Members of Shadow Lakes Association are participating dues-paid property-owners in the Shadow Lakes community. The membership elects and entrusts operational functions to a volunteer Board Of Directors. The focus of the Association is The Care And Protection Of Our Land, Lakes And River System So That Future Generations Will Enjoy What We Today Are Enjoying.

The Directors of the Shadow Lakes Association thank you for your continued support.

Founded April 7th, 1959 corporate charter #98938

Our founding directors had a vision for our community back in 1959, which is still strong today!

Today our Association represents over 400 paid-up resident and seasonal members on/near the Shadow Lakes and Gull River system between Norland & Coboconk who enjoy this area for swimming, boating, fishing or just being by the water. The Association’s focus is to maintain and improve the community with many activities and touch points. Please click here for full list of the associations focus points.

Founding Directors

Nicholson Waddell

Colin John Rorke

Grant Herbert Elliott

Donald Allayne Keith

Thomas Oliver Grills

Isaac Elmore Houser

Arthur Murrell-Wright

James Henry Watt

Richard John Bowen

Hermis Duke

Frank Gordon Paterson

Douglas Gordon Langmaid

Rover Albert Hollenbeck

Norman Lennox Stiff

Harry Edward Endean

Sailing Club

In the early sixties, the Norland Library Board was searching for a way to raise money. They decided on sponsoring a trophy for Albacore Class boats of the Shadow Lake Sailing Club. A date was set and competing skippers paid an entry fee. A draw was held to fill the crews with local residents. The Shadow Lake Cottager’s Association offered many boats to take spectators to the race. After all expenses, $50 was cleared the first year. The sailing event was repeated successfully in l965 and l966.

In 1994, the Junior Ontario Albacore Championship was held on Shadow Lake. It was a weekend event with many Albacores participating from all over Ontario. The sailing club has been a prominent activity on the lake for many years. Don Giffin played a big part in the sailing instruction. Over a 20 year period he wrote many sailing manuals which were used extensively to educate sailors not only on Shadow Lake but also throughout Ontario.

Area History

Information adapted from “The Land Between” written by Vernon LeCraw (with permission)

The word Kawartha is derived from an Anishnabe word meaning “bright waters and happy lands”. Inaskingiquash was thought to be the Indian name for Shadow Lake with the French name being Lac Des Isles. There are two versions of the Indian name for Coboconk: one being Quash-Qua-Be-onk (where the gulls meet or nest), and the other is Ko-Ash-Hob-O-Gong (meaning running water).

From the mid 1800s, timber was the main commodity in the area and saw mills were located along the Gull River. Thousands upon thousands of logs flowed down the Gull River, and over the Norland Dam, and down the long trip to Trenton, taking two years to reach their destination.

The first tourists set foot in the area in 1865 passing through the Gull River System. About 1910 Rev Eugene Curts built a cottage on Mud Turtle Lake (now Shadow Lake). Subsequently, a Mr. Anderson, a member of the Crooked Lake hunting gang coming from Buffalo, NY, built a cottage in Norland.

More tourists (or cottagers) began to buy properties in the area: Ralph Salter purchased the island at the foot of Big Mud Turtle Lake. James LeCraw built a chain of cottages known as Shadow Lake Resort. L.E. Whittmore established Beaver Lodge Camp on the west shore of Mud Turtle Lake around l927. Two Boy Scout camps were established in the 1930s and Camp Endobanah, at the north end of Shadow Lake, is still active today.

Coboconk Jail

Information adapted from the “Coboconk New Horizons Club” newsletter.
Located on Water Street, the Coboconk jail, the smallest jail in Canada, was built in 1884 by Albert Ryckman. It still has the original iron bars and two-foot thick limestone walls (the limestone was mined from the Coboconk quarry).
Originally the Jail contained two cells as well as the sheriff’s desk. Wooden doors, each with a barred window, led to the cells. A small wood stove was used for heating – the original brick chimney can still be seen on the roof. Although some repairs have been made, the general building remains the same. After the closure of the Jail, the cell doors were used in the Ryckman cottage until being returned to the Jail for display.
The Jail was occupied many times at the turn of the century, by the local lumberjacks, after their weekend binges. The local stonemason who built it for the community did so with much foresight. He cleverly left a couple of blocks in the wall intact, but without mortar, so they could be easily removed and then replaced. This offered a means of escape to detainees. It is said that on several occasions, he availed himself of the opportunity to do just this when he was incarcerated.
Mr Joseph Wakelin was the first and only known County Constable and Jail Master, being appointed in 1899. At this time he also held the position of Truant Officer for the Coboconk Public School. Mr Wakelin is remembered for putting people “away” for the night after one too many at the Pattie House, and also for catching people speeding down the street in their buggies. Constable Wakelin was particularly strict on “moonshiners” and people caught fishing or hunting on Sunday.
The New Horizons Club took over the use of the Jail in 1974, and “Ye Olde Jail” continues to display and sell the arts and crafts made by its members.
This unique stone Jail, the smallest in Canada, is an interesting and important part of our heritage. The Jail house has been well maintained for over 100 years, and has been designated a “heritage” building to be preserved for future generations.

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Railway Station

The original Coboconk Railway Station was originally built in 1872 by the Toronto Nippissing Railway as the last station on the line. It immediately became the centre of activity for both business and social activity. The train became a lifeline for Coboconk and surrounding communities bringing much needed supplies. After a fire destroyed the train station in 1903, it was replaced with the building that is still in Coboconk today.

In 1965, the last train left Coboconk and the station was closed down. Thirty years later, in 1995, the train station was to be demolished which prompted a grassroots campaign started by the Bexley Architectural Advisory Committee to raise the necessary funds to prevent this. Through much support from local service clubs, community groups, and individuals, the historic train station was moved to Legion Park and has since served the community as a meeting space, a location for activities & programming, and historical artifacts.

Today, the Coboconk train station is about to be part of yet another important community initiative – the Summit Wellness Centre. The new Wellness Centre will be a hub for community health and community space for the under-served northern areas of Kawartha Lakes. By renovating and expanding the historic Train Station, the Centre will offer more doctors and after-hours care, along with dental, physio, and many more services while preserving an important piece of our area’s history. Thank to the efforts of the Shedden Historical Society, the design honours our unique history by preserving key elements of the Train Station and displaying historical artifacts and stories interspersed throughout the building. After 150 years, the Coboconk Train Station will still be servicing Coboconk and area communities. If you would like to stay updated about the Summit Wellness Centre, make a donation, or are interested in local history – visit www.SummitWellnessCentre.ca

Canada’s Fresh water Summit

On June 19 2010, and coinciding with the Summer Solstice, Coboconk was officially designated as Canada’s Fresh Water Summit, on the country’s highest fresh water lake from where you can take your boat to all four points of the compass.
Representatives of federal and provincial ministries, conservancies and entertainers joined City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor Ric McGee and Council to officially unveil “Canada’s Fresh Water Summit” tourist attraction.
Balsam Lake, although not the world’s highest fresh water lake, at 256.5 m above sea level, is unique in that from a point in Coboconk, one can circumnavigate the globe without ever touching land.
The Summit itself, at the municipal dock in Coboconk (coordinates 44.39.476N-78.47.815W), has been recognized by Parks Canada.

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CKL on the Canadian monopoly board

In June of 2010, The City of Kawartha Lakes was selected as one of the top 65 cities in Canada to win 1 of 22 spots on the “Monopoly Canada” edition game board, right next to Free Parking. The orange suite is shared with Chiliwack BC and Montreal, and sells for a cool $2 million.