Historical Plaques of
Haliburton Region

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Location: Ministry of Transportation Park, H-Way 35, Dorset

This colonization road was designed to open up the districts lying inland from the settled townships. Construction began in 1856 from Bobcaygeon running northward to the interior of Haliburton. In 1858 Richard Hughes was appointed government land agent at Bobcaygeon and directed the progress of settlement. Free grants of land along its route were made to persons fulfilling the required settlement duties. By 1863 the road, sections of which follow the boundaries between Victoria and Peterborough and Muskoka and Haliburton, was completed to the Oxtongue River in Franklin Township. The southern section, between Bobcaygeon and Minden, is still in use.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: North Water St., Minden

In 1865, in response to a proposal of the Canadian Land and Emigration Company, the Church of England in Canada established the Minden Mission. The Company which had purchased ten townships in the district, agreed to assist in supporting a missionary and that same year the Reverend Frederick Burt was appointed. A native of England, Burt had earlier served as missionary in Montreal and in Huntingdon, Quebec. At the village of Minden, which soon became the centre of his mission, Burt first conducted services in a schoolhouse, but about 1868 construction was begun on this simple frame church. It was designed in the Gothic style and remained largely unaltered until 1947 when the tower and the parish hall were added.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities


Location: In front of the Clergy House, South Water St., Minden

This site was an early Indian camping ground, the Gull River watershed being the hunting territory of bands living around Lake Simcoe who came by way of the Balsam Lake portage and Gull River waters. Before the days of the settlers, lumbering companies moved large quantities of white pine from the area and it is probable that they erected this building about 1870. In 1899 it was acquired by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and during the early years of this century, served as headquarters for itinerant missionaries who travelled extensively throughout the surrounding district.

Erected by the Ontario Achaeological and Historic Sites Board


Location: Sam Slick Park, in front of Haliburton Highland
Secondary School, H-Way 121, Haliburton

The Canadian Land and Emigration Company of London, England, was incorporated in 1861 and purchased for settlement purposes in this region, nine adjoining wilderness townships comprising some 360,000 acres of land. The townplot of Haliburton was surveyed by 1864, a sawmill erected there that year, and a grist-mill built in 1865. Charles R. Stewart was appointed the first resident land agent, and the community was named in honour of Judge Thomas Chandler Haliburton. Chairman of the Company and famous for his stories of "Sam Slick". Haliburton's early growth was stimulated by the extensive operations of enterprising lumbermen such as Mossom Boyd, and by the arrival of the Victoria Railway in 1878.

Achaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: At Railway Station in Headlake Park, York St., Haliburton

The opening of the Haliburton district to organized settlement in the early 1860s encouraged promoters to consider the construction of railway lines into the area and to regions further north. One of the few lines actually built was the Victoria Railway. Begun at Lindsay in 1874 under the direction of George Laidlaw, an experienced railway entrepreneur, the line was completed to Kinmount in 1877 and reached the newly-constructed station at Haliburton in 1878. Although the Victoria Railway never extended any further, it became an important regional timber and mineral carrier with a link to other systems at Lindsay. In the mid-1880s it was taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway and later became part of the Canadian National Railway system.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation


Location: At St. Peter's Anglican Church, Maple Lake

B. NAPIER SIMPSON, JR. 1925 - 1978
A prominent Ontario architect, Simpson was born and educated in Toronto. After graduating from university in 1951, he established a thriving private practice and soon became involved in public restoration projects. An expert in this field, Simpson undertook commissions throughout the province, playing a significant role in the development of Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto and Century Village near Peterborough. Through his work with various heritage groups and his efforts to preserve individual structures such as St. Peter's Church where he is buried, he helped heighten public awareness of the value of heritage conservation. Widely recognized for his achievements, Simpson was appointed to the Ontario Heritage Foundation and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, remaining active in these organizations until his death.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: At Railway Station in Headlake Park, York St., Haliburton

The station was built in 1878 as the terminus of the Victoria Railway, an 88-km-long line from Lindsay. The building was completely remodelled by the Grand Trunk Railway around 1900 and given its decorative woodwork and trackside bay window. It was acquired from the Canadian National Railways by the Municipality of Dysart et al on its centennial in 1978, and restored and adapted for the Haliburton Highlands Guild of Fine Arts.


Location: On Road 648 just north of Road 4, Wilberforce

This nursing station, one of the first in a network built by the Canadian Red Cross following the Great War, illustrates the contribution made by countless outpost nurses in the settlement of isolated areas across Canada. Here and elsewhere, dedicated women provided health education and badly needed nursing care with minimal medical backup, facilities, and equipment, often travelling and working in difficult conditions. The Red Cross outpost program served as a a model for health programs outside Canada, and aided the development of a government-supported health care system at home.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada