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Oiseau Bay: Nearly a Century of History

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In 1917, Oiseau Bay founder P.K. Smith, a wealthy American entrepreneur on a Canadian canoe trip, pitched his tent on the shores of the Ottawa River at Oiseau Bay. Waking up to the sunrise and beautiful surroundings, he wrote in his journal that he would "Never spend a whole year cooped up in an office again." Well, P.K., we couldn't agree with you more!

          Read P.K.'s journal of his 30 unforgettable years at Oiseau Bay [PDF 122 MB]

The following year, P.K. purchased the land he had camped on and began an ambitious undertaking of establishing an operational hobby farm at Oiseau Bay. He built the riverfront River Cabin right where he had camped that first night, and proceeded to build a Farmhouse for his year-round caretaker and the Lodge for himself and his buddies to use as a home base every summer. In 1944, he built the last of the buildings at Oiseau Bay, the White Cottage, for a couple fleeing wartime Europe.

P.K. turned Oiseau Bay into a successful farming operation. He had many acres of fields to grow hay and oats for the work horses, he had an operational lumber mill, and most impressively, he constructed an enormous hydro-electric dam on the property--making Oiseau Bay Farm one of the first places in the area with electricity.

In the 1970s, P.K.'s descendents sold Oiseau Bay Farm to some local Deep River folks--one of which was John Hilborn, renowned nuclear scientist at Canada's top-secret Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories. In 1999, John Hilborn's son, Cameron, took over the farm and patiently restored all of the buildings to their original rustic splendour. Today, Cameron and his family rent out P.K.'s history-filled buildings to like-minded people who love nature, adventure, and innovation. We think P.K. would be proud!

     Read about John and Cameron Hilborn's journey to restoring Oiseau Bay [PDF 386 KB]

The photographs below are courtesy of P.K. Smith's grandchildren, Chip, Colleen, and Marjorie. Many thanks!



Cam Hilborn
and your on-site host

Postal Address
(office address only)
 P.O. Box 795, Deep River Ontario, Canada
K0J 1P0

Cottage Location
(And yes, we are remote)
See map

(613) 639-9727 

info @ oiseaubayresort.com


  Copyright 2008 Cam Hilborn

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