By Michael Walmsley
Runs N – S from Mary Street to Main Street
George Paget, a native of Bristol England who was born in 1839, immigrated to Canada and arrived in Huntsville in 1879.
George’s foray into the Muskoka business landscape began as a grain merchant; however, he eventually earned his living as a government timber inspector – probably a prudent job switch considering Huntsville’s limited grain production and its preponderance of rich timber forests.
George also tried his hand at local politics when he became a councillor in 1901 on Huntsville’s inaugural Town Council.
In 1903, he commissioned local builder William Proudfoot to construct one of Huntsville’s most beautiful homes at 75 Main Street West. Known as Paget House, the Victorian-style abode retains its majestic appearance right up to the present as a local office building.
George Paget (front right) with Huntsville’s first town council in 1901 (back from left) John R. Reece, R.J. Hutcheson, W.H. Matthews, Thomas Cullon (clerk); (front from left) Thomas Whaley, William Turnbull, and J.W. Hart (mayor). (Image courtesy of Huntsville: With Spirit and Resolve/Maureen Hunt)
George fathered two sons who seemed to inherit their dad’s entrepreneurial spirit.
Arthur and Charles Paget owned and operated Huntsville’s Paget Car Cooperage Company, Paget Grain Door Company, and Huntsville Syndicate. Harkening back to Dad George’s original roots in the grain business, the two Paget brothers manufactured grain doors. Indeed, their claim to fame appears to be a unique grain door invention for which, in 1923, they were issued a patent by the Canadian Patent Office,
Arthur again followed his father’s footsteps when he threw his hat into the Huntsville political ring and served as the town’s mayor in 1919–20. By the time of Arthur’s death on July 5, 1948 at the age of 81 years, Huntsville’s streets included another of the “mayor streets” – Paget Lane.
If you’ve been enjoying Saturday Streetscapes, Michael Walmsley’s book Streetscapes: A Journey Through Huntsville’s History Via Its Street Signs will be available at the end of August and can be preordered by emailing him at [email protected].
See more Saturday Streetscapes on Huntsville Doppler here.
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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