The Old Post Lodge site was one of the first inland trading posts ever established by The Hudson's Bay Company, dating back to 1786.
Two centuries later, the Grace Family fell in love with the seventy plus pristine acres and vast sandy beaches of Lake St. Joseph and decided to purchase the historic trading post, along with the surrounding land and buildings. The Grace Family believed the phenomenal fishing opportunity of Lake St. Joseph provided the perfect location for the development of a world class sport fishing resort, and after a year of hard work and renovations, opened to the public on June 1, 1987.
The philosophy of Old Post Lodge is based on a dedication to fisheries conservation and commitment to providing a world class experience. The Grace Family have been very strong advocates and leaders in fisheries conservation and sustainability management and have pioneered now standard catch and release practices such as releasing all trophy fish, the use of no nets and barbless hooks. These direct conservation policies were on the leading edge at the time and were not implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources until the late 90s. In 1989, a unique regulation established an accord between the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and tourist operators on the Lake St. Joseph. In order to assist the MNR with fisheries management, an advisory committee consisting of local native band members, tourism representatives and Lake St. Joseph camp operators were established.
A tag system was put into effect in order to control the number of annual guests that may be accommodated on the lake to 1,956. Old Post Lodge owns a quota of 756 of these tags. When you also consider that Lake St. Joseph is 154,000 acres, 91 miles long and 20 miles wide in certain areas, it's not difficult to see the tremendous opportunity for preserving a sustainable and superior fishing experience for generations to come.
Osnaburgh was the site of the historic signing of Treaty 9.
In 1905, having been the site of a Hudson's Bay Post for almost 125 years, Osnaburgh House, as the early fur traders named it, was chosen for government officials to meet with Native leaders to present one of the most significant treaty documents ever negotiated in Canada, the historical signing of Treaty 9 at Osnaburgh on July 1, 1905.
The church was first established in 1829 by English missionaries wanting to bring Christianity to the native people who traded at the post.
After a fire in 1942, the church was rebuilt that same year and remained functional until 1963 when the trading post was abandoned. The pre-reconstruction photos illustrate the deterioration of the church between 1963 and 1986 when the Grace Family re-established the site. It is our wish and the wish of the native people that we preserve the history of the church and the cemetery with respect.
Long before it became home to one of Ontario's premier fishing lodges, the spectacular sandy point of land with its commanding views our over Lake St. Joseph was a traditionial meeting place for the Native people of the area.
For hundreds of years, first the Cree and later the Ojibwa would set up their summer camps here to fish the bountiful waters of the lake and converge with other tribes to enjoy months' long social gatherings before returning inland to tend their winter trap lines. Today, Mishkeegogamang First Nation people inhabit the surrounding area and have established a community of 800 people.