'80th Anniversary of the Tragedy of Daniel George Dodge'
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
On August 15 1938, Daniel George Dodge, heir to the Dodge Motor Company fortune, died at the age of 21. He had been married 13 days to Annie Lorraine MacDonald, a local girl from Manitoulin Island. Annie was a telephone operator in Gore Bay making $15 a week. Daniel’s personal worth at the time was over $10 million dollars.
Daniel, had a 600 acre, lodge on Maple Point near Kagawong. Daniel was playing with dynamite with some of his wife’s friends (who were now working as grounds keepers at the lodge) when a horrific explosion occurred. Danny and two others were badly injured, Lorraine was also hurt, but with the help of another friend, managed to get the injured to the boat.
In high winds, battling 4-foot waves they headed to the hospital in Little Current, 20 miles away. There were 5 people in Daniel’s high powered, 20-foot boat when they left the lodge.
Only four made it to Little Current.
In mid-August of this year I attended a presentation of the 80th anniversary of this tragedy, in Kagawong, on the shores of Mudge Bay.
Rick Nelson, Curator of the Old Mill Heritage Centre, hosted the event. Hundreds turned out to watch, what was an an excellent presentation, about the fascinating and mysterious events surrounding the tragedy of Daniel George Dodge.
In attendance was Roger Weber, of Channel 4 in Detroit.
He had created a 5-minute production about this mystery, that had aired on Channel 4 some time ago. A wonderful piece, that illustrated just how much we don’t know about Dodge’s mysterious death.
I had the chance to speak with Roger shortly after the presentation ended. I was elated he gave me the time to discuss our feelings about this event in history. One thing we were in total agreement on was, ‘why had there never been a book written about this?’
I explained, I had completed a historical fiction based on this story that would be released this fall.
He said, “‘The Secrets of Mudge Bay’? I wish you the best of luck with your book.”
I hope he reads it.