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Huntsville book front cover

soft cover
7.75″ x 9.875″
256 pages
200 b&w photos
ISBN 978-0-9781600-6-7
retail $29.95 Cdn

published by
Muskoka Books



The photograph top right is a view down Main Street in 1886, the year Huntsville was incorporated as a village (courtesy of John Hall).

The historical photo on the lower half of the front cover is of the huge Muskoka Wood Manufacturing sawmill complex in Huntsville in the first half of the 20th century.

The back cover features a rare watercolour (below right) of the Huntsville downtown waterfront in the mid-1880s, by Ada Florence Kinton, a sister of the first village reeve. The main elements of the scene are the original Muskoka Road bridge and the steamboats Northern (the larger one) and Florence.


Huntsville in 1886

Huntsville: With Spirit and Resolve won the Ontario Historical Society’s 2002 Fred Landon Award (best regional history published in the preceding three years)

Huntsville: With Spirit and Resolve

by Susan Pryke

In her lively, information-packed style, Muskoka author Susan Pryke demonstrates that the history of a small town on the Canadian Shield is anything but dull.

Huntsville never had an easy time of it during its formative decades. Set amongst the picturesque hills and lakes of northern Muskoka, it struggled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to win the railway, attract sawmills and other forest-based industries, and expand its hinterland via an extensive steamboat service radiating from town. Then, as the forests dwindled, survival depended on luring tourists to resorts on the surrounding lakes.

Despite Huntsville’s rough-hewn beginnings, the town’s energetic citizens achieved fame with an early form of medicare, a first-rate band, and thriller ski jump; in the 1930s they warded off the Depression by throwing a giant winter carnival, pioneering what was then a novel concept in Ontario: winter tourism.

Huntsville: With Spirit and Resolve covers the period from earliest settlement to the 1950s. The main text is complemented by numerous sidebars and photos, making this book appealing for both serious reading and casual browsing.

Kinton watercolour of Huntsville waterfront


Huntsville: With Spirit and Resolve was designed and typeset for the publisher by Fox Meadow Creations.


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