Profile of Louise Ransom

Last month our profile introduced David Rittenhouse who was one of the first trustees of the Massawippi Foundation and Trust.
This month we would like to tell you about Louise Ransom, the very first person to donate her land in order to have it preserved and conserved in perpetuity. She led the charge with her gift of land and also gave money to create an endowment to cover future expenses. She was our FIRST HERO!

Louise Ransom is a New Yorker who, like many other Americans in the region, was part of a family who had been coming to the lake for generations. As a young girl she came to visit her grandmother who had a property on the lake. She came with her family. Her Father loved to sail in his sailboat named Sadie.

Her great grandmother had bought the cottage. in 1919 from Frank McNulty. Her father inherited the cottage in 1943 and Louise became the owner in 1952. Apart from being an avid sailor, her father was also the secretary of the North Hatley Club. Louise worked in Manhattan in the advertising business. She came regularly every summer in August. In 1981 she sold the cottage to her nephew, Warren Ransom.

However she had a small parcel of land which she had kept and then gave to the foundation in 2012.The five and a half acre property is a forest that contains biologically significant plants and endangered species. The property is referred to as “Louisiana” by the Trust as this was the affectionate name given to it by members of her family when Louise purchased it for herself.

Louise gave the property to the Trust because she wanted to ensure its protection. She spoke with Tom Wilcox and understand the mountain was under threat from development.

Today she lives in Manhattan in the same apartment that she moved into in 1961. She remembers the summers on the lake and hopes that the changes are not too dramatic. She has not been back to the lake since the early 2000’s.

We have promised to exchange some photos. She is curious to see how the lake and the village look today. We are curious to see pictures that Louise will be sending us from the time when she spent her vacation in North Hatley. We will share them with you.

Louise’s history is part of a rich tradition of Americans travelling to Canada to escape the heat of the south and the big cities. Her gift is now part of the conservation tradition of land owners recognizing the urgent need to protect the forests and watershed. By conserving her the Massawippi Trust hopes to preserve the natural beauty of the lake and surrounding land for generations to come.

If you would like to find out more about donating land to the Massawippi Trust, please send us an email .