The main buildings of Miners Bay Lodge resort on Hwy. 35 are so recognizable to passersby that if something is amiss with the iconic scene they take notice. Especially if what they’re seeing is a destroyed front porch and a cube van on its side on the front lawn of the resort.
Concerned phone calls to Laura Harkness general manager and Harland Doige property manager of the lodge started coming in from friends and neighbours in the early evening on Nov. 24 after a van travelling south from Minden crashed into the approximately 100-year-old main lodge building which was shut down for the season and empty of guests at the time. The two occupants of the van received minor injuries.
“Seeing the pictures for the first time was kind of like oh boy” said Harkness. “The corner it’s gone. That post is just gone. You’ve got some windows that actually were still hanging intact with nothing holding them in place … you’re like oh boy. It was surreal. It felt like all right a van hit the building. And you see it and hope no one was hurt.”
Harkness who said she is not aware of any sort of similar accident happening in the 80 years prior to her becoming general manager just last month said the incident was a bit of a “curve ball.”
“We have always had the highway out front which has always been a concern but knock on wood we’ve never had an issue with it especially in our main season so this is pretty rare” she said. “It was very weird.”
A structural engineer will determine the extent of the damage and contractors will begin work to rebuild when the weather allows. Ideally the porch will be repaired prior to next year’s summer season. Harkness credited Doige for being on scene and acting quickly to deal with the unexpected situation.
“It’s a very picturesque and very recognized picture of the front of the property” she said. “Those two buildings off the highway have been one of our main pictures on a postcard. It’s very iconic and it’s going to be a little different. We’re going to try and obviously repair it to the original look.”
No charges were laid in the accident which was according to the collision report deemed to be weather-related said Sgt. John Spence.
“Basically the weather was not so good from what I understand the road conditions were not so good” said Spence. “They lost control went up into the porch of … Miners Bay Lodge.”
Haliburton Highlands OPP attended the scene.