Historic Sand Bay Camp sells to new owners

COMBERMERE – A campground that has been managed by Oram family for 86 years has sold to new owners. Sand Bay Camp, located in Hastings Highlands just outside of Combermere, officially switched hands on October 19. The property on Kamaniskeg Lake was purchased in 1932 by Wesley Oram, whose family had a farm and sawmill in the area. The approximately five acres of land was reserved by the government at the time as a summer resort property. Wesley agreed to the terms and agreed to complete a $15 survey. The land itself cost him $15 an acre. “He wanted it as a piece of property where he could land his boat,” Wesley’s son, Wesley Sr. Oram, said. “Everyone told him he was crazy because he couldn’t farm it, it was too sandy. But he bought it.” Sand Bay Camp was the first cottage resort in the area. Soon after the sale, a cottage was built for $500 on the land, using resources from the family sawmill. Wesley met his wife, a teacher at Purdy school, and the two honeymooned on the property. “In that cabin,” their son, Wesley Sr. teased, pointing to the building still on the grounds today. In 1942, the couple built a lodge that had a restaurant in the main building and sold groceries. Other cabins were added in the 1930s and 40s. A total of nine cabins remain on the property, and the property has 24 trailers on site. Wesley Sr. unofficially took over the property in 1965, but the paperwork was officially signed on October 17, 1974. The families noted the coincidence of the property officially changing hands again on October 19, 2018. Much has changed throughout the years, Wesley Sr. noted. To read the full story, pick up a copy of the October 24, 2018 Valley Gazette.