of that evening. It was decided to apply for a charter, and it was suggested that the Company bear the name of “McCosh”. It was accordingly agreed to call the Company The McCosh-Grove, Limited. The shares were placed at $50.00 apiece. The charter which cost $100.00 was obtained on December 3rd, 1928. The following officers were elected: Hon. Pres., Mr. Angus Munn; Pres., Mr. Jas. S Anderson; Vice Pres., Dr. Gerald A. Wilson, Sec.-Treas., Mr. D. E. Kennedy; Directors, Dr. J. M. Young and Mr. Duncan Munn. The property was used for Golf and Tennis purposes throughout the holiday season.

The following year a course of nine holes was laid out by Mr. Ritchie, and Mr. Alex. McCosh engaged as caretaker of the grounds.

In the same year extensive improvements were made on the hill. Posts, to which a strong cable was attached, were p1aced on the danger side, as a protection against accidents. The cable was donated by Mr. D. E. Kennedy. Before the first annual meeting of the Company was held the President Mr. James S. Anderson, was called away by death. At this meeting, which was held August 6th, 1927, Rev. W. A. Bradley was elected president.

The Company took over Mr. W. A. Bradley’s garage that stood at the right hand of the entrance to the grounds, and had it moved to a convenient place, as an implement house, in which to store the horse-mower and other golf paraphernalia.

A new wire fence was built along the front of property and a new gate placed at the entrance, and at both sides of the property, in conjunction with Mr. Frank Tout on the South, and Mr. Steve Tout on the north, a new wire fence was built.

Mr. Kennedy also ordered and procured 2000 young pine trees, 1000 Red pine and 1000 Scotch pine to be planted by the members of the company. Many have taken advantage of the opportunity, and have planted young pines on their cottage lots.

To prevent autoists from driving over a portion of the Western part of the golf course, a new road was cut through behind the cottages, extending from the road to the Lake, north to Mr. Steve Tout’s fence. Clay was put upon the sand and gravel upon the clay making a substantial road. This enabled a number of stock holders to build garages close to their cottages.

To build a garage or other buildings on the Company’s property, the consent of the Property Committee must be obtained. The present Grounds committee, are Mr. Thomas Kennedy, Mr. D. E. Kennedy and Mr. D. Munn.

With improvements amounting to more than $500.00, apart from the amount spent on the property by the Golf Club, it speaks well for the enterprise of the Company that on September 16th, 1933, the mortgage was paid off and discharged.

At the annual meeting of the Company held July 29th, 1933, permission was given to the Golf Club to erect a club house at the first Tee. This building was completed during the month of August of the same year. An agreement was made with the Golf Club, whereby the latter shall pay to the Company $50.00 on or before the first day of August in each succeeding year. This amount goes to pay the Government tax, and local taxes of the Municipality.

The Club also agrees to give certain special Golf privileges to the stock holders of the Company. And further agrees to maintain the Golf Course, and keep the Company’s property in repair. This agreement however is subject to revision at the annual meeting of either organization in any subsequent year.

It is with no small degree of satisfaction that we look back upon the transactions of the past few years, and feel that we have accomplished something for ourselves, and something that will be of benefit to future residents of this part of the Beach, and in a certain degree to all dwellers of the Beach. First by securing a safe and undisputed way to our cottages for the future, and second by providing a playground which is at the disposal of all who prize a game of Golf or Tennis, during the holiday spent at their summer cottages.

We are grateful for the foresight and enterprise that have made the McCosh-Grove Limited possible.


THIS year gave us beautiful holiday weather, and the holiday spirit pervaded the camp. In no year of the colony’s existence had the waters of the lake so far receded. The new Club House erected by the Golf Club was a rallying place for many social activities and for meetings of the various athletic Clubs.

The activities of the Ladies’ Auxiliary in connection with the Club House in procuring furnishings for the same is worthy of special mention.

The Sabbath Services throughout the season were well attended.

The McCosh Grove Limited reported the mortgage on the property paid off and discharged.

Sports Day had a record crowd. The events were well contested. In the Girls’ competition Jean Wilson, won the McKenzie prize, and in the boys’ competition it was won by Bill Manning. The concert in the evening was well attended, but the familiar strains of The Men’s Glee Club for the first time since 1916 were missed.

Tennis Clubs No. 1 and 2 that met at the top of the hill had the original court in Division No. 1 re-surveyed and an order given for the construction of two Tennis Courts and a Badminton court to be ready for 1935.

At the annual meeting of the Association a committee consisting of Doctors Bradley, McNamara, and McKerroll, was appointed to get estimates on the cost of printing a Souvenir of the Beach, and to report at the next annual meeting.

The annual meeting of the Golf Club was a brilliant affair. The prizes this year in addition to the cups won were golf clubs. The History of the Golf Club was read by the Beach Historian, Dr. W. A. Bradley. As the Rev. Robert Martin had been the originator of Golf at the Beach, driving the first ball from the present No. 2 tee, and laying out the first course, Dr. Bradley moved that hereafter No. 2 tee, and No. 2 fairway be named the Martin tee, and the Martin Fairway. This was seconded by Mr. Thomas Kennedy and carried unanimously. The prizes were distributed and refreshments served.

The matter of better mail services was discussed, and the Dominion Government approached through Mr. Morrison, Postmaster of Kincardine, for a delivery Route along the Beach.

Officers:. Dr. J. W. McNamara President, His Hon. Judge West, Vice Pres., Rev. H. J Harnwell Sec-Treas.


IN no year of the Beach’s history has Lake Huron been so calm and quiet throughout the holiday and in no year had the water so far receded. The weather was ideal and the heat not intense. All the cottages were occupied throughout the season.

[photo of His Honor Judge West, President 1935-36]

The new tarvia Tennis Court in Division I was ready for occupation when the cottagers arrived and in constant use from morning till night throughout the holiday.

The contest between the Kincardine and Bruce Beach Golf Clubs was woo by Kincardine, by the last man, with the last shot and at the last hole.

The new R. M. Route along the Beach front was a convenience much appreciated by the cottagers and the thanks of the Association, at its annual meeting, ordered to be forwarded to the postal authorities.

Sports day was a great success with increased attendance, and the concert in the evening above the average.

At the Annual Meeting of the Association it was agreed on account of the excellent service given us by the Kincardine Merchants to no longer canvas them for prizes for sports day, and to forward a letter to the Chamber of Commerce of the Town conveying our appreciation of their service and informing them of the action taken at the annual meeting.

The committee on the Beach Souvenir reported, and was continued. Mr. W.A. Bremner was added to the Committee.

The attendance at the Sabbath Services was well maintained throughout the season.

Officers: His Hon. Judge West, Pres.; Mr. Thomas Kennedy, Vice-Pres.; Rev. H. J. Harnwell, Sec. Treas.


THIS year will go down in history as the warmest and driest experienced at the Beach. Throughout the months of July and August there was no rain and one week in July was the warmest on record. As usual there were no vacant cottages throughout the season, and Sunday services were well maintained.

Golf becomes more and more the Bruce Beach pastime. Miss Mabel Dobson presented the Club with a cup to be contested for by children under twelve years of age. This called forth quite an array of youthful golfers.

In the contest between the Bruce Beach and Kincardine Clubs, for the Miller trophy, the cup was brought back to the Beach after an absence of two years.

At the annual meeting of the Golf Club, Mr. D. E. Kennedy and Dr. Gerald Wilson were made honourary members of the club.

At the annual meeting of the Golf Association the Committee in charge of the printing of a Beach Souvenir was continued.

Sports Day as usual was a gala day on the Beach, with probably not as large an attendance as in previous years. but with all events well contested. The concert in the evening was good and was well patronized.

Officers: Same as last year.


ONE thing that has characterized the history of the Beach has been its freedom from accidents. In the 43 years of its existence there have been but two drowning accidents.

A medical doctor from the village of Atwood, whose wife and family were holidaying at the Beach, came out on Sunday to visit them. After a hearty dinner he went into the water for a swim. He was taken with cramps, and before help could arrive was drowned. The mishap cast a gloom over the whole colony.

At the annual meeting of the Association the committee having the Beach Souvenir in hand was continued, and the sum of $25.00 was set aside to assist in paying for engravings and the same amount apportioned for the following year. Mr. Thomas Kennedy was added to the committee. The Club House was improved by the addition of a beautiful fire place in the main building and also the addition of an up-to-date and well furnished kitchen.

In the contest for the Miller trophy between the Bruce Beach and Kincardine golf clubs, the home club again demonstrated its prowess, and retains the cup for another year.

Some difference of opinion arose at the annual meeting of the McCosh Grove Limited between the Company and the Golf Club. The matter was finally left to the President of the Golf Club, Mr. W. Whalen and Mr. Thomas Kennedy, secretary of the company, for whatever settlement, in their wisdom they should see fit to make.

The Sunday School conducted by Miss Jean Ernst, averaged about sixty children. The regular Sabbath Services were well attended.

Officers: Mr. Thomas Kennedy, Pres.; Rev. A. C. Stewart, Vice-Pres.; Rev. H. J. Harnwell, Sec.-Treas.

[photo of Mr. Thomas Kennedy, President 1937]


Wiki Notes

This Wiki book was created from a PDF file provided by Rob Parker. The PDF files was created by scanning the pages of the original “Souvenir History of Bruce Beach” compiled by Rev. W.A. Bradley in 1937. That PDF was then converted back to text again using Adobe Acrobat Reader Extended version 9.0. The text was manually corrected by Gail Pool and Doug Dunlop. There may still be textual errors in need of manual correction.

Here is the original “Souvenir History of Bruce Beach” PDF file.


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