Book Reviews by J. Patrick Boyer

Early Books Defined Perception of Muskoka

The Free Grant Lands of Canada —Thomas McMurray
Guide Book & Atlas of Muskoka and Parry Sound Districts —W.E. Hamilton

Today anyone travelling to a new area is likely to arm themselves with a map and guidebook. A century and a-half ago, when folk were considering Muskoka, it was no different. In fact, because many heading to Muskoka intended to settle, all available information was ardently coveted. So the way Thomas McMurray and William Hamilton illustrated the district and spun the story of its promise in their respective books, had far-reaching impact.

English Bloods

In the Backwoods of Muskoka, 1878

Frederick de la Fosse, edited by Scott D. Shipman

Frederick Montague de la Fosse did not have a name one would readily associate with a rugged pioneer settler in early days of Muskoka. But then again, those who came to this district's rocky woodlands often had unusual reasons for fetching up here, and de la Fosse was one of those young "Englishmen of means" who fancied farming in Muskoka might be a refreshing New World variant on the life of England's landed gentry.

From Oka to Muskoka

the “Special Case” of Wahta Mohawks

An Indian Odyssey
Tribulations, Trials, and Triumphs of Gibson Band of the Mohawk Tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy
–Sylvia DuVernet

Wahta Mohawks of west Muskoka were not included in John W. Grant's1984 book Moon of Wintertime because, its author believed, in a general account of the aboriginal-Christian encounter, "they were a special case."

Ghost Towns of Muskoka

Andrew Hind and Maria Da Silva

Have you ever been to Emberson, Muskoka Mills, or Hoodstown? How about Lewisham, Millar Hill, or Jerusalem (Muskoka, that is)?

The early promise of a number of Muskoka settlements was never to be realized.

Gilmour Tramway

A Lumber Baron’s Desperate Scheme

Gary Long

Just as Nova Scotia in the 1890s witnessed railway engineer Henry Ketchum's boldly imaginative but ultimately ill-fated construction of a massive tramway to carry ships a safer shorter distance overland from the Northumberland Strait to the Bay of Fundy, so Muskoka was home to a similarly daring plan by lumber baron David Gilmour to defeat nature by imaginative engineering.


With Spirit and Resolve

Susan Pryke

When Huntsville became world-famous in 2011 as host community for a gathering of leaders from the "Group of Eight" major countries, that added another colourful chapter to the town's remarkable history.

Copyright © 2023 || Website Development by