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On this Night in 1904 the Rockland House burned

April 12, 2022

The Rockland House, April 12, 1904 and the same site April 12, 2022

The original Rockland House was the first thing that many visitors to Bobcaygeon would notice—by design being a perfectly situated accommodation. Overlooking the lock, right in front of the wharf, and on the corner of the main street, when travellers came to town on a steamboat, the beautiful limestone hotel was the local landmark. Commissioned by Joseph Goulais, it opened in 1882, but its owner died the next year. His widow carried on the business for a few years, then leased and eventually sold the property to Harvey Thompson.

On the night of April 12, 1904, the Rockland House lit up the sky of Bobcaygeon, and the best that local firefighters could do was save the rest of the town. By morning, the limestone walls stood empty. Work began the same year on the second Rockland House, which was initially just a smaller wooden hotel along the canal. It was subsequently expanded around the corner, like its predecessor, but it too succumbed to fire on November 18, 1966.

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