A tradition of creating life long memories at Fernleigh Lodge from the very beginning.
Fernleigh lodge was founded in 1920 by John Ahr. He came to this area from Buffalo, New York with a dream of building a fly-in fishing camp and that is what he did. Fernleigh Lodge was the first of its kind in the area and a popular one at that. All of the buildings were built by hand, the logs cut, floated down the lake and formed to make most of the buildings we have here today. Guests would fly or make the grueling drive on nothing but one-lane dirt roads. Fernleigh Lodge was a mans fishing camp. Women were not allowed to come here untill about the 1940’s or so. There was no electric and no indoor plumbing. The lodge had one of the first gas powered boat motors – a 2 hp motor. The lodge had only one motor so they would tie the boats together use the motor to pull the boats down the lake and then they would drift back.
Fernleigh Lodge employed a lot of the locals and was one of the biggest seasonal employers in the area. The many guides would come to work in shirt and tie to take the quests out fishing and cook their shore lunch on an island over an open fire. The kitchen and cleaning staff were managed by John’s wife Girt. She was a tough but fair boss and everything ran like clock work. In 1961 when John Ahr died, Girt needed help to run the camp so she had her nephew John Green come up to help. It passed hands a few more times before my Mom and Dad, Lois and Arthur Parker purchased the lodge in 1981 after moving to Ontario from Ohio . We had vacationed at Fernleigh Lodge since I was a small boy so it has always felt like home to me. We always loved the “family appeal” of the lodge and that’s the way we kept it.
My Mom and Dad are now gone and I intend to preserve their traditions. My wife Melissa, son Owen and myself, Kevin Phillips, want you and your family to very much feel at home here at Fernleigh Lodge. You can always count on a warm welcome and ‘family style” hospitality from my family and our staff.
We’ve lived on the property for many years and we’re always pleased to see so many of our guests return year after year. They have become of a part of our extended family and we look forward to seeing them every year.
Take a stroll down our memory lane and check out the Fernleigh Lodge Flickr Album of historical photos on the Cloyne and District Historical Society Flickr site.