Chapter 11

Historic Pictures (1615-1970)

In the summer of 1615, Samuel de Champlain left Lake Ontario and travelled northwest along the future Trent-Severn Waterway to Georgian Bay. At the same time, Etienne Brule left Montreal and paddled the Ottawa, Mattawa, and French Rivers to reach Georgian Bay. The two French explorers and their Huron guides met on the northwest shore of Penetanguishene Bay, depicted in the above picture. These explorers were the first Europeans to venture north of Lake Ontario. They paved the way for French fur traders and trappers to, 40 years later, start to explore, trap, and settle in the future Muskoka and Haliburton areas.

Fur Trapper 1830s

Grand Trunk Locomotive 1880s

The Gilmore and Company Lumber Mill at Trenton, pictured about 1884, was one of the largest lumber mills in the world. It could mill 3,000 logs into 400,000 feet of lumber in one 10-hour shift. Haliburton timber came from the headwaters of the Oxtongue River. Log drives went down the Oxtongue Lake and River, across the Lake of Bays, over land using a series of log chutes and canals into Raven Lake, down the Gull River System, through the Kawartha Lakes, and finally down the Trent River to Trenton on Lake Ontario. It was about a 445 km trip from forest to mill.

Haliburton Village 1885

John Russell Reid and his wife Jean pictured about 1886. Russell was a Haliburton carpenter and wagon maker whose skills made him one of the village’s wealthiest men in the late 1880s. Their home is now on display at the Haliburton Highlands Museum.

Dominion Hotel 1890s

Country Wagon Road 1890s

Cliff Cottage in Minden 1890 – owned by John H. Delamere who was owner and editor of the Minden Echo Newspaper – note the lawn tennis court in the front

Haliburton Rail Station 1890

Settlers struggled desperately to establish working farms in the thin soil and rocky terrain of Haliburton in 1890.

The alligator boat Muskoka (pictured 1891) was used by the Gilmore Lumber Company to move logs across the Lake of Bays to a point a few kilometres south of Dorset. There they used a “jackladder” lift to pull the logs uphill to the start of a log chute that floated them down into Raven Lake. Note the searchlight atop the craft, which enabled round-the-clock operations.

This is one of the Gilmore log chutes (pictured 1891) used to float logs overland from Lake of Bays into Raven Lake. Electric lights strung along the sluiceway allowed the operation to run day and night.

Farm Workers 1892

Clergy House with wagon watering in Gull River 1895

Abraham and Henry Parsonage pictured in 1895. Hunting provided a valuable supplement to food grown and raised on the farm. In fact, livestock was too valuable to the early farmers to slaughter for food, so beyond wild game, meat was relatively rare on the dinner table.

Fielding House & Gardens 1900 –today this would be from the post office to the Boshkung Brewery on South Water Street

Rackety Falls Log Chute from Little Bob Lake into Gull Lake 1900

Miner’s Bay Baptist Church constructed in 1906

Downtown Minden 1909 – Note the Gelert stage in the middle of Main Street

Winter logging with a “brag load” pictured about 1910. There was fierce competition among loggings crews to see who could collect the most logs in a single load. These brag loads were seeming impossibly large loads of logs piled high atop horse-drawn sleds. With roads iced down by water, it was possible for the horses to pull and the men to push the sled.

Stinson Mills on the Gull River north of Minden 1912

Bobcaygeon Road 1921 – Looking south, the stand of trees at the bend would today be the intersection of Hwy 35 and the Bobcaygeon Road

Winter Logging 1921/22

River Log Drive 1922

Haliburton (Village) Garage 1923 – W. Curry opened the second Chev/GMC dealership in Canada

Winter Logging 1923/24

This 1925 picture shows the original Galloway House on the left and the new lodge building on the right. In 1881, David Galloway opened his Galloway Store where settlers could trade furs, game, and farm produce for store merchandise. The Hopkins brothers bought the store in 1911, renamed it the Galloway House, and opened a small lodge. Herb and Mary Tracy took over in 1920, expanded, and renamed it the Bay View Motel. In 1938, William and Erna Wunker bought, enlarged, modernized, and renamed the motel as Miner’s Bay Lodge.

In 1903, Robert and Anne Gould started taking boarders / tourists into their home for $3 a week which was the beginning of the Wigamog Inn (pictured about 1925). It is one of the most famous resorts in Haliburton.

Hwy 35 – south of Coboconk 1940

Deep Bay on Gull Lake 1944 – The Pogue Farm House is in the centre-left and the Deep Bay Cottages Resort is in the centre-bottom

Hewitt Transport 1944 – One of its vans, called Black Maria, was used as the town’s ambulance. The current Wild Orchid Thai Restaurant is the building on its right.

View of Highway 35 from the Dorset Lookout 1948

1948 ariel view shows Highway 35 curving left as it passes Miner’s Bay Lodge and going north along the Gull Lake shoreline.

For a few years in the 1950s, as part of the Bonnie View Inn, there was once a “Boatel” on Kashagawigamog Lake. Customers could drive or boat to the inn and motel rooms were available directly over the water.

Gloria & Angus Cameron in front of the ranger cabin at the Lutterworth Fire Tower 1951

Ice Fishing 1953

Bigbob Lodge Rates 1956

Bob Lake low water August 1958

Henry Christian, sister-in-law Susan, and daughter Mona in the winter of 1958/59 – note the sign for Bigbob Lodge.

1958 view of the recreation hall at Miner’s Bay Lodge

The corner of the Road to Big Bob Lake and the Private Road in the fall of 1960

1961 view of Miner’s Bay Lodge water front


This famous rock cut was blasted out in 1970 when Highway 35 was realigned. The picture faces south towards Miner’s Bay Lodge.

Have a comment or contribution? Just use the “Leave a Reply” form below or connect with Greg by submitting the contact form on The History and Stories of Bob Lake page. Chapter 12 coming soon!

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