Autumn 2017

Autumn 2017

Monday, March 16, 2015

the red umbrella in Carnarvon, Ontario

When I shared my post on spring decorating last week I mentioned that I had a question about the postcards on my coffee table tray.  I found these postcards years ago in a wood box from my aunt's house.  I always wondered where this place the days before I was on the computer and internet....and the other day, thanks to Google, I found it.

  Each of the cards has printing on it for advertising.

I typed in Carnarvon, Ontario and found Red Umbrella, Twelve Mile Lake and Minden.  And little did I know that the Red Umbrella is still in operation as an inn.  I'm guessing these postcards are from the early 1930's as one is addressed to my aunt who had a guest house and tea room called Hillsteps along the St. John River here in New Brunswick in 1932.  You can read all about Hillsteps Tea Room here. The postcard was never mailed but it had a message on it.

"Just another view of the lovely landscape around here.  Note the dinner-gong and are the meals grand.  The Red Umbrella has rooms and cabin accommodation for about 40 and its a grand crowd that comes."

Do you see the 'dinner gong'?  It's a wrought iron triangle hanging from a post.  I guess all the guests dined at the same time and were called from their leisure time for meals.  You can also see cottages in the background.

Here is the Red Umbrella from the back entrance.  Do you see the umbrella?  I imagine it's red!

And here is what it looks like today.  I got this photo off the internet.

The back view of The Red Umbrella Inn.  It has had several additions over the years.

The front faces Twelve Mile Lake and it looks lovely there.  The Inn is open year around with lots of seasonal activities.  It is located on Twelve Mile Lake near the towns of Carnarvon and Minden in the Haliburton Highlands.   Here is a link to the Red Umbrella website.  They are also on Facebook.

So, my question  many of my Ontario bloggers know about this place?  Have you ever been in this area of Carnarvon, Minden or Twelve Mile Lake?  I'm curious.  I wish I knew who gave the postcards to my aunt and why they were visiting there.  I read on line that The Red Umbrella has been in operation since 1929.   

 I found it interesting to research the Red Umbrella and wanted to share it with you, especially my readers in Ontario.


Yesterday we had a terrible blizzard that blew through here all day long.  It started around 4:00 am and ended about 9:30 pm.  The wind howled out of the northeast and we got about 32 cm. of fresh snow and lots of drifting.  Murray went to church as he had to play keyboard but I stayed home as I wasn't feeling well in the morning.  I've missed 3 Sundays in a row now so hope I can get there this week.   Schools were closed today in much of the province as the roads and streets needed ploughing.    Today is bright and sunny though and the temperature is 0C.  

Looking out the front door last night around 10:00.  Murray went out and did some cleanup with the snow blower.  Surprisingly the deck was bare but the snow drifted really high in front of it.  

Spring arrives on Friday but I'm sure we'll be seeing more snow in the next couple of weeks.  We always do.

Thanks for stopping by to visit and as always for leaving a comment.  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.



  1. Old postcards are fascinating. I've got a shoebox full of ones I've collected. Sadly the art of sending postcards is fading away fast. I've not heard of that inn, but then we don't travel much in that area.
    Hope that was your last big storm of the season and the warm weather arrives soon and melts some of those huge mounds of snow.

  2. What an interesting treasure - and to find that the inn is still there. Loved the story of the teahouse too. Your snow looks daunting - I'm happy to be sitting here looking out the window at the flowers blooming in the sunshine on my deck.

  3. Wow...I just cannot believe the winter you have had...I have seen so much snow anywhere! Sorry you have not been feeling well...hope that changes soon. The postcards are so neat...and isn't it cool that we can type in just about anything and find it on Google. How great it is that the Red Umbrella is still alive and well!

  4. There's an editorial cartoon by De Adder in today's Chronicle Herald that nicely sums up Atlantic Canada's winter.

    I have been in Carnarvon a couple of times, and the name of the place rings a bell, but I've never been to it.

  5. I live a throw away from Carnarvon. I am a Canadian blogger. They have a new owner. the Red Umbrella. Small world.

    Very busy in Spring, summer tourists. I know one of the cooks who used to work there. Since has left pay is bad and it is not busy enough for the cooks. Expensive to eat there now.. Open for ice fishing. It really has gone down hill I am told of many people. Place that is on top. Is Cozy corners in Haliburton.

  6. Hi Pam....
    How cool to find all that out about the postcards....
    Sometimes the internet amazes me....well,actually....quite often!
    Enjoy your week....hope your snow melts!
    Linda :o)

  7. Enjoyed reading about the Red Umbrella. What a neat place! We had just a skiff of snow this morning - all melted away now.

  8. I mentioned Cosy Cornor it is a family Restaurant where Red Umbrella is a dinning which I am sure back then your Aunt liked. . So we have one down the road in Carnarvon and it is lovely for food. It is called Pepper Mill.
    We have eaten there for many years before er moved here to live. And the food is good. We go on special occasions still.

  9. Isn't the internet grand? You want to know more and you can learn the most interesting things. Do you suppose that your aunt requested information of her traveling friends? I can easily imagine her asking them to pay attention to such things. She didn't have the internet.

    Sorry about your getting walloped again. We didn't get much at all, but I am right now listening to some report about freezing rain and snow showers tomorrow. Late winter, early spring weather is never dull.

    Now I wonder if any of my family ever visited your aunt's business. They would have been in the area often and it was just the sort of thing they enjoyed doing.

  10. The postcards are treasures. How clever of you to check the information on the Internet.

    You sure did get a LOT of snow, made worse by the wind creating drifts. Still looks very much like winter there!

  11. I have heard of this place here in our Ontario but never been . What a small world though eh? lovely postcards . More snow for you guys oh my I wish for spring to arrive for you soon . sorry you haven't been feeling well hope you feel better soon as well ! Our weather is up and down with the temps but a lot of snow has melted and rain is in the forecast for us tonight so more will disappear it is a mucky muddy mess out there but ya cant have everything now can ya lol ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  12. We spent a lot of summers as children in the Gravenhurst area, to the west, and I do recall day trips to Haliburton and possibly Minden. That is quite the new pile of snow. Ours is finally melting and we are at the snowbanks and mud stage, but rain and wet snow is our forecast for the next two days. Luckily only 2-5 cm accumulation.

  13. so neat that you found the place on your postcards.

    wow that is a HUGE drift.

  14. I don't know that place specifically but that area is very fond to me. As a child, I went to a canoe camp that specialized in extensive canoe tripping which we did in that area. I also worked at Camp Kandalore which is right outside Minden. It is a great area, so beautiful and multiple lakes everywhere. Gorgeous country.

  15. We've never spent time over that direction, but I can think of lots of similar old hotels further north in Muskoka.

  16. I love old postcards, they speak of the past with such tender words.

    My goodness you are getting dumped on..that's more then any province should have to go through isn't it? Pamela, I do hope that your snow goes quickly and is replaced by spring soon.


  17. How much fun is that! Tracking down a current Inn with an old postcard! I had not heard of Minden, but have an Uncle who lives not far from there, near Orillia. Does that count? lol
    I can't believe yesterdays storm, don't even want to talk about it. Grrrr
    Sure hope you are feeling 100% soon. You've been sick long enough!! Be well, my friend!

  18. Hello, Pam!
    Your old postcards are beautiful and charming. It was interesting to hear the Red Umbrella is still in operation, even though perhaps not quite what it used to be...
    Your aunt's guest house and tea room must have been lovely.
    Hope your snow melts soon!

  19. I've never seen this place but have been to Carnarvon. We were looking for a home on a lake in the area.. focusing on the areas surrounding the towns of Haliburton and Minden. We ended up an hour+ away near Bancroft, Ontario. I saw your comment over at the Crafty Gardener and the word Carnarvon popped out at me. ;)

  20. I've never heard of the Red Umbrella Pam and have rarely travelled north to the Minden area. It's interesting how you found about about the inn and have photos of it during the early years. I'll bet the people running the inn would like to see copies of your postcards.
    Stay warm and continue digging the white stuff! We have some fluffy flakes falling now but they shouldn't pile up at all.

  21. Minden is only an hour drive for us. Next time we are that way I will have to go by this Inn.
    Now Carnarvon is just north of Minden. We had a fantastic lunch at Rhubarb in Carnarvon last fall.
    Raining here today. Hope the snow stays away.

  22. That is some snow you got! It's hard to see that while here the French Lilac is already blooming. What a crazy world.

    The post cards look interesting and how nice that you found the place via Google. What would we do without Google, I wonder? The inn looks like a nice place to stay.

  23. A lovely old postcard and a great story to go with it! And how fun to compare the old photo with the one from 'today'. Judging by the current picture, one would never know that the Red Umbrella has been around for so long! It looks quite new and grand. I went back to re-read your post about your aunt's tearoom. Love those little peeks into the past. Sorry that you are still immersed in winter over there!

  24. What an interesting post! and the mention of a tea room, guest cottages and a lovely inn caught my attention right away!! I am off to visit the website. My goodness you have been blasted with the snow this year!! We have hardly had any and I am so waiting for some "green" out the window!! I would even take white over brown :) Have a wonderful day!!

  25. There are so many unanswered questions aren't there? I have more and more the older I get and the more I understand about my ancestors. How neat that you were able to do this research. Maybe you should visit the inn someday.

  26. Pam, I hope you are feeling better soon. You guys have had one wallop of a winter with all that snow. You simply must be sick of it all. I know I would be. Take care. Love the story about the Red Umbrella. Carol

  27. Pam, I hope you are feeling better soon. You guys have had one wallop of a winter with all that snow. You simply must be sick of it all. I know I would be. Take care. Love the story about the Red Umbrella. Carol

  28. i love the old postcards. i love looking at my Mom's collection, so cool!! i bet it is a great place to visit. i hope you can figure out the mystery ... as to how your Aunt got the postcards? so curious.

    wow, more snow ... that is wow considering we are having warm temps yesterday and now suddenly today the heat is on in the house. weird weather times. sorry to hear you are not feeling well ... hope you are on the mend soon. take care. big big hugs. ( :

  29. Quite the snow your having, and I hear you are having more today. How neat that you could find the place on the postcards! Stay warm. : )

  30. HI Pam, how interesting about the postcards and so nice that you have them - such lovely family mementos! It's also nice that the Red Umbrella is still in operation! My Great Grandmother and Step-Grandfather ran a little 'cottage industry' on their farm in Vermont during the 40's and 50's. They had little cottages around a lake that they rented in summer. I wish I knew the name of it or had some photos, but I don't and now my parents are gone so can't ask them. It is a treasure to have these little mementos of your family's past. So sorry about your snow. Let's hope you have the most wonderful summer to make up for it! Hugs xo Karen

  31. The Red Umbrella Inn postcards may tempt you on a visit to see in person. I imagine the inn keepers would enjoy seeing the postcards . . . and may even be able to add more to the mystery.


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