Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Inspiring Places

I'm obsessed with places as well. They inspire me. From the moment I first set foot in Muskoka, I became enchanted by the sparkling granite, fragrant pine forests, and intriguing history of these island-dotted lakes only 100 miles north of Toronto, Canada. Hewn out of the Precambrian Shield by glaciers eons ago, these pristine lakes became the playground of the wealthy and adventuresome over a century ago.

How easy it is to imagine the Age of Elegance in Muskoka, when people travelled from American as well as Canadian cities by train and then steamships to savour carefree summers at resorts and lakeside vacation homes known as "cottages". The tradition continues today, although most people no longer have entire summers free to frolic on the lakes, nor a houseful of servants to cater to them - well, unless you're Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, or some of the other celebrities who now own cottages in this civilized wilderness. The Muskokas have often played host to royalty, dignitaries, and other luminaries over the last century. American President Woodrow Wilson owned an island on one of the Muskoka lakes. Hollywood stars like Clark Gable spent time there.

And I’m just beginning my research into the 20s and 30s. I can hardly wait to see what tantalizing facts await me!

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Gabriele Wills's books on Goodreads
The Summer Before The StormThe Summer Before The Storm
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ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.50)

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A Place to Call HomeA Place to Call Home
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.00)