The History of Gunter Lake by Irene Martin

To the best of my knowledge, my Gunter ancestors moved to Tudor and Cashel in or around 1860.   Abraham Gunter II had 8 children that I am aware of.  Four of these Gunter brothers came to Tudor and Cashel to settle down.  A lake was named after the brothers “Gunter’s Lake” which was later changed to “Gunter Lake.”  The small hamlet of Gunter bears their name.  So I definitely feel connected to this little part of Tudor and Cashel although I was raised in the neighbouring Township of Limerick.  A family tale states that the brothers would be out hunting and their dog would lose the scent.  After some very frustrating times one of the brothers ran after the dog and eventually found the shore of Gunter Lake where the dog had chased the deer and then lost the scent to the water.   Thus the discovery of the lake.

Abraham Gunter III purchased 67 acres of land along the shores of Gunter Lake in 1887 for the grand sum of “thirty three dollars.”  My cousin has the original document framed and hanging on her cottage wall, her cottage is located on part of that original land claim.  I too own a home on the original land, just down the hill from my cousin Judy Fletcher.

Abraham Gunter III had eight children.  His son William  Albert married Sarah Broad.  “Bill and Sadie Gunter” were my mother’s grandparents.  He was often called ” Roaring Bill from the old sand hill who never worked and never will.”  Understanding the family medical history, it is assumed that he may have suffered with a bad heart,  as many Gunter descendants have.  Earning him the reputation of being a bit lazy.  Attached is a photo copy of a sketch my son Nathan drew from an old photograph of Great Grandpa Bill with his hunting dog.

Bill and Sadie had four children.  My Grandfather Albert William was their third child.  He was known as Bert and married Alvina (nee Gunter) Sine.  She was widowed with two children (Fletcher and Marsie Sine).  Alvina was born a Gunter and when she remarried she once again became a Gunter.  That would mean that my mother’s four sets of grandparents were all Gunter’s.  Try explaining that to your teacher.  A problem she encountered while doing a family tree.  So this Toronto teacher called home and was quite frustrated with Grandma Vina, sure that these rural hicks did not understand what she was asking of them.  We giggle about it now.  When Grandma first came to Gunter, she held tent meetings on the property that my husband Ed and I called our first home.  Enclosed is a photograph of their wedding picture, my parents and mine.  All of us calling Gunter Lake our home at sometime during our marriages.

Marsie was Judy Fletcher’s mother.  Bert and Alvina has two children, Violet and Garnett.  Violet was my mother.  Grandma “Vina” had come to pastor the little Free Methodist Church at Gunter after she was widowed; she ended up marrying the local school teacher Albert.  There were second cousins.  Grandpa became a minister, but passionately loved teaching and ended up moving his family to Toronto where he taught for twenty-two years; however weekends and holidays found Bert’s vehicle headed back to Gunter Lake for R&R.

His son, Uncle Garnett, gave teaching a try.  But his love of hunting got the better of him.  He closed the school for a day to go hunting and found out the board didn’t favour that decision.  He lost his job, but got the deer.  Uncle Garnett lived for many years on the original homestead where Judy has her cottage now.  Although teaching did not work out for him ministering and becoming an evangelist did.  Many remember him as Reverend Garnett Gunter from Gunter Lake.

My grandparents ran a business of renting cottages for many years.  This was a main means of survival for my Grandma Vina after Grandpa died.  She eventually sold lots here and there providing a source of income to help her get by.  Her sister Violet Mallory and her husband Bill had a vision to have a church run camp and Grandma donated the land for Mount Zion Camp.  The tabernacle is located in what I once knew as the potato field.  Grandma loved her flowers, gardening and canning hundreds of jars of produce every year.  I come by those interests naturally.

Ed and I raised our four sons in Tudor and Cashel.  Just recently we have moved to Madoc, but our son Andrew is on the homestead.  Funny how things run in the family, both Ed and I were teachers, Nathan works at Queens University, Samuel is a professor in the States, Andrew is a teacher with the local school board and our youngest son Joel is in ministry.  God has been good to us as a family and we are proud of our Christian heritage and our roots in Tudor and Cashel Townships.