For over 147 years, the Stanton family has played a key role in the creation and growth of the community on the shores of Sparrow Lake, appropriately known as Port Stanton,
Now in our fifth generation of Shaws, we understand the challenges associated with sustaining a multi-generational family business. So we are always very impressed to see a family with a business history as long as, or in this case LONGER, than ours.
Beyond the respect we have for the Stanton family, we also feel a personal connection since our family histories have overlapped! In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Gertrude Shaw, wife of James (Jim) Shaw and great-grandmother to Tom, worked as a summer cook at both Sparrow Lake and Severn Bridge. She more than likely worked for the Stanton family.
Therefore, it was a HUGE pleasure for Shaws Catering to be asked to cater a wedding for descendents of the Stanton family at Port Stanton on Sparrow Lake. Before we tell you about the wedding, let us tell you just a little bit about the Stanton family and all they have accomplished on Sparrow Lake.
The Stantons of Sparrow Lake
In 1875, Tom “Captain” Stanton, his wife Ellen and their three oldest children moved north from Orillia to Sparrow Lake. Here, they would find a number of ways to build a community and make the area accessible to visitors. Once visitors experienced the beauty of Sparrow Lake, the Stanton family was constantly expanding the accommodation available to guests. Over time, the Stanton family would establish a hospitality dynasty that is now fully integrated as the Bayview Wildwood Resort.
Opening Sparrow Lake to Visitors
When they first arrived at Sparrow Lake, Tom used his skills as a steamboat captain to travel the waterways between Sparrow Lake and Severn Bridge. Tom’s steamship would take logs and passengers to the mills and railway at Severn Bridge. At Severn Bridge, he would pick up provisions and mail for the folks at Sparrow Lake. Back at home, Tom and his sons converted an old mill to a lumber mill to supply the local area construction. Tom and his wife Ellen donated land and lobbied to make sure the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway stopped at Sparrow Lake. The arrival of guests by rail, combined with the transport his steamer provided from Severn Bridge, opened the region to visitors and established Sparrow Lake as a popular tourist destination.
Since they first arrived, the Staton family constantly found different ways to accommodate visitors. At first it was in their homes. Then, over the years, the growing family built many hotels and guest houses on the shores of Sparrow Lake. In the 1950’s, many of those accommodations and properties were combined and are now included as part of the Bayview Wildwood Resort. For more information on the Stanton family history or the history of Sparrow Lake, please click HERE.