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For part one below, please click HERE and allow the page to fully load

The Hurons and the Early French
The Ojibways and their Surrender of the Lands
The Days of the Fur Traders
The Old Military Route and the War of 1812
Surveying the Land and Preparing for Settlers
The Subject of Land Grants
The First White Settlements and the People who made them
The Beginning of Lake Navigation
The First Colonizations Roads
The Roads under the District Council (1843-9)
The Common Roads and Bridges of later years
The Old Stage Lines, before the Railway Days
The Early Postal Service
The Northern Railway
The H. & N.W.R.R. and the Amalgamated Northern and
North-Western System
Other Railway Lines
Old Elections and Parliamentary Representation
General County Administration
County Municipal Affairs
Military Affairs
The Schools
The Early Press
The Pioneer Churches
The Industries of the inhabitants


"This work naturally divided itself into two parts, distinct from each other in some ways, yet interwoven in some resepects.
First, a history of the public affairs of the county, and of its material progress, its institutions, etc.
Second, a record of its pioneers with brief sketches of their lives, more especially those pioneers who took some part in public affairs.
As to the sources from which the material has been gathered for this work, only a few remarks are necessary. In some degree, the work of a person who undertakes to write a history of modern times, whether general or local, consists in going over newspaper files and similar records. The writer did some work of this kind, but he had also to develop the history of the days before the newspapers began in the county, and in so far as any plan could be made it was his chief aim to secure as much material as possible about the pre-newspaper days while it is still possible to get it, since it becomes more difficult to do so as time passes. For parts of the first volume he went through the printed proceedings of the District Council and of its successor, the County Council, from the beginning in 1843 to the present time, and also the Canadian statutes. For the second volume much was gathered at various times during the last thirty years from pioneers, most of whom are now passed away. To cite all the authorities, for the statements made herein, would take space only a trifle less in amount than the work itself. So it has been thought inadvisable to encumber the present text with footnotes stating the authorities, as these can be, for the present, supplied by the author to those who may require them and will apply to him.
Attempts at the compilation of a general history of this county have hitherto been confined for the most part to two or three directories issued more than thirty years ago and to an Atlas issued to subscribers in 1880 at the high price of $12.75 each. The Gazatteer and Directory of Simcoe for 1866-7 (McEvoy & Co. Toronto, 1866) had some historical notes interspersed throughout its pages, and similar notes appeared in the later editions of the same published by W. H. Irwin. A more extended compilation was the Historical Sketch in Belden's Atlas (Toronto, 1880) issued at the unpopular price mentioned above. These compilations, all the work of non-residents, and anonymous, have a high percentage of error, which the conditions made inevitable. They give but scanty aid, as pilots, to anyone aiming at the preparation of a full history. Notwithstanding its faults, the Atlas sketch shows much patient toil and research, and as a first effort it deserves some credit.
The printing, in 1895, of the Minutes of the first District Council of Simcoe, 1843-7, which was the period before the advent of the printing press in the county, was accomplished in 1895 under the supervision of his Honour Judge Ardagh, and was an important step as it aroused some interest in the county's history. Besides its utility it discloses some of the quaint proceedings of the governing body of the county in the earliest years of its existence.
The first draft of this History appeared as a serial which the author wrote and published from week to week in the columns of the Barrie Examiner, beginning in the issue of that newspaper for October 24, 1889, and concluding in that of February 5, 1891. Appearing in that shape, it had the advantage of a winnowing through the columns of a newspaper, and it underwent the criticisms and corrections which such a process brings.
The Hon. J. S. Duff addressed the County Council on January 30, 1908, requesting them to take the initiative in having a History of the County brought to completion. The Council having thereupon resolved to bring out a History, and having appointed a special committee consisting of Councillors A. C. Garden (Chairman), Messrs. Clark, Picotte, Scanlon, Potter, Lawson and the Warden (Donald Currie Barr), who has taken a lively interest in the production of the work, the author placed the original material at their service, with the reminder that much work was required to complete it. This they authorized in the following May, and the work then proceeded. Numerous long extracts were expunged from the original, and the remaining matter fully revised and increased fivefold, the result being the work now presented."