(Information provided by Fred Perry, Eileen Flieler, Darlene Parks (Neal) and Tom Neal)
The first store in Harlowe was believed to be owned by John Hillier. Next, Critchleys owned the store and operated the post office in the same place (northwest corner of the four corners inthe village).The other owners were Hugh and Jean Hillier who owned the store for many years. There was a two-storey living quarters attached. Hugh and Jean sold to Tom and Violet Neal in 1952. In 1962 John and Joan Flieler bought it from Neals.
In 1967, they added a large piece on the back of the store to accommodate the extensive selection of product. This included: clothing, footwear, hardware and a meat market. The building of this addition was done by John’s brother, Arnold. At that time, the name of the store was changed to Harlowe Superior Market. They also sold gasoline, which was served at 7 a.m. to folks on their way to work. About 1975 Flielers sold the business to Jim and Barb Whaley. In 1985 Thomas Neal Sr and
Violet bought the store back and operated it until his death in 2001.
The store is now closed, going the way of most of the small village general stores. It was just too difficult to compete with the big box stores within driving distance; thus, this little village was left with no store.
Happy Landing Lodge (Kashwakamak Lake)
In 1936, one of the first lodges in the area was Happy Landing a short distance off the present Road 506 and onto Myers Cave Road, quite a distance from Harlowe. Charlie Johnson was the original owner and operated the lodge for over 40 years; upon Charlie’s retirement, his son Harold “Buster” Johnson and wife Eileen took over the operation; in 1985, Buster passed the property to his four children to be used by their family and friends.
Charlie’s log cabin became the dining room and kitchen; a new modern building housed bathrooms and showers; a wood-burning stove was replaced by a commercial propane stove. All original cabins were refurbished and hydro upgrade took place.
A Happy Landing sign is still present in the bay area.
Don-Anna Lodge, Harlowe (Kaskwakamak Lake)
In the 1950s, Don and Anne Perry constructed four rustic cottages (without running water) on the shore of Kashwakmak where Birch Lane is located presently. There was a main dining-room across the road, where all guests took their meals. Anne was regarded as a great cook. One of the workers was Wanda Salmond. These cabins were operated until about the 1960s. The couple had no children to take over the business, so it ceased.
King's Cottages & Marina (Kashwakamak Lake)
Jim and Kay Wright purchased King’s Cottages on April 1, 1968 and along with their children Bill, Dianne, and Brian moved from Richmond Hill to the outskirts of Harlowe. The previous owner Roy King had owned the camp for over 30 years and had added five cottages to the original five cottages that had been built in the early 1900s.
In the early 1970s Jim opened a full marina with the Mercury Outboard dealership. Jim cut and peeled the logs for the “shop”.
The summers were busy when each Saturday 40-50 new folks would arrive for their holiday at King’s. King’s was a busy spot for five summer months, with the marina and small canteen to cater to the cottagers and as well the summer folks on the lake.
Over twenty years at the camp, an old home on the property was torn down, and two cottages were replaced. Jim and Kay sold the resort in 1988 and built a new home, just down the road from the camp, and retired.
MacGregor's Lodge (Kashwakmak Lake, Harlowe)
This Lodge was located off the Myer’s Cave Road close to our present Road 506, at the head of Kashwakamak Lake. It was just north of Don-Anna Lodge. It was owned and operated by Duncan and Madge MacGregor in the early 1950’s. Duncan’s sisters were Maude (married Clarence Menor) and Lily (Perry). Lily and her husband owned Myer’s Cave Lodge. Duncan and Madge’s son, Alan married Helen Parks (later divorced).
The Lodge had 13 cabins and a dining room. Nine cabins were on the side by the lodge; six were doubles. The first one going on the right was Helen and Alan’s home. Over the bridge to the back were five more cabins. The lodge was open from May until after fall hunting season. Dunc guided for both fishing and hunting. Their main customers were Americans.
The cottages were sold separately and removed. Two of them were re-located near Harlowe and two became cottages at Perry’s Point. There is no evidence of the Lodge now.
Perry's Point Cottages, Harlowe (Kashwakamak Lake)
Johnny Perry’s Father, Ebeneezer James, owned 2000 acres along Kashwakamak Lake, from Perry’s Point all the way near Twin Cedars at Marble Lake. He constructed several cottages on the point for rental. The business continued in the family until 1967 at which time Johnny sold the property to individuals who made the cottages their primary residents. New houses have been built in some of the old cottage locations.
Gray's Little Acres, (Kashwakamak Lake, Harlowe)
Basil Gray built two cottages on Kashwakamak Lake in the 1950s. His business was referred to as “Gray’s Little Acres” because it was on a small point of land. Both cottages were white with red trim and stayed that way through the years.
Fishing was good; the lake was pristine. Being able to catch fish and come back and cook for supper was most enjoyable experience. The guests became return renters, year after year.
The two cottages were transferred to two of Basil’s sons- Mac and Eldon. They were rented out for several years; now family members use them for their vacation spot.
Thompson's Lodge, Harlowe (Big Gull Lake)
Thomas and Maryanne Thompson farmed the land in the late 1800’s prior to its establishment as a lodge. Thomas and Maryanne’s children were: Ezra, Maxwell, Dancourt, Ruth and Ralph (youngest born 1908).
Thompson Lodge started with Thomas and Maryanne taking in travelers like many other local residents did. Maryanne was a superb cook and prepared excellent meals for the guest.
All their own children had moved to their own houses; Ralph, being the youngest, stayed on the farm to help. When Ralph married Annie, he built an addition to the house. This did not seem to give enough space as the family grew, so Ralph took a small building that already had a foundation and built on it. The plan was to use the space where they had been living as a large dining room. (That was in the present house). Next, Ralph built two more cottages, giving a total of 8. One of the first cottages is still standing.
Five children were born through the years: Dorothy (eldest), Douglas, Keith, Wendall, and Muriel (youngest). Annie had been a teacher before she married Ralph and serving meals and helping with guests was not what she planned to do. She went back to teaching but had to take a job where she was away all week and boarded at that location. Ralph would take her to the school early Monday and pick her up on Friday afternoon. During the week, Ralph had all the responsibilities of the resort, serving as the Township Clerk-Treasurer (for 45 years) AND looking after 5 children as well. He hired Mrs. Whiteman to attend to the children- more like a grandmother than babysitter.
Several of the buildings are still standing on the homestead. Some of the cottages built by Ralph are now owned by Wendall Thompson. The cottages are not rented.
Viking Lodge, Harlowe (Gull Lake)
The site for Viking Lodge was the homestead of the Earl family. The original log house built in 1867, served as the dining room with living quarters upstairs. As homesteaders, the Earls were required to build this log house in their first year of settlement.
About 1940 Bill and Winnie (Cuddy) Hill bought the lodge. They lived above the dining hall until they could build a home for the family. In later years, there was a main building, six cottages, a log barn and an icehouse added. Although the Hills lived at the site, the Lodge operation stopped in the mid 1980s.