Tom Villemaire, Special to Postmedia Network


The battle of Fort Oswego in upper New York state, was a success for the Royal Navy, thanks in part to the actions of Miller Worsley.

Navy hero remembered locally

Miller Worsley was not some cast-off from the Royal Navy, sent off to Canada to fulfill some half-hearted commitment to the defence of British North America when the United States declared war in 1812.

The dam at Swift Current on the Severn River was built as a replacement to the poorly sited Ragged Rapids facility and had the advantage of being built with more federal funds and being part of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

Simcoe County history

On March 22, 1902, Orillia council met to secretly plan the takeover of the Ragged Rapids generating station on the Severn River, north of the town.

Thomas Taylor later in life, after he retired from his legal profession in Manitoba.

Simcoe County history

Sir Thomas Wardlaw Taylor became one of the country’s leading legal lights, as Canada grew from provinces scattered across the top of the continent to a single united nation.

W.A. Boys

Simcoe County history

The Boys family from Barrie had quite an impact on not just Simcoe County, but also the rest of the province.

The Coldwater mill was originally built to serve the First Nations people living in the area.

Simcoe County history

As Simcoe County was evolving and growing, individuals often left their marks on the region.

The original site for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Lizzie Creighton played a key role with other women in creating the hospital.

Blazing a trail for women

For such a lightly populated, rural county, as Simcoe County was in the 1800s, it seemed to have an undue influence on the development and governing of the country.

John Franklin, describing his arrival at Point Humphreys, used George Back's illustration of the same event.

An early portrait of Canada

When George Back walked through what would soon be Barrie, mid-spring of 1825, he'd already lived an extraordinary life full of adventure and historic acts.

Barrie resident Agnes Bernard married the man who would become Canada's first prime minister, propelling her to the forefront of Canadian high society.

Simcoe County history

For a place with such a small population, Simcoe County made an incredible contribution to the formation of Canada and Confederation. This column highlights just four of those people.

Angus Morrison

Simcoe County history

One of Simcoe County’s early politicians was a fireplug of a man, gifted athlete and admired lawyer.

William Beatty Jr. built an empire of shipping and logging linking Collingwood and Simcoe County with communities along Georgian Bay to the north, especially Parry Sound, which he co-founded.

HISTORY: Georgian Bay formed tight-knit community

Georgian Bay, despite being a far flung area, was a tightly knit neighbourhood. And Collingwood, as a solid and speedy link south from Georgian Bay through Collingwood and Simcoe County, played a prominent role in building and linking that community.

George Millward McDougall

Simcoe County history

A man who did much to keep Canada together grew up on a farm just outside of Barrie and later honed his skills as a negotiator and religious leader in northern Simcoe County – especially in the area of Rama and Orillia.

A French Canadian unit played a key role in the War of 1812, in stopping cold an American invasion of Canada, and Hyppolite Brissette fought in that unit at the major battles, eventually becoming wounded. He joined Lt.-Col. Charles de Salaberry’s Canadian Voltigeurs, who fought at the Battle of Chateauguay, portrayed here.

SIMCOE COUNTY HISTORY: From voyageur to farmer

Hyppolite Brissette was a massive, muscular man with long hair and a flowing beard, covered from his feet to his face with tattoos, which are believed to have been a record of his many travels. A Métis, he roamed much of North America, from Quebec to the Pacific.

A mid-19th-century fur trader checks out the pelts.

Springtime was trapping time

In the late 19th century, newspapers around Simcoe County published series in their papers, giving local pioneers a space to write about their experiences in the early days of settlement.Rev. Thomas Williams was probably the most prolific contributor, mostly to the Orillia Packet (before it merged with the Orillia Times). The Packet and the Barrie

Chicora as she appeared at the end of her passenger career, tied to her berth in Toronto, in 1910.

Simcoe County history

The Chicora was a sleek-looking passenger steamer that served on all of the Great Lakes at some point in its long history.

A cover of a 19th-century journal about phrenology, a discredited quackery that held intelligence could be gleaned from the shape of a person’s head and the bumps on them.

Twice-hanged London criminal headed odd exhibition

Orson Squire Fowler just happened to be in London on the day a young man was hanged for the murder of Const. Timothy Pomeroy. Fowler was an itinerant phrenologist, octagonal house proponent and an American.