TRAIN AT “PORTAGE” PENINSULA LAKE MUSKOKA Photo by AnnaBelle Studio
'The two original Porter-built engines Nos. 1 and 2 are waiting with their train for the Algonquin steamboat to arrive from Huntsville for their daily trip "over the hill" to South Portage.' www.railwaypages.com
(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale).
The Portage Flyer steam train began its proud legacy as the world's smallest commercial railroad, operating from 1904 until 1959 in Dwight Ontario. Transportation in Muskoka around the early 1900's meant for "some fun with steam" as visitors and supplies chugged along The Muskoka River aboard the Steamship Algonquin from Huntsville through Fairy Lake onto North Portage at the far end of Peninsula Lake. And that is where The Portage Flyer took over. The train served as (as its name suggests) a portage vehicle operating on 1 1/8 mile of narrow gauge track between what is still called North and South Portage. With 170 feet of elevation variance between Fairy Lake and Lake of Bays, dredging was not an option and a lock system would have proven too costly. So the Flyer was responsible for providing transport of everything from mail, cargo, building supplies and tourists to South Portage where the steamship Iroquois carried the last leg onto such lavish resorts as The Britannia Inn, The Wa Wa Hotel and the most celebrated Bigwin Inn. www.muskokaheritageplace.org