14 Mar 2019


Compiled by Ken Reese.





ANGUS, James T., A Deo Victoria, The Story of the Georgian Bay Lumber Company, 1871-1942, 1990, 320p.

A detailed description of the scale of the white pine logging era on Georgian Bay, the acquisition of the major sawmills by Anson G.P. Dodge as he built then lost his lumbering empire.


DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA, Report of Master Plan of Archeological Resources of District of Muskoka and Wahta Mohawks, Vol 1, 1994, 200p.

A background study, Part 1, describing geology, glacial history, native peoples, forests and fauna of Muskoka.


PAGE, H.R., Guide Book and Atlas of Muskoka and Parry Sound, 1879, 112p.

One of the significant resource historical texts of Muskoka The detailed maps of each township were originally drawn by Captain John Roberts of Port Sandfield and were preferred by the early settlers over the government township maps.. The pencil sketches for the Guidebook were the work of artist Seymour Penson, the owner of the former Ferndale Resort, Port Carling. The flowery text was written by W.C. Hamilton. The atlas was republished by Boston Mills Press in 2000.


LONG, Gary, This River, The Muskoka. 1989, 189 p.

A description of the Muskoka River from its origin in Algonquin Park to Georgian Bay, its geology, glacial history, hydrology, water falls, mills, lumbering, hydro, photos, maps.


IRWIN, W.H., Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Simcoe including the District of Muskoka for 1872-3. 283 p. Reprinted in 1985 by the East Georgian Bay Historical Foundation.


LePINE, John, The Famine of 1880. East Georgian Bay Historical Journal, Volume 3, 1983, p.1-15. A description of the hardships of the settlers in a broad part of Muskoka and Parry Sound Districts from a devastating hail storm in August 1879 and killing spring frosts in 1880 and the relief efforts provided through two provincial Colonization Road inspectors and brought about by many local citizens.


MURRAY, Florence B., Muskoka and Haliburton, 1615-1875, 1963, 400p.

A collection of historical documents dealing with the development of the area.      


McMURRAY, Thomas, The Free Grant Lands of Canada, Muskoka and Parry Sound. 1871, 176p.

McMurray supports the settlement of Muskoka, has little stories of historical facts and local communities.


ONTARIO GOVERNMENT, Ministry of Education, by Robert Choquette, Ontario, An informal History of the Land and Its Peoples. ca1980, 48p.

A brief history of Native peoples, early French and loyalist history, contemporary Ontario.


MUSKOKA LAKES ASSOCIATION, Summer Times, In celebration of 100 years of the  Muskoka Lakes Association. 1994, 192p.

A story and photos of geology, First Peoples, early surveys, lumbering, settlement, and development of tourism and cottagers.


PRYKE, Susan, Explore Muskoka, 1952, 1987, 1999, 168p.


SMITH, Lee Ann Eckhardt, Muskoka’s Main Street, 150 Years of Courage and Adventure Along  the Muskoka Colonization Road, 2012, 199p.

The evolution of the Muskoka Road to Highway 11.




BOYER, Robert J., Bracebridge, A Good Town Grew Here, 1861-1914. 1975.


THOMPSON, Nancy R, (editor), Bracebridge, A Good Town Continues, 1915-1999. 1999, 125th Anniversary Book Committee, 384 p.


PETRY, Bob, Bracebridge, An Early Settlement in Muskoka, 1921, 340 p.

A pictorial story of Bracebridge from the late 1800's.





RICE, Harmon E., A Brief Centennial History of Huntsville, Muskoka, Second Edition, 1964.





PORTER, Cecil, Gravenhurst, Early Days, Early Ways, circa 2011, 176p.

Published to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the official naming of Gravenhurst on August 1, 1862.


Gravenhurst Centennial Committee, Light of Other Days, Gravenhurst, circa 1967, 125p.

Published to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the town and the 100th anniversary of the nation.





JUDD, Anne Duke, Indian River Tales (Pt. Carling). 1995, 139 p.





KIDD, Ryan and SCOTT, David, These Memories I Leave to You, The Story of Mary Lake Settlers. 2003, 124 p. Available in General Store, Pt. Sydney.

Mentions a great fire if 1881 that started west of Pt. Sydney. (p.89)


KIDD, Ryan, The Newcomers, Mary Lake and Port Sydney, 1870-1940. 2011, 139p.

Stories of several families and local stories.


Port Sydney’s Womens’ Institute, Pioneer Days at Port Sydney, 1927, 38p.

A collection of seven stories of early settlers of Port Sydney and area as told by members of the Women’s Institute, and published as a fund-raising venture.

Mentions a terrific fire in 1879 and another in 1881 which nearly wiped out the village (p.37). Another story mentions a great bush fire in 1881 that went through this part of Muskoka (p.11).


JOHNSTON, George H., Port Sydney Past, 1980, 64p.

Settlement of Pt. Sydney and Mary Lake. Recounts Anne Kay’s journey from Liverpool to Mary’s Lake in 1869 (p.10) and Mrs. Harriet King’s story of driving from Bracebridge to Utterson in 1871 through a fire that had closed the road the week before. (p.25)





Hekkla Historical Society, History of Cardwell Township, 1866-1950. circa 2011, 184 p.

Available from Edith Smith, Ullswater or Earl Marchand, Huntsville.





SHEA, Bert, History of The Shea’s and Paths of Adventure, Undated (circa 1970), 254p.

Early settlement of Watt Township starting in 1871 consisting of some 85 chapters of short stories. One story describes young Tom Kingshott tending a log boom from Mrs. Stroud’s home at Tomlin Bluffs and then the towing to the Skeleton River (p.224).


SHEA, Will, Birth of a Township, circa 1966, 88p.




DeLOYE, Cary, Muskoka Family Heritage, 100 Years at Skeleton Lake, One Family’s Story, 2012.

Describes the coming of Harry Bullen to Skeleton Lake in 1915, travelling from Detroit and arrival at the lake from Utterson, his dealings with Robert and Louisa Wilson, the building of the family cottages through the generations.


DANSON, Bert, Some Memories and Recollections of My Growing Up on Skeleton Lake. Unpublished, 1994, 22p.  Reprinted in Skeleton Lake Cottages Organization Newsletter, a series from of some eight parts, 2010 to 2013.

Bert’s story starts in 1935 at age 18 to his death in 2009, covering his parent’s development of Camp Winnebago.


SMITH, Edith, Ullswater, 2000, 11p.

Edith describes Ullswater community from its beginning, its history, institutions, families, community groups and activities, first hydro and telephone, first TV.


YOUNG, Lenore, Two Muskoka Surprises, Skeleton Lake and Wilson’s Lodge, 2005, 75+p.

The building of Wilson’s Lodge, Wilson’s dealings with various people on the lake.


MORRIS, Chuck and Janine, Simolean Bay, A Slice of Paradise, 2012, 86p.

Describes development of Muskoka and the history of each cottage on Simolean Bay.


SKELETON LAKE COTTAGERS ORGANIZATION, Skeleton Lake Plan and Stewardship Program. 2014, 83p.

Identifies cottagers’ values, outlines a plan for the lake, and establishes a stewardship program to protect lake values.


WADDINGTON, E.D, and DENCE, M.R., Skeleton Lake, Ontario - evidence for a Paleozoic impact crater. Canadian Journal of Earth Science, 16:256-263. 1978, 8p.





Windermere Women’s Institute, Windermere and Area Community Archive.

Holds records for discontinued local Tweedsmuir Women’s Institutes, and holds historical records for Watt Township.



Port Carling, Muskoka Lakes Museum.





BRAGG, Roger, Muskoka Wood Manufacturing. East Georgian Bay Historical Journal, Volume 2, 1982, p.93-124. A description of logging log drives in largely Cardwell Twp, around Axe and Buck Lakes in the early 1900's by this lumber company and its later owners.


REESE, Ken H., History of lumbering on Skeleton Lake and area. Unpublished notes.

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