Early Days in Dorset

Memories of Norman Angus MacKay

Early Days in Dorset
by Norman Angus MacKay



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Off in a far corner of Muskoka, the village of Dorset developed a distinct character as it grew from a solitary fur trader's cabin to a thriving village catering primarily to the needs of the lumber companies cutting pine in the hills to the east. Early residents had plenty of character themselves.

The MacKay family settled in Dorset in 1889. They farmed, ran a hotel, operated a sawmill, and engaged in logging. Norman went to work in the bush at age 18 as a teamster in the logging camps up beyond Kawagama Lake.

A keen observer of life and people, Norman also absorbed a treasure trove of stories and information about early Dorset, which in this book he combines with his own adventures as a lumberman.

Photos from the MacKay family albums and other collections illustrate the lumber industry, early homes, hotels and stores, and other Dorset scenes from the 1870s to the 1930s.

Author Information

Norman Angus MacKay (1905-1993) lived all his 88 years in Dorset. Both his mother's and father's families were among Muskoka's earliest settlers in the mid-1860s, in Draper Township. Norman followed his father and older brother into the lumber business. He also farmed, worked as a carpenter, and guided hunters and fishermen.


Publishers: Fox Meadow Books & The Norman MacKay Family

Publication year: 2020

ISBN: 978-0-9734434-4-8

Price: $18.00 CDN

Format: 126 pages, 6 x 9 in, soft cover

Features: 60 b&w historical photos, map, index