Kish-Kaduk Lodge

Kish-Kaduk Lodge operated for almost 50 years, from the late 1920s to the mid 1970s. Its ruins lie behind the trees on the north west end of Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park.

Kish-Kaduk Lodge, situated at Government Park, about 5.5km northwest of Brent on the shore of Cedar Lake, operated from about 1928 until 1975. It was built by a CNR section foreman, Ed Thomas. After Mr. Thomas's death, it was operated by his wife Rose together with Jack Wilkinson (her cousin). In later years, it became an outfitter's store, servicing the area with canoes and camping supplies. (This was before Algonquin Outfitters began providing outfitting services out of the Brent store. The Brent store was still run by Gerry McGaughey.)

It comprised a large main building with dining facilities and lounge, surrounded by several two-room cabins. The lodge could accommodate about 35 guests. In later years, some of the outlying cabins were converted to housekeeping units.

Diana and Bob rented a canoe from Jack Wilkinson in 1975. Bob still remembers the confusion of the long distance telephone operator in placing the call. The number was something like "4 ring 2, Government Park via North Bay". (In 1975, many (most?) long distance calls were still operator assisted). When we arrived at Brent, the canoe was waiting for us on the beach and Mr. Wilkinson arrived soon thereafter in his motor boat from Government Park. Diana remembers him as friendly, fit and healthy; someone, who had spent his entire life in the bush and it showed. We met him again upon returning from another trip later that summer. This time he was providing canoes to another party. It was late in the afternoon and white caps were running beyond the point. This other group was totally disorganized, including having packed their overflow gear in six-quart baskets. They were adamant that they had to reach Catfish Lake that evening. Mr Wilkinson tried to dissuade them from even attempting to cross Cedar Lake, but they were having none of that. Mr. Wilkinson took a paddle and pointed out the mouth of the Petawawa and the Nipissing. If they wanted to drown themselves, that was their business. The last we saw of Mr. Wilkinson was him standing on the beach at Brent, binoculars in hand, watching these yahoos buck the waves out the middle of Cedar Lake.

The lodge closed in the fall of 1975. Parts of the complex were dismantled but mostly it was allowed deteriorate naturally. However, vandalism took its toll and the remaining structures were knocked down due to safety concerns in the 1980s.

On a recent trip to the area, we stopped at the lodge site. Some of our photos are reproduced below, although it's pretty hard to make sense of the ruins without having a floor plan.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Main fireplace and chimney.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Cement jack for stove pipe.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Rock border, probably for a flowerbed.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

These fixtures look more like debris from the railway.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Some evidence of the skilled log construction is still visible.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Domestic lily-of-the-valley has "gone native".

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Secondary chimney and fireplace

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Porcelain electrical insulator. This suggests that the lodge had a generator in later years.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Diana: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

Vehicle parts, no doubt related to the vehicle frame that is underwater at the landing site.

ruins of KishKaduk Lodge on Cedar Lake in Algonquin Park

(photo by Bob: 2014-06-22 - map - explore

One of the two-room cabins.

Sources

Gaye Clemson, Kish-Kaduk Lodge in Treasuring Algonquin: Sharing Scenes from 100 Years of Leaseholding.

Doug Mackey, Tourism on CNR’s Algonquin Route, Heritage Perspectives.