Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Yesterday we had the carpets cleaned in our house.


John H. from the Canal Winchester branch of Stanley Steemer did a great job.(a little plug for Stanley Steemer) Linda and I had to move a lot of small stuff and in so doing I ran across a couple pictures from my youth. In the early and mid 60’s I had the opportunity to spend some real quality time in Canada helping to build Frank’s camp.


This picture was probably taken in 1965 or 1966. Finnish sauna on left (before porch was added) storage shed in middle and main cabin on right. The cabin is located about eight miles by water or ice from Penage Bay Marina (take a second and click on this link) I knew all the people mentioned in this article;  Gemmell's, Sutinen family, Bill Blanchard,Vic and Judy Erola, and Louis Dozzi. I had the opportunity to have a camp dinner with Vic and Judy Erola one time. Judy later became Minister of Mines in the Canadian government. This would be equivalent to a cabinet position in the U.S. Anyway, on this winter trip we installed a fuel oil stove in the main cabin. For one night the only heat was from the wood burning fireplace(no heat). The temp that night got to 30 degrees below 0. The Canadian Ale froze and for breakfast the eggs had to be peeled like they were hard boiled before we could cook them. Remember no electricity,no cell phones etc. etc. and pretty much pre snowmobile or snow machine. We hitched a ride to the cabin in a Unimog:

unimog There was just enough room for us the fuel oil stove and the Canadian ale. A couple evenings later we were invited to Walters for dinner.


Walter BellChambers lived on the lake year round and being pre everything except snowshoes didn’t get a lot of visitors in the winter. Living about  ten miles from the landing made for a pretty good hike especially in the winter. Walter had most of his supplies brought in by boat prior to freeze-up. In the 40’s Walter was the personal guide to the Fruehauf's of trucking and trailer fame. The Fruehauf’s camp was in Killarney,Ontario and is now known as killarney mountain lodge. Walter commuted by float plane between Killarney and Lake Penage. Walter was a great cook. That night we had POT ROAST AND ALL THE FIXINS cooked on a wood burning stove, a sauna,and a lot of Canadian ale. On the wall of the main room was a black bear “rug”. One winter Walter had shot the bear when it broke into his cabin.  Several years later Walter died of a heart attack on his back porch in the middle of winter. Gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “frozen stiff”. Walter was quite a character; he never stopped talking and telling stories about the lake and his guiding trips. As I remember in particular he liked the trips to Bass Lake and Silver Peak.


This is a picture of “Frank’s Camp” taken in 2006. Frank is no longer with us nor does the camp belong to any of his remaining family and that is a shame..

Map picture

LAKE PENAGE OR LAKE PANACHE MORE THAN ONE SPELLING. This summer hope to be camping on the French River and then around North Bay Ontario.

There are to be no comments about the uneven sidewalk and steps in front of my house. Thanks Joe Todd



Nate said...

That sure brings back memories, i miss camping every summer in canada too bad the cabin is still not available

Ratty said...

I used to live with a wood stove for awhile. It was many years ago. It was pretty cold outside, but it never got quite as cold as it did where you were though.

TONY LETTS said...

It's like a different world from here - let alone different continent.

Anonymous said...

visiting from BPOTW - enjoyed this post !

BPOTW said...

Wow! That is some wonderful scenery!

Joe Todd said...

I have noticed there are several visits on a continuing post. I really would like to know who you are and where you are from. Please leave a comment

Unknown said...

I grew up on a island on Lake Penage in the 1950's My parent own a fishing camp the island was known as Bonneview. The most wonderful menories of my life.
You can contact me

Jim Knight said...

wow! it's looks beautiful. i really enjoy this post.

Kevin Heller said...

Kevin Heller said. So many memories of family vacations on Little Lake Penage. My Mom was from Newfoundland. Dad was in the Air Force, and stationed in Newfie when he met Mom. I have relatives throughout The Great White North. My Aunt Kay had a cottage on the lake from 76 to 96.Fishing on the clear calm lake for pike and bass was something we enjoyed. The peaceful evenings on the deck until the skeeters carried me inside. Fresh blueberries everyday. Saunas, cookouts, hikes, and even trips to the marina for odds and ends. Saw the Nortern Lights on on the same night as meteor showers. I was in high school when I first starting going up. Ended up taking my family up for many years. Still the best vacation anyone could ask for. The long grulling 14 hour drive from Columbus always had a pot of gold at the end. I lost my Mom to a stroke in early 2010 she was a healthy 78. I talk to my aunt almost every week. We always talk of the great cottage days. My family truly loved the place. My kids picked the trips up north over Disney World. When we have a cool summer day in Ohio I always say it is a Lake Penage kind of day. I have always said if I was born up there, and I could find a way to make living---even in the Sudbury Nickel Mine----I would never leave. Harsh long winters, short lovely summers. Lake Penage Canada is a big slice of heaven. Kevin Heller, Columbus Ohio. Yoou can contact me at

Lahore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Dear Joe, Walter Bellchambers was known as "Uncle Walter" when ever he was around. I loved reading your comments about him and it took me back to my childhood. Please see my website which features a page about Killarney. I plan on adding a whole page dedicated to Uncle Walter as I have many photographs of him from that time. I think I was 12 the last time I saw him, but I sure do remember him and all those great stories.

Id love to hear more of them and with your permission, may I link to your blog once I create the page dedicated to Uncle Walter please?
Many thanks, Ruthie Fruehauf

Unknown said...

Oh I forgot to give you my website URL This is dedicated to the history of the Fruehauf Trailer Company. Thanks

Denise said...

Does anyone know of a book about Walter Bellchambers? Please could you email me at Thank you!