Nestled in the lee of the Sleeping Giant is a geographic gem known as Amethyst Harbour. It is an area comprising both sides of a peninsula that is studded with a series of picturesque bays, islands and inlets. Central to the area is the heart of Amethyst Harbour, large parkland known as the Triangle. It comprises a baseball park; children’s play structure, tennis courts, a badminton/basketball court and a large wharf. A sports instructor is hired for six weeks every summer and the children of members are taught such sports as tennis, swimming, and sailing.
What is most interesting about this picture perfect resort area is that Amethyst Harbour is not a new development but rather the one hundred year old brainchild of visionary and entrepreneur, Robert Anderson Ruttan.
Ruttan first saw the property in 1910 while working as a Crown Timber Agent. It was then owned by the defunct Algoma Builders Supply and had lain idle for many years. Ruttan immediately noticed the potential of the property, purchased it and set about preparing a brochure to market it. His long range plan for the area included a sewage system, roads, designated park areas with a view to the future, that perhaps Amethyst Harbour could be ‘a perennial place of residence’.
The lots were reasonably priced, sold quickly to many of the founding fathers of Port Arthur and Fort William and before long, the first campers began to build their cottages. Supplies were bought and carted to the site by tugs and boats in the summer and dragged over the ice in the winter. The forests of Pass Lake were also put to good use and the skillful Danes who had settled that area were hired to build many of the first cottages. Some of the campers preferred to construct their own log homes and a number of these are still in use today.
From inception, there has been considerable record keeping and the first president of the Amethyst Harbour Campers’ Association, Frank Keefer, was elected to office in 1922. Log books and minutes of meetings have been preserved and the entire one hundred year history has been published in a commemorative book ‘Amethyst Harbour 1911- 2011 Memories of 100 Years’.
There have been a few changes made over the last hundred years but the Association has taken its stewardship very seriously and a great deal of Robert Anderson Ruttan’s vision remains intact. The views are breathtakingly beautiful and, accordingly to all who live or vacation there, there are none better.