Steenburg Lake Development – 1955

Steenburg Lake was originally called Bass Lake.  It was renamed after the local Post Master.  The post office was originally located in Trudy’s store at the corner of Highway 62 and St. Ola Road.

The story of the development of the east and south shores of Steenburg Lake began when Jack Brown from the Bancroft Lumber Company sent Ken Matthews to see Annie, Herb, David and Emma Moore.  The Moores homesteaded at the lake and also lumbered there.

An agreement was made where lots would be purchased by Matthews, ten lots at a time.  The first group at $350.00 per lot.  These lots would be sold to the public by the newly established Matthews Cottage Company, with or without a cottage.

The Moores were the developers and had the original survey done.  There were 109 lots in all.  Business began in 1955.  Twelve lots at the south end of the lake in Austin’s Bay were also developed.

Some of the lots were sold with cottages already built while some purchasers chose cottages from four or five plans that Matthews drew up.  In some cases the cottages were pre-cut or built to specifications provided by the purchaser of the lot.  Materials were supplied by the Sprackett Lumber Company of Gilmour and the Bancroft Lumber Company.  Some of the first lots sold for a total of $1200.00

The bulldozing of roads was completed by Bill McCaw, Leonard McGinn and Martin Murphy.  Carpenters were Irwin Frances, Gilbert Phillips, Dick and Dave McMurray and Aaron Cooney.  The policy of the company was to keep driveways narrow and to ensure the removal of as little vegetation as possible along the shore.

The subdivision started at the north end down from the public beach and moved south along the shore and into Austin’s Bay.  Land was set aside for a garbage dump (no longer in use).

Some years later Glanmire Lake, originally called Horseshoe Lake was opened up by Matthews.  These lots were purchased from Verse McMurray.

Ray Peters and Joe Brintnell were the carpenters at Glanmire.

(History from Newspaper article submitted by the family of the late Douglas Kenneth Matthews)