On June 1, 1870, a group of eight young “ladies and gents” gathered in Southampton before embarking on a four day adventure along the Lake Huron coast in a small sailboat. From Mr. Potts’ written account I cannot discern if they were all singles or related, making this tale, given the era, even more intriguing.
Their story continues …
June 2 (Cont.) Breakfast being over and devotional exercise gone through, the captain gave orders for “All aboard” for a sail two miles up the Sauble to the beautiful falls. The ladies helped to row with an earnestness and execution which would have done credit to an experienced sailor. The scenery at the falls could not have been surpassed in any part of our Dominion. Half an hour of further rowing brought us to the rapids which were greeted by all aboard with expressions of admiration. They looked majestic in the morning sunlight.
We then got underway for Jack Island, arriving at noon. After anchoring and taking a stroll, dinner was prepared by the ladies and served on a perfect granite “table.” Off next to Main Station and later to Cranberry Island. After supper, Miss Munn sang in good style “The Old Folks at Home” accompanied by Mr. Halliday with his violin. After which we indulged in the “Light Fantastic Toe,” with him again supplying excellent music. When the merry dance was over, we thought it best to retire. Miss Cook sang a Psalm and we committed ourselves for the night to His keeping.
June 3: We arose this morning greatly refreshed. Breakfast was announced and after satisfying the cravings of nature, the ladies washed dishes while the gents took a smoke. After fishing, we returned to camp about 11 a.m. Miss Thompson made some beautiful pidgeon (sic) soup which was eaten with great relish.
Large blue flies were very bothersome so we went to work to accomplish their destruction in the following manner. We took a piece of board and spread some (gun) powder over it about one foot square with a train of about two feet. We then covered the powder with pidgeon bones and shortly they were covered in flies. A. Munn applied the fuse and off it went, sending hundreds of them to their long home.
The adventure concludes next month.
This article was originally submitted by Isabel Howke to the 1990 Bruce County Historical Society Yearbook and adapted by Bob Johnston