John & Isabella (Irving) Robertson

Settler of township lots: Lots 4 & 5, Conc. 12, McClintock

Location: map point is the approximate location within Lot 5, Conc. 12 on Oxtongue Lake Road south of Blue Spruce Road

Land acquisition: 

  • Lot 4, Conc. 12: 1913 Patent from The Crown for 96 acres. Ontario Land Parcel Register - McClintock (Image 44).
  • Lot 5, Conc. 12: 1907 Patent from The Crown for 46 broken acres. Ontario Land Parcel Register - McClintock (Image 72).

Dates of residency: 1908 - 1923

Interesting facts:

John Robertson was the son of Peter and Margaret Robertson, who, along with John's siblings James and Alex, were the first family to settle on Oxtongue Lake in 1897.  

In 1901, John married Isabella Irving from Uffington. They had seven children: Ethel (who married into the Asbury family), Annie, twins Lillian & Violet, Vina (who married into the Keown family), Dorothy, and James. 

James Asbury kept a diary from 1901 to 1904 that refers frequently to John Robertson, including when he helped John to build a barn through the week of October 15th, 1901, in addition to selling him 8 tons of hay.  W.W. Chapin also refers in his diaries to dining at John's house on the first day he set eyes on Oxtongue Lake, where and his family would spend each summer for the next hundred years from that point forward.

In 1907 John received a patent from the Crown on the land currently occupied by Cloverleaf Cottages, and other lands.

The land was so poor for farming that John worked in the bush logging and trapping.  On one of his logging trips, he was unfortunate enough to come down the log chute at High Falls, going under the ice at the bottom and coming up on the other side.  The accident left him with a bad knee but otherwise okay.  

John was very active in getting a school at Oxtongue and was on the School Board for many years.  He was also the first from the area to sit on Council.  

In 1923 John and Isabella's home burned and they moved to Dwight.  Isabella died in 1935.  John always felt Oxtongue was home and he spent a lot of time here fishing and hunting until his death at age 80 in 1951.

Preceding landowner: John's father, Peter Robertson.

Succeeding landowners:

  • Lot 4, Conc. 12: 1925 William Glass Keown; 1927 Elizabeth McCann, 1928 William Chapin
  • Lot 5, Conc. 12: 1925 William Glass Keown; 1927 Elizabeth McCann, 1928 William Chapin

There were several as John Robertson's property was divided. In 1924 Lots 4 & 5 of Concession 12 were purchased by William and Hattie Keown

Other Owners of Property in Lots 4 & 5, Conc. 12, McClintock. Source: Facts and Fables of Oxtongue Lake, 2000 pages are listed below:

  • Keown, William Glass. 1925 from John Robertson. Ontario Land Parcel Register - McClintock (Image 72).
  • Keown, Stan & Vina (son of William Glass Keown). Drowned in Oxtongue Lake in 1967. Page 101
  • Beickman, Howard 1955 Page 67
  • Brethour, Carmen & Marnie 1959 off Tom Parris Trail; 1974 bought general store. Page 71
  • Gower, Don & Fran 1956 purchased store & post office. Pages 89 & 156; 1972 purchased Bill's Cottages and changed the name to Oxtongue Lake Cottages. Page156
  • Hensel, Bill & Janet 1979 from Carman & Marnie Brethour; renamed Hensels General Store
  • Stoner, George & Ada 1951. Daughter Bernice & son-in-law Cecil White 1961. Page 139
  • Watson, Robert & Ada 1972 bought from Ralph Kerr. Page 146
  • Fisher, Al & Myrle / Cloverleaf Cottages 1952 1065 feet lake front from Edward & Margaret White. Page 153
  • Blakelock, Robert Reginald & Susan Katherine / White Birches Cottage Resort. Page 153
  • Bowen, Marvin & Flossie 1950 from William Keown. Marvin Bowen and Ray Smith built Blue Spruce Inn, Timber Trail and Clover Leaf Cottages, also Lakewoods, Sloanes, & Stoners cottages and many more around Oxtongue Lake. Page 70. Read Marvin Bowen: a life on Oxtongue Lake
  • Hubbard, Douglas 1947 from Elizabeth White on the West shore of Oxtongue Lake between Greenwood's and Bruce Keowns. Page 95
  • Humphrey, Jim & Annie (daughter of John Robertson) 1953 from Albert Fisher. Page 96
  • May, Loy, Al and their boys Larry, Ricky and Michael 1965 from Lillian McCloskey. Page 113
  • Ross, Don & Lorene 1962 operated tourist business of a lunchroom and motel know as "Club 60" which became "Lordon Lunchroom and Motel" but the motel burned to the ground in 1964 and was not rebuilt. Page 129
  • Stewart, Walter & Edna 1940 from Elizabeth White. Page 138
  • Smith, Ray & Mildred 1953 from William Keown. Built 5 cabins and a log building for their home plus a restaurant. Page 155
  • Harlock, Charles 1934 from Elizabeth McCann
  • Smith, Ray, Mildred & John Fran Gower with information from Mildred Smith Lots 6, 7 & 8. Conc. 12; Lot 8, Conc. 13; Lot 5, Conc. 5. Page 136/ The only record in Ontario Land Parcel Register - McClintock (Image137) is for Lot 9, Conc. 12. 

 Link to Settlers of Algonquin Highlands family tree John Robertson 1872 -

Information source: Census of Canada, 1911; Birth registration of daughter Levina; and Gower, Fran and Marnie Berthour, Facts and Fables of Oxtongue Lake. 2000; pg. 127.

Photo: John Robertson outside of cabin Source: Oxtongue Lake Heritage Group