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Histoire illustrée du canton de Potton

Potton - A Resort Region for the Wealthy

With Lake Memphremagog and its spectacular scenery, its mountains and wide open valleys, Potton became a strong attraction for tourists and seasonal residents in the mid-1800s.

It was artists like W. H. Bartlett, a British painter, who "discovered" the area during the trips he made here between 1836 and 1854. He did many paintings depicting Mt. Owl's Head and other sceneries, which were widely displayed.

Several hotels of international reputation thrived in the area, notably the "Mountain House" and the "Potton Springs Hotel".

Bartlett Print | Lake Memphrémagog

View from Owl's Head

The Lady of the Lake at the Mountain House wharf | 1890


Mountain House Hotel

This luxurious hotel, located at the foot of Owl's Head and only accessible by water, was built in 1845. A fire destroyed the initial building inl855 and a new one was erected.

The height of its popularity was in the 1880s with guests arriving on the "Lady of the Lake" and "Mountain Maid" steamboats.

Mountain House Hotel | 1890


Among its more prominent guests were Lord Dufferin, Governor-general of Canada, Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), noted photographer William Notman and British author Anthony Trollope.

Sadly, on October 11 th, 1889 a fire caused by heating tar in the kitchen for roof repairs destroyed the building, never to rise again.

Mountain House Hotal | Dining room


The hotel's amenities included a billiard room, a tennis court, lawn bowling, rowboats and indoor running water.

Popular past-times even then were canoeing, fishing and hiking to the summit of Mt. Owl's Head.

Potton White Sulphur Springs

Two "cool" gent at the Springs

Potton Springs Hotel | Post Card
Knowlton, Qc 12 Mi. Newposrt Vt 24 Mi.

Potton Springs Hotel

ln the 19th century sulfur springs was considered to have marvelous therapeutic properties. About 1828 one Nathan Banfill discovered a sulfur spring at the base of Mt. Pevee.

The nearby hotel built by NH Green in 1875, attracted people from far and wide. John McMannis' hotel in South Bolton was also popular with the "spring lodgers".

The hotel provided a dance hall, put on plays and later movies. After the 1920s business declined and in 1934 a fire gutted the main building. The remaining hall and servant's quarters slowly deteriorated and finally fell to vandalism in the early 1990s.

The emerging tourism and vacationing industry was spurred along by the steamers, which were introduced on Lake Memphremagog as well as by the rail-service connecting the region with Montreal and points in the United States.

Beginning in the 1850s wealthy families from Montreal and the United States acquired large parcels of land on the Jake to build their summer residences.