Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Walking through Dorset

Something cool has happened at Dorset since the weather got warmer. That's Dorset, Ontario (not England), the little village on the east side of Lake of Bays. It's well known by cottagers, boaters, snowmobilers and tourists passing through.

Folks there have come up with a walking tour that highlights the village's rich history, a lot of which is not known to the many people who visit it regularly.

Dorset began in the 1800s with a trading post established by Francis Harvey. Thus the names Trading Bay and Harvey Street. It boomed during the lumbering years, a highlight of which was the incredible Gilmour Tramway that carried logs from Dorset over the hills, down into Raven Lake, along the Black River, then into a small manmade canal carrying them into St. Nora Lake enroute to Trenton on Lake Ontario.

The walking tour starts at the little park on the inner bay, goes across the Highway 35 bridge, down Harvey Avenue, left at the Post Office, up the hill and down past the Dorset Garage and the big yellow house, then back down Main Street, ending at the museum.

The tour provides some interesting facts, such as: The little hill up past the Anglican church is known as Pill Hill because that's where the pharmacy used to be. The yellow house is Lockman House and was the original office of the Gilmour Lumber Company.

Another neat fact: In 1883, Dorset's first postmaster, Allen Phillips, used to canoe from Dorset to Baysville to pick up the mail. His salary was $50 a year.

The walk, and the brochure that goes with it, are free.
Neat stuff about one of the country's neatest places!

Congratulations to the folks who came up with the idea and who put it all together.


No comments:

Post a Comment