Riverscape's Story

Riverscape has been a landmark destination for Saugeen River fishermen & their families since its establishment as "The McKenzie's Camp".  It was later sold and began operating as "MacDonald's Camp: A Three Season Family Resort in Bruce" by Penny & Jack MacDonald.  They offered housekeeping cottages, fishing charters, boat rentals, docking, live bait and tackle.  Old flyers boasted Southampton entertainment including seven tennis courts, roller skating, and dancing! Jack & Penny sold the property in 1990 and it soon re-opened as "Joe's Riverside Cottages" until closing in 2023.  Our story with this special property started in the late 1940s when Jeff's grandparents vacationed here, and continued to do so until the 1990s.  Jeff's first job, at 12 years old, was at "MacDonald's Camp" helping with bait and tackle sales, boat rentals and property maintenance.  Jeff continued working through the transition from "MacDonald's Camp" to "Joe's Riverside Cottages" and remained until he was 17 and began his career in carpentry and construction. Jeff's lifelong passion for fishing (particularly steelheading) sprouted on this property and has grown into "Riverscape." 

From the Archives

History Lesson

After spending an afternoon at The Bruce County Museum's Archives, this is what we were able to find about the history of our property (TP PT Block B).  It looks like the farmhouse was built in 1880 by Donald McKenzie and Annie MacDonald before Annie (who became widowed) was deeded the land by the crown in 1889. The first assessment roll for the property , in 1893, indicated that Annie lived with her son, Hector McKenzie, a dog and five sheep. Annie was also the only female (occupation listed as widow) deeded any property in the records we were looking at. She was also only ever named as "Annie ?" or "Annie MacDonald" indicating that, uncharacteristically for the time, she never took her husband's name. The first tax records showing cottages being on the property were from the early 1940s.  We think "McKenzie's Fishing Camp" (unsure of the actual name) was opened by fisherman, George McKenzie (who was Annie's grandson) in that same time period.  We could not find any information about this business so may need another trip to the archives to dig into business licenses. Jeff's grandparents honeymooned in Southampton in 1941 and soon after, became patrons of "McKenzie's Fishing Camp." That's where our story began.

Riverscape - The Early Days

Renos in full swing in The Eagle's Nest (fka Cottage 3)

More renos in "The Eagle's Nest."

Regrading property

Laying new sod in fall 2023 - a milestone!

Lots of demo to be done. 

Deck refresh on the farmhouse.