Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart. www.bondi-village-resort.com
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Walking through the Past
This is all that's left of Hyram Wilder's old barn. It was old when our grandparents, Joseph and Elizabeth, came here in 1905.
Located well away from the small house, and all the other little outbuildings that made up Hyram's holding, it now shelters under the trees beside one of our ski trails leading to the Hidden Lake. A beautiful example of dove-tail construction is still evident. The space between buildings was designed as fire-safety measure. There's not a lot of water up there. Fire could spread fast, and with the source of night lighting being gas-lanterns and candles, fire was a constant threat.
Achmed, who never misses a nature hike if he possibly can join in, Taffy the puppy, and I were up in our back fields this morning. The crust on the snow is incredible -- you can walk anywhere. This time last year, these fields were clear of snow. Not now. It's a blanket of white, so bright it demands sunglasses.
Hyram was quite the character. He, his father, and four brothers were the first pioneers onto these lands. In fact, Hyram cleared the land at Bondi itself. Seeing the light regarding the future of agriculture on the Canadian Shield, he sold his acreage to Mr. McIelwain, and moved onto this piece of land located behind the resort. Mr. McIelwain sold to Joseph Tapley -- and then hired back on to help run the farm for the first several years, since what Joseph knew about farming could be contained in a very slim volume. Hyram preferred to work with the horses... He'd love that now we gallop and train over cross country fences up there, with several of the jumps incorporating his labouriously stacked stone walls. There was money in horses, before the automobile came along, so he did well enough. He did even better with a sideline in moonshine whiskey. Local legend holds that when he was told the "government men" were in Dwight, and heading his way, he tied his still to a rope and tossed it into the Hidden Lake. This little lake is actually a black spruce bog. Bottomless... The rope was, shall we say, past it's best before date. As far as anyone knows, the still is down there yet.
There was a running feud between Joseph and Hyram -- evidently the Tapley encyclopedia of farming lore didn't have a chapter on fencing in livestock. Our cattle were repeatedly to be found in Hyram's fields. He threatened to sue. To show there was no animosity, he named his black heifer for Joseph's daughter, Violet. And asked Joe to help him write up his will. He could blend a mean whiskey, but he wasn't very literate.
Brian and Nancy, at Hyram's old barn -- it was already
close to 100 years old by this time.
Hyram was a great help to our grandparents, teaching Elizabeth how to drive a team of horses, and helping with the stock and horses. He suffered a stroke, and was brought to Elizabeth's door. With a longstanding tradition of wearing the same clothes summer and winter, citing that "what keeps out the cold will keep out the heat," he wasn't someone you wanted to stand downwind of. Elizabeth refused to have him in the house until she had stripped and scrubbed him, dressed him in clean clothes and tossed his into the laundry before she tucked him into a warm bed. It didn't help. He passed on, and one of the neighbours commented that it was inevitable, given that Elizabeth had "washed off all that protective dirt."
Dr. Stewart, who built the Stewart Memorial Church in Dwight, had known the Wilder's before they relocated to the wilds of Lake of Bays. The minister would come up in the summer's and travel about, preaching from the doorsteps of their various households. I like to think of that, of the good preacher thundering out a sermon on hell and damnation, while down below, in the hidden depths of the spruce bog, moonshine whiskey percolated silently through it's still, and in the fields our cattle roamed a little too freely. Ah, those were the days...
Don't overlook our specials for COUPLES! As well as families and groups, we offer great deals for couples looking to just get away.
You can check our availability on-line. We work hard to keep this current, but it may lag actual bookings. And it may not be 100% accurate...
We do have vacancies throughout July and August, but not that many... so you should scoop up yours! In fact, there are only about nine vacancies left for this summer!! We've got your cottage waiting, but you should call now!
We much prefer to keep the personal touch, and to discuss your booking the 'old-fashioned' way, directly, person to person! This helps us ensure that we've got your booking just the way you want it.
1 888 300 2132 or 705 635 2261 or email us. We've got your cottage ready!
Changing the Season
August is on the doorstep. We currently have no vacancies until September, and our guests are enjoying the lake, the calling loons, the quiet times and all the activities that go with a summer here at Bondi Village. Get out of the city, restore your soul...
This means that we are now accepting reservations for two night stays and weekend packages during September and October -- the fall colours are astonishing, and on our own 600 acre property, there are so many walking trails and lookout views that there's no need to battle traffic into the Park just to see the beauty! Algonquin is always amazing, but during high colour season, best seen mid-week. There are so many other wonderful places around where you can enjoy the autumn without the congestion of the road, and we are happy to direct you to them.
We have great deals during the fall season, for couples, up to small groups of 18 people.
And don't forget Winter -- we've got vacancies for Christmas! We'll provide the tree, and you bring the family.
We've got a fantastic place to gather, enjoy the scenery, relax by a fire, and spend time with family and friends. Whether a quiet couples' getaway, or a family reunion or a club outing , we've got your cottage waiting.
We'd love to hear from you. The experiences our guests have are precious to us. If you have photos you took at Bondi, we'd love to have those as well. You can email them to Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are very proud of Napster, our tail-painting cat, who uses his lovely artwork to raise money for charities. This lovely little creature passed away July 2015, but left a huge legacy, having raised over $12,000 for various charities through the sale of his artwork. That artwork, through prints and notecards, is still available. Click here to visit Napster's Blog and visit the gallery of his tail-paintings.
Now sold around the world, he was honoured to have his artwork sold around the globe -- he even has a print with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Click on the following links to enjoy a 'virtual ski' round some of our 15 km. of groomed track set cross country ski trails. Thanks to Altitude and Attitude, North Muskoka gets the kind of winter you can really enjoy. Huge thanks to Eric Prince, the creative mind that made this videos happen!
Click here to enjoy seeing a variety of our trails.
And Click Here for another cross country ski adventure.
and this one, in 2014, just days before the snow vanished, from Hawke Lake on down. Click Here
And Click Here for just one more...