CM . . . .
Volume V Number 9 . . . . January 1, 1999
The inexperienced Robins brothers approached Opeongo with some trepidation. They had been told that this lake was animated by a sinister spirit which brooded unsleepingly, malevolently, over the three great arms of that majestic water. Another friend, 'whose belief in any kind of spirits is limited to those over a certain per cent proof,' told them it was intimidating because of the danger to venturesome canoeists in its great open bays. swallowing their fears and mistakenly believing there were cottages on the lake, they decided to treat it as a "suburb of Toronto." Their confidence waned, however, when they set eyes upon the vast expanse of water stretching southwards. Robins offered a thought worthy of consideration by all canoeists. "Opeongo was a weather-breeder, a malignant spirit, cunning, treacherous, the custodian of all the hatred against the encroachments of white men for three hundred years." Tremulously, they pushed off under a glowering sky an with great relief eventually paddled up to the outfitting store in Sproule Bay where their car awaited.
This book tells the history of Lake Opeongo in exhaustive detail and is illustrated with a large number of black and white photos. One can assume that this account was written for people who live, or have lived, in the area or are otherwise connected to and interested in Lake Opeongo. There is a bibliography, a list of local place names with meanings, and a chronology of historical events. The book is well written and obviously well researched. For anyone looking for facts, figures and history, Lake Opeongo will be a welcome acquisition. However, for the casual reader, the book might prove heavy going.
S. Bernard Shaw has previously written a pair of books on the lakes in Algonquin Park and more than two hundred magazine articles on historical, aviation and business topics.
Luella Sumner is Head Librarian of the Red Rock Public Library in Red Rock, Ontario.
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