Brunelle’s Island
By Linda Andrews

The fabled Brunelle’s Island is the central of the three Islands on Nottawasaga Bay, lying off Wahnekewening Beach. Some locals call it Fisherman’s Island, and it is also referred to as Papoose Island. The story of this site is long and intriguing. Here we report some island history as related by Sue Eliadis whose father bought ‘Brunelle’s Island’ about 65 years ago.

However our story begins over 150 years ago, in 1849, when Casimir Brunelle arrived in Lafontaine from Batiscan, Quebec. He was the first Brunelle to settle in Tiny Township where he raised nine children. Many of his descendants farmed on the 16th and 17th concessions.

Brunelle’s Island is very, very, tiny; survival there seems barely possible. Nevertheless the island served as a summer home for a local fishing family. Casimir’s great grandson, Alderic (September 1919-July 1991), Sue’s father, inherited a fishing license from his father and became a commercial fisherman. Current beach residents with long memories tell of waiting on the shore for boats full of fresh fish. Alderic, better known as ‘Pete’, his wife Evelyn and 6 children enjoyed many summers on the island, where they used propane to run the fridge, the stove and the lights. Drinking water was transported from shore but otherwise they used water from the lake. Sue remembers these summers as their visit to paradise. The original cabin was built in 1954. By 1962, a southwest addition was completed and a northeast addition was added several years later. At first the island was accessed by a small boat, courtesy of friendly neighbours. Later on, a larger boat used the docks at Albert’s Cove at the 17th concession. There was also small boat access from the 13th concession, and when the children were young, they were allowed to row to shore to visit the general store for penny candy … a special treat. Often a simple tin boat was seen at the 13th awaiting another trip out for groups of family, friends or fishermen. Pete’s early attempt to have the island renamed Westwind was thwarted. The ruins of the original log cabin still stand, however high water, storms and ‘unnatural disasters’ have wreaked havoc on the additions, an out building and on the dock. In the mid/late 1980’s rocks were added to the perimeter to protect the building and the island from further damage but the island was little used after this date.