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Unlocked: A Journey Through Time at Rockaway Cottage, Pike Bay

By: Nathan Monk, Co-founder Licencing and Online

Welcome to another exclusive feature of our ‘Unlocked’ series, where we swing open the doors to some of the most fascinating properties in our collection. Today, we’re taking you to Pike Bay – Whiskey Harbour area—a serene escape nestled in the arms of the Northern Bruce Peninsula off Lake Huron in southwestern Ontario.

A serene waterside gem, Rockaway sits proudly amidst this area known for its crystalline waters and verdant woodlands, a place where history whispers through the pines and laps gently against the shores. Fifty kilometres south of the maritime gateway of Tobermory and sixty north of Owen Sound’s vibrant community, Pike Bay-Whiskey Harbour is a locale that combines the charm of seasonal cottages, the permanence of year-round homes, and the pulse of seasonal tourism.

The history of Pike Bay-Whiskey Harbour is rich and textured, intertwined with the area’s natural beauty. Once a bustling hub for the logging industry in the late 19th century, the bay saw large barges traverse its waters—often with perilous results, as ships frequently ran ashore.

The bay’s most gripping tale dates back to November 21, 1883. It was on this day that the barge Etta, tethered to the steamer Eclipse, met with a fierce storm as it voyaged from Tobermory to Southampton. Gale force winds clawed at the vessels, eventually severing their bond. The Etta met its fate upon the shores of Pike Bay, while the Eclipse succumbed to the tempest’s fury near Pine Tree Harbour, taking with it the lives of its seven crew members.

This tragedy became a siren call for shipwreck enthusiasts, turning the surrounding area, once scarred by misfortune, into a magnet for tourists. Yet, it was the resilient spirit of the land that allowed it to be reborn from its logging and hunting legacies into a haven for rest and recreation.

As the 20th century dawned, the land was transformed. Where once stood dense forest, now lay hunting lodges, and eventually, plots of land blossomed into private ownership, culminating in the cozy seasonal cottages that dot the landscape today.

Rockaway is a testament to this transformation—a property that embraces its historical roots while offering a tranquil retreat for families and explorers alike. Modern comforts meld with the rustic charm of a classic cottage, creating a perfect blend for those seeking to experience the peninsula’s enchanting history and present-day leisure.

So, as you relax by the fireplace, gaze upon the bay, or tread the paths that echo with the past, remember that at Rockaway, you’re not just at a cottage. You’re at a crossroads of history, nature, and tranquil living—a slice of the peninsula’s legacy waiting for you to unlock its doors.

Reserve Rockaway on Airbnb. Click here.

Book directly with the Woodworth family and save. Click here.

About Nathan

Nathan Monk

As the Co-founder of Grey Bruce Cottages Inc., Nathan spearheads Online & Licensing, where he plays a pivotal role in shaping the strategy, management, and delivery of property management and customer success services. His expertise is not just limited to these aspects of the business; Nathan’s vision and leadership have been instrumental in steering the company toward its present-day status as a leading property management company in Grey and Bruce Counties. He is also an Airbnb SuperHost of over 10 years.

A licensed Realtor® with RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty, Nathan has an intimate understanding of the real estate market in Grey and Bruce Counties. His deep knowledge and professional acumen have made him a trusted advisor to those looking to navigate the complexities of buying, selling and managing properties in the area. Nathan’s commitment to excellence and his ability to understand the nuances of the local real estate landscape stem from his extensive experience hosting Airbnb’s, which has provided him with unique insights into the hospitality sector and the needs of both property owners and guests.