By Mary Savigny
Bon Echo: The Denison Years records the period while recognized artists, intellectuals and theatrical personalities visited the strikingly appealing Lake Mazinaw region in Ontario's rugged Land O' Lakes district, to either play and paintings. From the development of Bon Echo hotel via American Dr. Weston cost to the production of cutting-edge Bon Echo Provincial Park, the writer has been aware about the "inside" tale. The struggles and beliefs of the early Toronto feminist plant life MacDonald Denison and her author-playwright son, Merrill, are good recorded during this vital ebook. the writer, a very good storyteller, evidently discovered lots from the previous grasp in the course of her decades as his manuscript typist, a dating that ended with Merrill Denison's dying in 1975.
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Extra info for Bon Echo: The Denison Years
Harry rowed the boat carrying Merrill, Jane and Barry. Mike rowed the boat carrying Lizzie, John and me. In front of the huge inscription, dedicated by Merrill's mother to the democratic ideals of Walt Whitman, we stopped. Merrill read a few words from Tennyson's Crossing The Bar and from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Then he leaned over the gunwale and tenderly placed the box overboard. It didn't sink. It floated. " Merrill calmly reached out, retrieved the box and tore it open. Then he held it down in the water until it sank.
The only person who was less than enthusiastic was Mike 33 BON ECHO Left, Janet, Mary and David with Gazebo in background. Below, Carol Brown, John, Janet, David and Mary, 1954. Bottom, The Savignys, John, Mary, Janet and David, outside the White House, Note Bon Ami on Window. Early, 1954. 34 Keeping the Wolf from the Door Schwager, the caretaker. He had been Bon Echo's major domo since 1939. He was a well-known character in the area and enjoyed his status as the Denisons' representative. Years previously, he liked to relate, he had been the chief carpenter when Skootamatta Lodge was built for the Pearson family in the 1920's.
Think of all those blackened chimneys! Mrs. Denison, he claimed, was not going to agree to this harebrained scheme. It was necessary for Merrill to write to Mike explaining the plan; that in his absence the Savignys would be taking charge and asking for his cooperation. Money earned from renting the cottages would ensure that Mike's wages were paid more frequently. Since 1936, when the Inn burned, Merrill estimated that taxes, insurance, caretaker's wages, ice cutting and storage had cost him over $2,000 a year for a total of $35,000, therefore any help I could give would be welcome, he said.