This article was written and submitted by Steve Simpson in recognition of his grandfather R Stanley Weir and his great grandfather Alexander Douglas
Alexander Douglas numbered among the notable 'Rich Montreal Merchants' inhabiting the city's storied 'Golden Square mile' at the peak of Montreal's grandeur*. As such he participated in Sir Hugh Allan's** enterprising project to build the 'Lady of the Lake', a twin side driven paddle wheel steamboat, to serve the landing sites on Lake Memphremagog.
'The Landings' were becoming increasingly popular at that time (the 1860's) with hotel venues catering to the increasingly affluent summer holiday visitors from Montreal, Boston and New York.
The 'Lady of the Lake' was designed and built in Scotland, dismantled and shipped to Magog, by way of Montreal, and reassembled there in 1867, the year of Confederation.
It was ultimately launched in September of that year and made a stop at all of the 'Landings'.
Alexander Douglas, his wife and their 4 year old daughter, were on that maiden voyage. One of their final stops was at a new wharf built two years previously at a place called Cedarville***.
Here the 4 year old Margaret Alexander Douglas first got a glimpse of the site where years later Cedarhurst, her future summer home would be built. It was also the inspirational home for the words of 'O Canada', later to be penned by her future husband R. Stanley Weir in 1908.
The 'Lady of the Lake' went on to ply the waters of Lake Memphremagog for fifty years.
* (Peak period 1850-1930, where 70% of Canada's wealth was held by rich merchants & developers.)
** (the Scottish Canadian shipping magnate and owner of the Allan Shipping Line.)
*** (with the advent of the Magog dam this now lies three feet under water.)