Famed Dodge Lodge is back on the market

The Dodge Lodge is again for sale.

KAGAWONG—Bernie Schwarzli acknowledges that it was a very difficult decision for he and his family to sell the Dodge Lodge, one of, if not the most iconic lodges on Manitoulin.

“It was not an easy decision to come to this,” stated Mr. Schwarzli last week in acknowledging the Dodge Lodge Estate is up for sale. “Who knows what is going to happen down the road. Maybe the kids will want to buy it back. But we hope anybody who buys it will come to be the caretaker of the property to maintain and return it to its full glory.”

“I guess it has been close to 20 years now that Cindy and I had purchased the estate from Sandy and Dave Hurcomb,” said Mr. Schwarzli, who lives in Newmarket. “I give them so much credit. They had to do the tough slogging. When they purchased it they did major renovations and rejuvenated the building and property. My wife and I spent a lot of time on the building and maintaining it as well,” he said, noting the building is over 100 years old.

But all the hard work, “was very rewarding when you realize what has been built up is absolutely breathtaking,” said Mr. Schwarzli. “The property and the building have a definite presence. And anyone who visits gets the same feeling of awe. Twenty years later and it had the same effect on us every spring.”

“It was an extremely difficult decision to put it up for sale,” said Mr. Schwarzli, noting his wife Cindy “passed away over a year ago, so it’s not the same without her. We had been married for almost 40 years. Cindy was very attached to the estate and the property, it gave her comfort being here.”

“The Dodge Estate. To many, this property needs no introduction. It is a part of Manitoulin folklore and mystery. Originally built in the 1920s, the lodge has been preserved by various owners and is offered in great condition, nearly 100 years after its construction,” the RE/Max The Island Real Estate Brokerage real estate listing reads. “The main lodge features a large double-sided fireplace with a sunroom/screen-room on one side, and the great room on the other. Several of the lodge’s keepsakes can be viewed in the great room, which also looks out over the North Channel. Two large wings flank the main lodge with (eight) bedrooms that all have views of the channel.”

“A covered veranda wraps around the entire facility, providing cover from the elements and shade on hot summer days. The covered veranda extends toward the former caretaker’s quarters. The building is now a three-bedroom winterized home with screened-in porch.”

“When the lodge was built, the location was chosen carefully. The lodge has an elevated view with one of the nicest sand shorelines on Manitoulin.” The property is set for sale at $1,490,000.

“My hope is that whoever takes on the estate will continue the caretaker side of things. It needs love and needs to be maintained,” said Mr. Schwarzli. “One thing I don’t want is someone who will walk in, not do anything to maintain the place and rip it down. We want the new owners to keep everything going and improve, not destroy the building.”

Mr. Schwarzli noted the estate, “is an amazing place as a wedding venue, and the gardens are beautiful. If someone wanted to run a business on the side, or a large family takes over it would be a great place for a summer cottage or vacation spot.”

The estate was put up for sale in July/August. “We had one solid offer, who had the means to look after the place, but they felt the property was a little too far out of town.”

“When we took over ownership we were so amazed at how beautiful and how quiet it is here,” said Mr. Schwarzli. “The lodge was built on the perfect side of the point. It was built in the 1920s and obviously a great deal of thought and planning was put into it. They got it bang on.”

Mr. Schwarzli noted that the Old Mill Heritage Centre, namely its curator Rick Nelson, does “a great job keeping the Danny Dodge family and the Dodge Estate in the forefront with the display in the museum. I give Rick a lot of credit, he has been so resourceful in getting the information together and finding information, photos and articles.”

“I am going to miss the lodge and the property, but it is time for someone else to take over,” added Mr. Schwarzli.