Blue Mountain Lodge

In 1946 Ed and Irene Salo purchased an island and mainland property on Bell Lake, Goschen Township, 28 air miles SW of Sudbury. Ed & his fishing buddies had taken numerous trips to Bell Lake and camped on that island and Ed had it in his mind that someday he would buy it.

That winter with team of horses, and a sled packed with supplies he left Bill Gemmel's Landing on Lake Penage and proceeded to Bell Lake & clear the land and put up temporary quarters. The island was stacked with peeled pine logs for buildings and piles of stones used for foundations, chimneys and flagstone walkways plus a stone retaining wall on the lake facing the main lodge.

It is also at this time, the Canadian Government had a relief program with Finland, and one of the programs involved logging, and building. So 6-8 skilled Finnish workers were then on the island building the Main Lodge & Sauna. His wife Irene, who was still in Waters Twp & Sudbury, looking after associated paperwork, then flew with Ben Merwin's Nickel Belt Airways to Bell Lake and they proceeded to build. It took 6 years just to fully landscape the island.

Click here to view images of Blue Mountain Lodge - Gallery 

There was a two-way radio hookup with Austin Airway's operations network. Irene was able to Ham it with Melissa Forbes on Forbes Island, Tyson Lake. On several occasions there would be 8+ flights a day, taking guests back to Sudbury and new arrivals.

There was also an Outpost Camp built at Norway Lake, accessible only by canoe or by air. Several guests took this as a challenge and were rewarded by excellent pickerel fishing.

It was in 1955 that the Department of Lands & Forests landed in Bell Lake with several cans of Speckled Trout fingerlings. Ed Salo had been in liaison with them for quite awhile regarding the stocking of Grey's Lake with trout. Their study showed that Grey's Lake would be feasible. Several years later the results were favourable, and some speckled trout had even migrated to another nearby lake.

In this same area was a slough with several beaver dams and was in effect a natural habitat for everything nature had to offer. Ed Salo & Carmen Fielding (Fielding Bird Sanctuary) agreed that wild rice could be implemented in that area. Irene Salo already had a recipe for using wild rice, thought it was a great idea. The wild rice was planted and it took hold and grew quite high. Then one early fall morning, you could hear the honking of the geese, upon visiting the slough it had been stripped clean. who knew we were on a migration route. The geese did... Irene was not too happy.

The Salo's also brought in Mallard ducks and 2 Swans which The Sudbury Daily Star had a field day writing articles in their paper. True enough, the Swan's would pass in front of the island causing a sensation.

Permits were issued again by Lands & Forests for the cutting of trees for fire wood used for sauna, fireplaces and stoves. In this case a certain area could be cut to produce 40 cord of wood. The forestry department then would give Edwin Salo seedlings for planting. This process also showed positive results.

Ed Salo then decided to start a small logging operation, on the mainland and with 2 Bombardier J5 tractors was hauling cut timber to Evans Lumber & Supply and returning with supplies to Bell Lake, also hauling to Tyson Lake. This was in 1956. Irene then had to look after the books as well as Gov't reports, as Log Supply & Scaling.

It was in the 1960's that Ontario Gov't Surveyors were looking at putting a road from Burwash, Ontario to the townsite of Killarney on Georgian Bay. This became HWY 637 and passed south of Bell Lake. Eventually in 1964 Killarney Provincial Park came into being, and the 2 islands and lands were now in a Provincial Park.

Irene & Ed Salo sold the Bell Lake operation to the Mallott Family in late 1969.