Conestogo Lake History

There I stood.

Swaddled with every piece of clothing my dad could find from all my sisters and brothers, which is no mean feat considering I have 6 brothers and 4 sisters.

Just my dad and I were heading out to a special place.

It was in the early stages of winter and my father did not want me getting cold and where we were going there was no heat. No heat! That just did not seem right as my dad had his own Heating and Sheet Metal business, how could there be no heat!

But, I was only 7 at the time and did not comprehend a lot of things.

I shuffled into the car and we took off to our "cottage".

Upon arriving, we had to park the car and then walk in towards the cottage.

So as we trundled along (or rather I did), I wanted to know where we were. Dad said we were at Conestoga Lake. Again, not knowing what a Conestoga Lake was, he explained it in this manner.

He stopped, and waved his arm toward the shoreline, and asked if I could see the different shapes the snow had made. Having nodded my scarfed head, he said this was CONES TO GO as he spelled it out and made me imagine all those drifts were different shaped ice cream cones.

I giggled and tried to hop up and down, but only succeed in sliding down the bank toward the creek (Spring Creek) that runs through the Lake.

Yes, my father rescued me and we continued onto to our cottage.

I give you this small background into my life as it was to have a profound effect on me and still does today.

However, in order to continue, I need to go back further in time to when small towns thrived along the water and railway, and how the Grand River Conservation Commission came in and changed lives forever.

I have been fortunate to obtain a family scrap book (Violet Leslie and her son Wilburn) and will proceed to go through some of the history of the lake and bring you the reader / cottage owner up to a current time frame.

I hope others will come forward and do the same.

So, finish getting the cottage opened for the season, and read on!

Melanie Gualtieri

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