Place:Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Watchers
NameGravenhurst
TypeMunicipality
Coordinates44.917°N 79.367°W
Located inMuskoka, Ontario, Canada
See alsoMuskoka (township), Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship amalgamaged into Town of Gravenhurst in 1971
Morrison, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship amalgamaged into Town of Gravenhurst in 1971
Ryde, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadatownship amalgamaged into Town of Gravenhurst in 1971
Contained Places
Cemetery
Lakeview Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names

Gravenhurst is a town in the southern part of the District of Muskoka in Ontario, Canada.

The Town of Gravenhurst became a municipality in 1971 and amalgamated with the former townships of Muskoka, Morrison and Ryde.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Gravenhurst was originally named McCabes Bay and later as Sawdust City. Gravenhurst was named after a village in England which is mentioned in Washington Irving's Bracebridge Hall.

Gravenhurst's economic prosperity stemmed from the construction of a colonization road in the 1850s. Steamboating on the Muskoka lakes began in the 1860s. The town is located strategically at the northern terminus of the Toronto, Simcoe and Muskoka Junction Railway. The town is positioned as the "Gateway to Muskoka".

Nearby Muldrew Lake was named after the lake's second cottager, Dr. William Hawthorne Muldrew. He was the principal of the first Gravenhurst high school in 1894. In 1901 he published a book called Sylvan Ontario, A Guide to Our Native Trees and Shrubs. It was the first book published on this subject in Ontario, and the drawings were his own. All the different types of trees and shrubs of Muskoka could be seen at the school, as he transplanted many of the specimens from Muldrew Lake.

In 1942 the Royal Norwegian Air Force started to move their training camp from Little Norway in Toronto to Muskoka airfield near Gravenhurst. The Norwegians remained in Gravenhurst almost to the end of World War II in 1945. From 1940 to 1946 Gravenhurst was the site of Camp XX, the Gravenhurst Internment Camp, for Nazi Prisoners of War, known locally as "the Muskoka officers club". Before the war it was the Calydor Sanitarium. After the war it was turned into a TB sanitarium, again, and later became a kosher resort called The Gateway.

Ontario GenWeb has a sketchmap of the original townships of Muskoka County.

The map of Muskoka County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the individual municipalities, townships, city, towns and villages of the county.

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1914 are now available [October 2012]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.

Censuses

The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

source: Family History Library Catalog
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Gravenhurst, Ontario. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.