From the 1870’s through the First World War, at least a dozen hunting and fishing clubs, mainly from the Pittsburgh area, made annual excursions to the Severn River to hunt and fish. Most travelled by train to Severn Bridge where they were met by steamers and transported to campsites on Sparrow Lake.
Arguably the oldest summer cottage on the lake, the “Big House” of the Wagner family still stands today. It was built in 1903 by Lena Wagner and her husband William, who owned extensive lands on Deep Bay and Maclean Bay. The cottage reflected city-style architecture with three stories, rather than the the later 1 or 2 stories. The Wagner cottage was sold in 1961 to John Cooper, and in 1990 to the Daniels. The top story was removed in a modern renovation, but remains on its original site beside Sophers’ Landing.