Campers Cove History
Visitors from across Canada and the United States have come to visit our family campground for over fifty three years. A campground that started out as a vision of three young couples who loved nature, camping and the beautiful views of Lake Erie.
The story begins in the late 1950's when Larry and Dee Burr, Leo and Jan Hornett and Tony and Mary Gerrish had a dream of turning this rugged piece of waterfront property into a family campground. They were patient with their planning, and eventually were able to buy the property in 1961. The young couples worked very hard in the early years to maintain and manage the initial 16 site campground while continuing to work fulltime.
Over the years, they were able to hire dedicated local residents that would assist them with the campground.
The three couples remained partners for many years until business matters elminated two of the families, leaving Tony and Mary Gerrish as sole owners. Throughout the years, the Gerrish's have worked endlessly to add to, and improve the grounds. Initially, a steep ravine separated the property from the closest township road. It was a huge task to cut an access through the bush. It was only accomplished because of the help provided by Grant Bell bulldozers.
There were many obstacles along the way but the Gerrish's have always been supported by their neighbours and friends in the Wheatley community. "We will always be grateful for the cooperation we received in those trying years." stated Tony Gerrish when interviewed at the 25th year celebration of the campground.
Campers Cove celebrated it's 50th anniversary in 2011. During the celebration seasonal campers presented the campground with a commemorative stone and planted several native trees in a campground garden. The Gerrish's acknowledged that they have been fortunate to have loyal seasonal customers who have become part of the campground family. "We have third generation campers here now. We've had a few weddings, some who met at Campers Cove," explained Mary Gerrish.
All of Tony and Mary's 6 children played an active role in the success of the business. In the year 2001, Mary and Tony sold their interest in the business to 4 of the children. John, Geoff, Barbara, Cathy, and their families, who actively operate the business today. Tony and Mary's children soon became actively involved in assisting them at the campground. A vision in the late 1950's has become a reality because of the dedication and hard work of family, friends and longtime employees. The original 34 acre campground has grown to 61 acres and offers a beautiful 1200 ft. of Lake Erie shoreline.
Tony and Mary's dream of a family friendly campground has grown to include rental log cabins, playgrounds, sports courts, a large movie screen, laundromat, large washroom, shower facilities and so much more. Their inspiration of creating a family campground commited to making "your stay a most enjoyable experience", continues to be evident with an endless list of events and activities for all ages. Their goal throughout the years has been to ensure that every camper, whether young or old, took with them a handful of wonderful memories.