The Bird Mill Power Station and Public Hydro
This building, originally a one-storey hydro generating station has a special place in the history of hydro as a public utility in Ontario. Built by local entrepreneur William S. Shaw in 1892 to supply Bracebridge with electricity, it drew water from the head race on an adjacent woollen mill owned by Henry J. Bird. Bracebridge took over the Bird Mill Station in 1894, making it the first Ontario municipality to own and operate a hydro-electric generating station. The town has run its own hydro utility ever since. It built a second generating station (still operational) at the foot of the falls in 1902 and later added plants upstream at Wilson's Falls (1909) and High Falls (1947). In 1904 the Bird Mill plant became a water pumping station.
Location: Wharf Road.
The Cowley Fathers at Bracebridge
The Society of Saint John the Evangelist was founded by an Anglican priest at Cowley, England in 1866. Bound by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, members of the order devote their lives to prayer and community service. The Society began its ministry in Canada in 1927 when three Cowley Fathers arrived in Emsdale to take charge of the scattered Anglican missions in Muskoka. They established a monastery in Bracebridge the following year. At a time when government social programs were limited, the Cowley Fathers provided essential humanitarian services as well as spiritual enrichment to Muskoka communities. Declining membership led to their withdrawal from the region in 1983.
Location: On Sadler Drive north of Maple Street west of Taylor Road, across from Palmer Crescent.
The Bracebridge Public Library
Initial library service began in Bracebridge in 1874 when the Mechanicís Institute was formed. Bracebridge became a free public library in 1901. In 1906, after Andrew Carnegie promised a grant of $10,000, construction began on a new library building which was completed in December 1907 and the Bracebridge Public Library opened its doors in January 1908 with an initial collection of just over 3,800. The Carnegie libraries were important because they had open stacks that encouraged people to browse and choose for themselves the books they wanted to read. 
Location: 94 Manitoba Street.

The Founding of Bracebridge
In 1862 the Muskoka Road, a colonization route built to open this region for settlement, was completed to the first falls on the north branch of the Muskoka River. A settlement, including a tavern, a lumber mill and a store, soon developed and two years later a post office named Bracebridge was opened. When regular steamship service began on Lake Muskoka in 1866, Bracebridge became the northern terminus and prospered as the distribution centre for the region. A court-house and a registry office for the district were built and by 1871 the village contained four large hotels, several mills and numerous stores. A developing tourist trade further encouraged the growth of the community and in 1875 Bracebridge was incorporated as a Village with over 750 inhabitants.
Location: In n the centre of Memorial Park at the southeast corner of Manitoba Street and Kimberley Street.
Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation.

George Richardson, V.C. 1831-1923
Private Richardson won the Victoria Cross while fighting with the Border Regiment of the British Army in northern India during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-59. As part of an attachment sent to dislodge rebels in the hills of the Kewarie Trans-Gogra district on April 27, 1859, he displayed "determined courage in having, though severely wounded... closed with and secured a rebel Sepoy (Indian soldier) armed with a broad revolver". An Irishman by birth, Richardson came to Canada in the early 1860s. During the 1880s and 1890s he lived on a farm one kilometre southwest of here. He held numerous township offices, including Reeve of Oakley Township (1895-96).
Location: In Vankoughnet, in a park on the north side at 1193 Vankoughnet Road
Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Communications.

Inn at the Falls
The "Main Inn" was originally a Victorian private residence built by English stonemasons in the mid 1870s. William C. Mahaffy, a land surveyor, purchased the property some 10 years later. In 1888, he was appointed the first District Judge of the area and his home and family became an integral part of the social and economic history of Muskoka. Many distinguishing features of the old structure have been preserved including the century old fireplace in the Parlor, with its distinctive "Egg and Dart" design and the carved wooden banister in the main entrance. The foundation walls of the main inn are over three feet thick. In 1943, the home was converted to an Inn and has undergone extensive renovations and mechanical upgrades. The Inn is home to numerous ghosts, three of whom are affectionately know as Charlie, Sarah and Bob. They are friendly spirits and tend to keep mostly to themselves. Bob inhabits the kitchen area, Charlie the upstairs corridors and Sarah can be heard rustling through the "Carriage Room" on occasion.
Location: 1 Dominion Street, Bracebridge

Hunt's Hill
This hill on Taylor Road was named after Alfred Hunt, who served as the Councilor, Treasurer and Reeve of the village and later as Mayor from 1893 to 1895. During Mr. Huntís political tenure, in 1894, Bracebridge expanded the water system to supply homes and industries and became the first municipality in Canada to own and operate a hydraulic generating station as a public utility. In 1925, his home at the top of the hill was purchased by William Towns and became known as Wiltown Lodge, a small hotel. As well as the hill itself, the area bounded on the west and north by the Muskoka River and on the east and south by the rear of the properties on Woodward and Richard Streets is known as Huntís Hill.
Location: Corner of Taylor Road and Bird Lane.

In 2000, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of Bracebridge, the Bracebridge Historical Society researched and erected signs identifying areas of historic significance to the town's heritage.  Funding for the heritage signs was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Muskoka District Court House
Bracebridge has been a centre for the administration of justice in Muskoka since it held the first court sessions in the region in 1868. The province built this court house after Bracebridge became the District Town of the new District of Muskoka in 1898. It is an early example of a style of court house built by Frank R. Heakes, who became chief architect in Ontario's Department of Public Works in 1896. 
Location: On the northeast corner of Dominion Street and Ontario Street.

The Queen's Hotel
The building on this site, known for many years as The Queenís Hotel, was built in 1885 by Alfred Hunt, a local entrepreneur. He owned real estate along Manitoba Street and was a private banker until 1898. In 1892, William Higgins who owned the hotel at that time, constructed a large addition that doubled the size of the building. There were several owners of the hotel until 1944 when it was purchased by the Patterson brothers and renamed the Hotel Patterson. It was later transformed into a commercial centre by Al Beverley. Throughout the changes in ownership, the hill on Manitoba Street in front of this building was always known as The Queenís Hill.
Location: Corner of Manitoba Street and Taylor Road.

In 2000, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of Bracebridge, the Bracebridge Historical Society researched and erected signs identifying areas of historic significance to the town's heritage.  Funding for the heritage signs was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The Peterson Road
Muskoka Falls was the western terminus of the Peterson Road, a colonization road named after surveyor Joseph S. Peterson. Constructed 1858-1863 at a cost of some $39,000, it stretched about 114 miles between the Muskoka and Opeongo Roads and formed part of a system of government colonization routes built to open up the southern region of the Precambrian Shield. Poor soil disappointed hopes of large-scale agricultural settlement along this road both on government "free-grant" lots and on the lands of the Canadian Land and Emigration Company. By the 1870's portions of the route were overgrown, though certain sections aided lumbering and now contribute to the development of an important Ontario vacation area.
Location: In Vankoughnet, in a park on the north side at 1193 Vankoughnet Road.
Erected by the Archeological and Historic Sites Board, Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario.

Tan Bark Hill
Now part of Quebec Street, the roadway down this hill to Victoria Street was built in 1886 to provide an alternative route for wagons travelling down the steep extension to Ontario Street. Given the name Rosemount Boulevard, the road was also known as tan bark hill because it was covered with hemlock bark chips fallen from the wagons drawing their loads of hemlock bark to the Beardmore Tannery. Established in 1877 and located on the north side of the Muskoka River between Wellington Street and Annie Williams Memorial Park, for a time the Beardmore Tannery was the largest leather tanning facility in Canada. It closed in 1923.
Location: Quebec Street.

In 2000, to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of Bracebridge, the Bracebridge Historical Society researched and erected signs identifying areas of historic significance to the town's heritage.  Funding for the heritage signs was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Woodchester Villa
One of the finest octagonal houses in Ontario, this impressive building was erected in 1882 by Henry James Bird, a prosperous local woollen manufacturer. In its unusual design it illustrates the architectural theories of Orson Squire Fowler, an American author and lecturer who claimed that many-sided structures provided healthier, more efficient environments for their inhabitants than rectangular buildings. In keeping with Fowler's views, the house was solidly constructed of fieldstone and poured concrete and contained such innovative features as ventilation shafts and a dumb-waiter. It was officially named Woodchester Villa after the owner's birthplace in England, but became known locally as the "Bird Cage". Occupied by family members until 1977, Woodchester Villa has since been restored and is now open to the public.
Location: 15 King Street.

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Woodchester Villa is located in Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada.