If you spent any time at Bigwin Inn as a staff member or guest in days gone by, or you're just interested in learning about those glory days of old, come on in and relive those wonderful years!

Here are some photos taken by others, which I found on the Internet. In these shots, Bigwin Inn looks very much the way I remember it from the summers I spent there, playing piano for The Roy Roberts' band, with Roy, Louie and Bus in the early 1960's.

Did you work there or visit Bigwin Inn at that time?

 


The Latest News:

BRAND NEW PHOTOS OF BIGWIN INN
WERE JUST ADDED TO THIS SITE TODAY, SEPT. 23, 2013.

A LINK TO THESE VERY RECENT PAUL WELSMAN PHOTOS
IS LOCATED TOWARDS THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.


- Some newly arrived 1930's Bigwin Inn Photos have just been added to this site.
Be sure to visit the Shared Past Photos by clicking HERE



Don't Miss Our Visitor's Shared Photos Below. Visit that page
by clicking the link there!

 



 

Former '64 Staffer Bill McLeod Revisits Bigwin Inn
After 45 Years in August 2009

+

The Rotunda - 2008
Don't miss the May 2008 photos of the current state of The Rotunda.
THIS IS AMAZING AND WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!!!

+

On November 18th, 2010 recent photos of the
Ferry Restoration were added!
Please click the link near the bottom of this page to see the page on it.

+

Bigwin Inn in 2005

+

Bigwin Inn Pen-Pals Page

Be sure to see them all by clicking
on each of the links
"later on this page".



*Do you remember The stately old & classic Rotunda? Or how about the huge main structure on the right which housed the main dining room which could serve breakfast, lunch and formal dinners for up to 750 guests daily? Or the slightly smaller attached building to the left which was the night club/bar called The Round Room?

Neighbouring residents would park their boats by the huge floating terrace, and have a drink and a dance,,, properly attired of course! We played dinner music from 5:00 till 7:00 in the Inn's Main Dining Room and music for dancing 9:00 - 1:00 in The Round Room.

 


Please note that photo descriptions marked with a blue "asterisk" like this *, refer to photos taken from "Bigwin Inn" by Douglas McTaggart available at most bookstores. You can purchase it from Amazon.com right here, by clicking on the image to the left.

 


 

On the left side of this shot was the very large main dock and dock house. Just to it's right, was the unbelieveably huge dance hall structure known as the Pavillion, whose walls echoed regularly to the wonderful sounds of famous orchestras like those of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, and Guy Lombardo during Bigwin's glory years.

Sadly, The Pavillion was recently torn down.

 

 

 

 

 

This is the overall view of the structures with the Rotunda and Round Room on the left, the dock and Pavillion in the centre and the Inn's Boathouse for the Inn's boats as well as the Inn's Power generators.

 

 

 

 

Here's a shot which appears to have been taken from way down in front of the Rotunda at the shoreline. In the photo above, that would be somewhere in the space to the right of the main dining/entertainment structure on the left. You can see the same buildings to it's right in both photos, but just from a different angle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The island's famous look out Tower from which the view was breathtaking.

 

 

 

 

It was also a place where young lovers could share a few private moments of their summer romance.

 

 

 

 

 

*This enormous room in the main lodge, was home to the main guest reception desk. Guests such as Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, John D. Rockerfeller or John Diefenbaker were often seen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main lodge was truly beautiful with it's six large natural stone fireplaces, two visible here to the rear, and it's very comfortable seating arrangments.

 

 

 

Another of the comfortable seating areas for relaxation, drinks and conversation.

 

 

 

This was the view from the balcony around the main diningroom, here looking out towards the main docks, swimming area and the huge earlier used and famous dance hall known as The Pavillion, the large round building towards the rear.

 

 

 

Turnng your gaze down and to the right a bit, the lakeside deck at the entrance to the nightclub known as The Round Room was visible. Boaters properly attired of course, could park their boats and enjoy lunch and a drink.

 

 

 

 

 

The Bigwin Island Golf Course was always a fine test of your golfing abilities, and as of 2004, the course has been upgraded even more, and was named as the best new golf course in Canada by prestigious golfing organizations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Culinary expertise was always the order of the day at Bigwin Inn. World class dining was prepared daily for up to 750 guests by fine chefs.

 

 

It was then served by an expert staff, to the guests in the main diningroom below at up to three seatings per meal.

Here, is an in service '60s diningroom photo,

 

and another taken more recently along with another photo taken in the refurbished Marine Diningroom.

 

Once dinner was finished and it was time to unwind and enjoy one's self, it was time to head for The Round Room for dancing to the resident orchestra which in 1963 & 1964 was The Roy Roberts Orchestra featuring Roy Roberts (white tuxedo jacket) on guitar, Louigi Antonacci on accordian, Don Firth on piano [that's me ;-)] and "Bus" Mitchell on drums. (The rest of us are in red tuxedo jackets) If you look closely, you'll see us to the left of the large fireplace at the left rear of this photo. (left to right Bus on drums, Don at the grand piano, Roy playing his guitar and Lou playing his accordian)

 

With The Round Room then closed for the evening, guests would
head to their rooms in one of the lodges. . .

 

. . . to rest up for a day of swimming & boating the next day,
or another of the many activities offered by the inn.

Thank you to Adele Trapnell for providing the brochure,
from which many of these photos were taken.

 

*Older Photos taken in Bigwin Inn, but old or more recent,
it's still the same great place!

 

 

*During the early '60s, a dinner party is hosted in the Marine Dining Room by Mr. Paul Lobraico (extreme left) and his wife Sandra (extreme right). His brother Bernie Lobraico is seated in the front row on the right in the light jacket. Also attending is manager Mr. Beers, 2nd from the left in the front row and his wife across from him, in the dark dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's a shot of Bus Mitchell on the left and me, Don Firth, on the right with hair,,, I remember those days... ;-)). This was late September 1963 (note the leaves on the ground and our jackets). Bus and I have just come from having a coffee in the Canadiana Snackbar that used to be just outside the main lodge.

 

 

 

 

Here's a couple of items I'm sure you'll remember from those days - a "Bigwin Inn Moscow Mule" copper mug and a Bigwin Inn ashtray, salvaged and saved by Harold (Hap) Gall of the dining room staff (1962 - 1964). I hadn't seen Hap since the fall of 1964 when we left Bigwin, but we were re-aquainted in 2004 because of a Google Search, and a bit of good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Please check out our woodworking site by clicking on this logo.

 


Please click on this button to see our photography site.
where you can pick up some great tips
to improve your photography from this retired pro.



 


The Latest News:

CLICK HERE TO SEE PAUL WELSMAN'S PHOTOS
OF BIGWIN IN THE LATE SUMMER OF 2013

+

Former '64 Staffer Bill McLeod Revisits Bigwin Inn
After 45 Years in August 2009

+

The Rotunda - 2008
Don't miss the May 2008 photos of the then current state of The Rotunda.
THIS IS WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!

+

Bigwin Ferry Restoration - 2006

Would you like to see what the "Diamond of the North" looks like as recently as June of 2005? Please click on the next line just below.

+

Bigwin Inn in 2005

+

Bigwin Inn Pen-Pals Page

The Bigwin Inn Pen-Pals Page,,, it's for people who want to reconnect with friends from their time at Bigwin Inn. Just send me an email and I'll post your "short" message and contact information on that page, and you can also respond to messages already there.

To go to the New Bigwin Inn Pen-Pals Page, please click on the blue section title just above this.

 


Bigwin Inn Staff

To go to another page on this site, with a listing of former staff members, click on this small photo of a Bigwin Inn ashtray.


Shared Photos or Memorabilia of Bigwin Inn
from Past Staff or Guests

Sneak a peek at cherished Bigwin Inn memories of others. Click on this ashtray.


More Recent Photos of Bigwin Inn

To see another page on this site, with more recent photos of Bigwin Inn, click on this small photo of a Bigwin Inn ashtray.


Links Relative to Bigwin Inn

Click on the Bigwin ashtray just below this, to go to a page with some links relative to
Bigwin Inn.


If you have some photos or information that you want to share
of any staff, guests or things relating to Bigwin Inn during the '60's or any other time,
please send them to me at the address below.


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