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Local History Collection Highlights: Remembrance Day

Canadians recognize Remembrance Day every November 11 at 11:00 am. It emphasizes the memory of fallen soldiers and recalls the military sacrifices made by many Canadians, including those who lived in Muskoka. The following books are part of the Library’s local history collection and gives a glimpse into the lives of local families.



Muskokans Fight the Great War: Striking Back for the Empire 1914 – 1918

By J. Patrick Boyer

Historian and author J. Patrick Boyer has written a rich history about the impact that World War I had on the region of Muskoka. It describes the challenges and contributions of the local community including the status of Indigenous warriors, how local industry met demands, the vital role of women in the area and the formation of the 122nd Muskoka Battalion.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 161: 1929 – 1978 Bracebridge

by Gary Denniss

Local author and historian Gary Denniss wrote this book to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the local Royal Canadian Legion Branch 161. Researching memorabilia, newspapers, scrapbooks and personal memories, this compilation celebrates local veterans and their accomplishments including the creation of the first Bracebridge Memorial Hospital, the building of a Cenotaph in Memorial Park, the Remembrance Day parades, the Legion Hall, the formation of the Pipe and Drum Band and details the lives and accomplishments with photos and personal histories.

Exile Air: World War II’s “Little Norway” in Toronto and Muskoka

By Andrea Batson

Exile Air presents a well-researched account of the inspiring relationship that developed between Norway and Canada during World War II. Author Andrea Batson describes the history of Camp Little Norway and the patriotic young pilots who trained in Muskoka and returned to liberate their home in Europe. It is a local history story of courage and sacrifice.

Twice Told Tales: Stories and Letters by Muskoka Families – Matchetts, Whites, Bowers and Skinners

By Grace Taylor

Twice told tales explores the history of Muskoka through the voices of the people who lived it. Author Grace Taylor comes from a family of storytellers and has spent decades collecting memories, photographs and written letters. Taylor’s descendants experienced what many pioneer families experienced; arriving in Muskoka, struggling to clear and live off the land and sending young men off to fight in the Great War. History comes alive with authentic voices and personal stories, many from family letters written by young men at war.

Unlocking the Doors: a Woman’s Struggle Against Intolerance

By Eva Olsson

Dr. Eva Olsson, Bracebridge author and recipient of the Order of Canada, is a holocaust survivor who has spent the better part of thirty years sharing her story and a relentless message to stand up against hate and discrimination. Unlocking the doors is her autobiography that draws on her experiences as a child in Hungary, the outbreak of World War II, the concentration camps, disease and death of many loved ones. It is a story of survival, faith and hope.

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