Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Historic Millionaire's Row
This is Buck Island, one of the original cottages of “Millionaire’s Row” near Beaumaris on Lake Muskoka, built around the turn of the last century. Tucked away in the trees, it’s difficult to appreciate its size: it boasts 14 bedrooms, 8 baths, many en suite, 8 fireplaces, and a miniature house in the attic for the children. The once lush gardens, maintained by a staff of 10 full-time gardeners, were renowned, drawing admirers from around the lakes.
The Beaumaris area was also called “Little Pittsburgh”, since many cottagers were wealthy American industrialists, financiers, and tycoons from Pennsylvania. A million dollars bought a lot in the days when the average wage in North America was $490 per year! Women teachers in Canada were paid only $246 annually, while male teachers earned nearly double that. Little wonder that millionaires could build lavish summer homes and retain dozens of servants.
In my Internet travels, I just happened to notice that this historic summer estate on Buck Island is for sale. It can be yours for a mere $3.9 million. To those who don’t know Muskoka, this may seem like a lot of money, but many cottages sell in the multi-millions, although few have such a rich history. And you would own the entire island. If you’re interested, here is the Real Estate listing. Dream on!