Lambton Heritage Museum
Grand Bend, Ontario

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Grand Bend - Our Stories, Our Voice
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SOUTHCOTT PINES

In 1901 Charles Southcott purchased the Ausable River bed from the Canada Company. The Southcott family had also purchased 230 acres of The Pinery from John Dalziel, who had bought out the Brewster interests. In their efforts to raise money to purchase the Pines property, the early Southcotts brought in several businessmen from Exeter, on the premise that a quick turnover might be possible. The "get-rich-quick" philosophy was established early in the company's life.

After acquiring the land, however, the Southcotts fell in love with the property and decided to develop it rather than sell it. They had to quickly find the money to pay off those shareholders who had intended to make money on their investment. This they did. The development company was registered in 1949 when it purchased the land from another branch of the Southcott family. This branch had been closely associated with early tourism in Grand Bend through the rental of boats from a spot believed to be near the present (2009) Yacht Club building on the harbour. The first plan for Southcott Pines, featuring arbour walks and an avenue that was not a road, was a revolutionary concept for its time.

For about 25 years the development was more like a family hobby. Then, in about 1974, the younger generation of Southcotts decided to hire a planning firm judged to be competent in creating an integrated, sensitive layout for the balance of the woodland in the Pines. By 1985 the final portion of that master plan was put up for sale. In total Southcott Pines has over 500 homesites on its lakeside property.

 

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