Geographic location: Stanhope Twp, accessed from Stanhope Airport Road to Barry Line (east and west)
From Maple, Beech and Cameron Lakes Area Property Owners’ Association
One of the first settlers in the area was a trapper named Johnny Archer, who built a cabin and raised a family on the north-east side of the lake in 1876. Land Patent records show settlement on the south side of the lake by William Demill (1874) and Hiram Sawyer in 1876. James Blott settled at the west end in 1876, as well. In about 1925, Charlie and Bertha Barry settled on lots 29 and 30 of Concession 7, including the west half of the lake. They lived, at first, in a log cabin, worked their own land and supplemented the family income with work in logging camps and other pursuits. They raised four sons who helped to support the family as Charlie sold off lots around the lake; often Harold, Earl, Ross and Val took care of construction for the purchasers. Some of these cabins, constructed from logs and lumber obtained in clearing the farm land, are still in use today. One of Charlie’s grandsons, Jeff, still lives on a portion of the original farmstead and other descendants and extended family remain, as well. At the east end of the lake, Orm Fader farmed and raised his family; descendants and the name are still there.
Jack and Jean Middleton first purchased land on the south-east side of the lake in 1936 and had one of the first lakeside cottages on the lake. Charlie Barry and his sons built the Middleton’s first, two bedroom log cabin, still being used today.
Ben Sawyer was another early “developer” who purchased lots on the north side of the lake, built log cabins and resold, two of these early 1900’s cabins are still in use.
Cameron Lake is known by most of those who are long time residents and cottagers as Little Cameron – it is hard to say why, exactly, as the lake has no official name on any map! Cameron may refer to the William Cameron Family which first settled in the Beech Lake area. On maps today, the only named lake in the area is a small “pond” just north of Little Cameron called Second Lake and existing largely because of beavers.
Lore has it that the trap line held by Johnny Archer ran from Little Cameron (First Lake?) up through Second to Third Lake further north and west, and beyond to Fourth Lake near Blagdon Hill, north of Maple Lake.
Map source: Ontario Forests Branch, Parry Sound Ontario. March 23rd, 1938