By Michael Walmsley
Hunters Bay Drive follows the north shoreline of Hunters Bay off of Hodges Lane
The body of water now known as Hunters Bay was originally a hotspot for those settlers who were avid hunters and trappers. So, it seems most likely that the water became known as Hunters Bay because of those outdoor enthusiasts, right? Wrong!
Given that Huntsville’s name came from founding father George Hunt, Hunters Bay has to be connected to old George’s surname, right? Wrong again!
George actually had a good friend who was a lumberman and this friend came to Lake Vernon in search of potential mill sites. The lumberman spent considerable time sourcing out the big bay to the east of the lake and, although he never did settle in this area permanently, he remains tied to the bay even today. His name was James Hunter and he was born in Scotland in 1847. James married Catherine (née Chalmers) in 1874 and they raised five sons and one daughter in the “wilds” of Muskoka.
Of course, the drive along the north shore of the bay provided a beautiful panorama of Hunters Bay and so the name Hunters Bay Drive made it onto area maps.
Michael Walmsley is a retired elementary school principal who resides in Huntsville. He enjoys looking at things with a bit of “outside-the-box” perspective and totally believes in living today with a hand on the past and an eye on the future. He has published articles in Kanawa and Adventure Kayak magazines and has recently published a book entitled The Joy of Kayaking – Including the Kayak Quiz.
During this past year, as president of the PROBUS Club of Muskoka North, he has written a weekly article to the club’s membership which has included a focus on Huntsville’s streets. These articles have been combined into book form which will be published in the summer of 2021.
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