The century old Pointe aux Pins Lodge, built in 1908, is situated on an Island in the heart of the Ottawa River near the village of Rapides des Joachims; also known as Swisha. It is the most beautiful and original building in the entire Pontiac region.
Situated just outside of Rolphton, Ontario off highway 17, just one hour west of Pembroke Ontario; the island belongs to the Province of Quebec...which is just fine, because "l'hospitalité est parlé ici"... or as we say otherwise: "Hospitality is spoken here".
The Lodge was originally a large house and stables used as an outpost for the Hudson’s Bay Company. A new two story addition was added in 1948 to accommodate 9 rooms above a Bar and Restaurant. In the 1950’s, six log cabins were built by those hired to build the Ontario Hydro Dam.
The Lodge has 9 guest rooms as well as 5 cabins hidden in the trees on the grounds...directly across from the Ottawa River and upslope from the main building. They are hidden treasures.
In total, we can accommodate 28 guests. Our season runs from the long weekend in May to the end of October. The newest addition to the Lodge is the Gazebo, our social collection point. Seating 30, it can be used for any number of purposes not the least of which is to socialize and have fun!
For 400 years, the island of Swisha has been the heart of the Ottawa River. It has always been the gateway between the Ottawa through to the Dumoine and Temiskaming Rivers -- a waterway encompassing over 500 kilometres. The Ottawa River served as the main method of transportation for natives, explorers, fur traders and commercial operations for hundreds of years.
From its historical beginnings, Pointe Aux Pins Lodge has been an integral part of this community. The central building, housing The Heritage Room and The Parlour, is the original building which was constructed from 1907 to 1910. At that time it was the home of Thomas B. Marion who initially operated the Hudson's Bay Store on the Island. Some time later, he started his own business called the Marion Trading Company. One of these original buildings still sits; well-preserved close by.
Thomas Marion was also instrumental in engaging the S.S. Oiseau steam boat to travel up the river to Swisha from Pembroke. In the beginning, he engaged the boat to serve as transportation for his children to attend school in Pembroke. He had a large dock built in front of the Lodge where the boat could moor. Today this dock is part of the Temiskawa Waterways which continues to portage boats across the island as was done in centuries past.
Additions to the original building were made in 1947. Gradually it has been transformed into the Lodge that you see today. (And on page 1 of our web!) In 1950, six log cabins were built in the trees stretching along the upslope side. They were bilt to accomodate the workers hired to build the Ontario Hydro Dam on the Ottawa River. Alllodge rooms have a spectacular view of our waterfront.
Photos of the Lodge's construction and of the village hang in the parlour along with photos depicting Swisha's turn-of-the-century ambience. When you look at these photos, time seems to stand still and you are transported back to the days of Swisha's early settlers.
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