Harbour Island is a 30 acre island that was once a playground for the rich and famous. It is about 20 km north of Kagawong Ontario on Lake Huron just off of Manitoulin Island. The 12 building yachting and fishing resort celebrated its glory days in the 1950's and 60's. The resort began a steady slow decline in the 1970's and eventually closed down in the early 1990's and was abandoned. All of the docks are gone, the buildings are collapsing and the grounds are completely covered by poison ivy.
Legend has it John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe visited the resort in the 1950's. Singer Gene Autry spent time on the island along with heavyweight boxing champ Gene Tuney. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and other important politicians from both Canada and the United States spent time there. In addition, several business organizations would hold sales conventions at the resort.
Harbour Island is only accessible by boat or plane. When the resort was operational, a generator was needed to provide hydro. Supplies would be brought over from Kagawong by boat.
Recently the Island has been put up for sale, however a great deal of work would have to be done if anyone wanted to restore the resort to its original splendor.
For more information on Harbour Island, contact the OLD MILL HERITAGE CENTRE in Kagawong at 705-282-1442 or visit kagawongmuseum.com or visit the Heritage Centre museum at 15 Old Mill Road in Kagawong to see an exhibit on the resort.
Old Mill Heritage Centre