RIP GRIF

Griffith Hodge passed away on 8 September 2022. Grif, as he was called by everyone, enjoyed life as it was meant to be. First and foremost was family. Somehow, he found a wonderful woman called Marion, married her and through good and bad hung onto her for 50 long, rich, interesting and great years.

The family lived the summers on a tiny little island in the middle of Lake Louisa. There are 2 identical houses on the island, built from kits purchased from the Eaton Catalogue in about 1906, well past 100 years ago. They used kit houses because it was so difficult to build on an island, and this ensured they weren’t forgetting anything.

The family would leave their house in TMR, or their farm in Ville St. Laurent. Next step was train to Lachute, followed by horse & buggy to the lake, and rowboat to the island. It was a lot more work than building on shore, but the secret payoff was the total absence of bugs (and vermin) on the island.

There are various theories for this unique benefit. Most probably, the island is simply too small to host a large enough native biomass, and if and when some mosquitoes manage to stumble onto the island, they get disoriented by the overwhelming smell of cedar, and quickly get blown off by the prevailing winds.

Whatever the correct theory may be, the “unbug” paradise was discovered by the local game warden, Anson Young. Young and Griffith (the original, not Grif), became best buddies, and decided to pick that pair of kit houses and plant them on “Young & Griffith Island“.

A funny fact about the island is that because it is in the middle of the lake, hundreds of homeowners on shore claim the island is right in front of their own house. They are right of course, but the feelng is hardly reciprocal. Anyway, no harm – no foul.

Back to Grif, his family, and the utopia of summer life on the island at Lake Louisa. Of course there was no electricity, and the 2 main problems were water to cook & flush the toilet, and figuring out a way to refrigerate foods during the week when the men-folk were in town working, and the women-folk were at the lake minding the children. The water problem was solved by building a water tower to let gravity do its work, and refrigeration was solved by buying ice blocks that had been stored since winter in an ice cave behind the house at 70 Blueberry Point.

Altogether, this was the classic great lifestyle of the original owners of property at Lake Louisa. Grif and family kept utopia alive for decades, It’s been a wonderful Canadian success story, worth celebrating.

Marion says: “it would be nice if people could comment and share any tidbits of Lake Louisa lore.

You can comment where it says “leave a reply” above.

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