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Tool Library

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  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.

Tool Category?

  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.
  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.
  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.
  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.
  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.
  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.
  • Tool name and use, available time period for loan, etc.

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Local History & Genealogy

THE MUSKOKA COLLECTION

line

The Muskoka Collection is made up of historical and current material. Many items in the Muskoka Collection can be found by searching the online catalogue. If you need additional information or need help with your research please contact us at info@bracebridgelibrary.ca or 705-645-4171.

Resources

Books & Print

Our print collection has books on and by local authors and historians. Some indexes for obituaries and cemeteries are also available.

Maps and Atlases

Atlases, gazetteers, and directories are available including:

  • “Guide Book and Atlas of Muskoka and Parry Sound” (1879)
  • “Muskoka Lakes blue book, directory and chart” (1918), “Who’s where on Muskoka Lakes” (1975)
  • farmers’ and business directories for 1866-67, 1872-73, 1884-1886, 1886-87, 1896. 

The Bracebridge Library also has historical maps and tourism maps available for viewing at the Library.  Additional Atlas information can be found on these websites: Ontario County Atlases, District Municipality of Muskoka Story Map

Newspapers

Historical newspapers available on microfilm:

  • Northern Advocate (select papers from 1869, 1870)
  • Bracebridge Gazette (1903-1956)
  • Muskoka Herald (1888-1955)
  • Herald-Gazette (1957 to 1996)
  • The Bracebridge Examiner (1996-2017)

Some dates may be damaged and/or missing. 

Photographs & Postcards

Photographs and postcards include collections from several local authors and historians.  Select photographs and postcards have been digitized and have been posted on the Muskoka Digital Archives.

Statistics and Census

Vital Statistics and Census include:

  • census on microfilm for Muskoka and Parry Sound for the years 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901;
  • the registers for the Muskoka Mission (1865-1875) and the Uffington Mission (1884-1923) copied from the records of the Anglican Diocese of Algoma;
  • registers of the Nazareth Lutheran Church at Germania (1873-1994). 

Additional census materials can be found from the Government of Canada.

Vertical Files

Vertical Files include newspaper clippings about people, places and events.  They are organized by person/family and by theme.  Subjects can be found in the online catalogue.

Archival Material

The Muskoka Collection is the home of archival material from several local authors and historians. The collection includes material from:

• Redmond Thomas Collection: 7 scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, ephemera, and photographs.

• Dorothy Coate Collection: notes, photographs and clippings about people, places and events in the Rosseau and surrounding areas.

• Lillie M. Johnson Collection: 2 microfilm reels consisting of clippings about people and events (1933-1963)

• Gladys Bennett Collection: dramatic scripts and newspaper clippings by a locally well-known newspaper columnist, teacher and world traveler.

• Working notes for A Good Town Continues (2000) including material that was not published.

• Woodchester Villa Scrapbooks on the history of the Bird family and the creation of the Woodchester Villa Museum.

rene caisse at her desk

Rene Caisse and Essiac

Rene M. Caisse (1888-1978) was a Bracebridge resident who worked as a nurse and researcher. She famously developed Essiac, a drinkable herbal remedy. The name Essiac is the letters of Rene’s last name spelled backwards. Rene practed from her cancer clinic on Dominion Street in Bracebridge from 1934 to 1942. The Bracebridge Library is proud to house a collection of donated documents, correspondence, photographs, and more that pertain to Rene Caisse and her research. A special thanks to Mary McPherson for the donation.

historical photo of bracebridge from 1873

The Living History Project

The Bracebridge Library, through funding provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, was able to create The Living History Project in 2011. The library has 80 recordings from Bracebridge residents who share their family history, memories, and experiences. While these recordings are not available for checkout, they can be listened to at the library upon request. A full index of the recordings can be found by clicking the link below.

lady tweedsmuir historical photograph black and white

Tweedsmuir Scrapbooks

The Tweedsmuir Scrapbooks contain histories collected by the Women’s Institutes of South Macaulay, Bracebridge, and Haystack Bay (Lake of Bays). These histories provide invaluable information for researchers and people interested in local history.

muskoka stories on youtube

Muskoka’s History Series on YouTube

Learn about Muskoka’s History from local historians on the Bracebridge Library YouTube channel. Videos include:
• Settling in Muskoka with Kenneth Veitch
• Muskoka’s War Memorials with Gary Denniss
• Muskokans and the Great War with Patrick Boyer
Click below to access the Muskoka History Playlist.

canoe regatta balla, ontario

Muskoka Collection and Inquiries

For assistance with local history research, please contact us by phone at 705-645-4171 or by email at info@bracebridgelibrary.ca.

Archives

Please note: the National Archives of Canada no longer lends items via interlibrary loan to public libraries.

Local Genealogy Groups
Local Historians