Harbour Island (Then and Now)

Creator(s): Old Mill Heritage Centre

Harbour Island is a 30 acre island that was once a playground for the rich and famous. It is about 20 km north of Kagawong Ontario on Lake Huron just off of Manitoulin Island. The 12 building yachting and fishing resort celebrated its glory days in the 1950s and 60s. The resort began a steady slow decline in the 1970s and eventually closed down in the early 1990s and was abandoned. All of the docks are gone, the buildings are collapsing and the grounds are completely covered by poison ivy.

Harbour Island: Playground of the Rich and Famous

Legend has it John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe visited the resort in the 1950s. Singer Gene Autry spent time on the island along with heavyweight boxing champ Gene Tuney. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and other important politicians from both Canada and the United States spent time there. In addition, several business organizations would hold sales conventions at the resort.

Visit our Community Stories virtual exhibit to learn about the Island's star-studded past.

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