What's New Explore the new additions to the permanent collection

The Museum on Tower Hill’s annual What’s New exhibition allows individuals to explore the numerous donations received throughout 2020. Each artifact helps to preserve the history of the West Parry Sound District by contributing a personal story. When gathered, these stories not only assist in teaching us about our past but also help in bringing the community closer together, for they reflect a narrative that is ours to share.

We invite you to explore last year’s unique donations and allow them to provide a glimpse into the lives of individuals that have helped shape the West Parry Sound District into the place we all know and love today. From photographs capturing the global Covid-19 pandemic to curling stones belonging to the man credited with bringing the sport to the area, the Museum hopes to tell the story of our community.

Original Fire Lookout Tower on Tower Hill

This photograph was developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources on July 4, 1973. It depicts the former Fire Lookout Tower on Tower Hill, which stood in it's current location from 1927 - 1974. In 1973, the tower was deemed too unsafe to climb and closed to the public. Throughout the next year the tower would be dismantled and rebuilt into the structure we see today. The new tower opened to the public in August 1975, and has remained a favourite attraction to locals and visitors ever since.

Did you know that the Museum collects material from our recent past? That's because, even though it may not seem like it, history is always in the making! The photographs below capture the some of the immediate effects that the Covid-19 Pandemic had on the West Parry Sound District. From closures to rocks of hope, these photos will assist individuals in understanding what our community went through.

Photographs of Pointe Au Baril, unknown date.

Two photos that connect to create a panoramic view of the area along the Pointe Au Baril Channel, which leads into Sturgeon Bay.

Conger Lumber Company Sawmill operations, 1909.

Photograph depicting the Conger Lumber Company located at Bob’s Point in the Town of Parry Sound, where the Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts stands today. During the logging boom, the Conger Lumber Company would cut roughly 45,000 board feet daily. The Mill was destroyed by fire on September 21, 1921, as logging operations began to scale back in area.

Learn about why this Parry Sound resident visited the North Pole!

Photographs of McDougall Road and Badger's Corner in McDougall Township, September 1952.

The first graduating class of the Parry Sound General Hospital Training School for Nurses, 1919.

These dedicated women were the first to graduate the Parry Sound General Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1919, allowing them to become Registered Nurses. The graduating class consisted of only four women; Clara Quackenbush, Alice Davey, Lena Boyd, and Orpha (nee Peters) White. Donation is in memory of Orpha (Peters) White.

A Collection of black and white photographs taken by Museum Curator, Nadine Hammond, at the site of the old Box Factory. The photographs show what the area looked like in 2005. The Factory operated under the Parry Sound Lumber Company Limited at the mouth of the Seguin River in Parry Harbour. The company manufactured such materials as rough and dressed Pine, Hemlock and hardwood lumber lath, shingles, and cedar telegraph poles.

Do you have photos of the West Parry Sound District? Help us capture what the area looked like at various points in our community’s history. Reach out to Amy Sultana, collections@museumontowerhill.com to donate area photographs to the Museum’s permanent collection.

Galna & Danter Lumber Company marking hammer.

The Galna & Danter Lumber Company operated within the West Parry Sound District, around Killbear Provincial Park in Carling Township. The hammer has the company's mark 'G&D' on its face.
The mark would have been hammered into logs ends before they went on the river drive, so the men knew which logs belonged to each company & could sort them accordingly.

Northern Navigational Company of Ontario Ltd. dessert plate.

This N.N.C.O Ltd. dessert plate was found by the donor while swimming in Georgian Bay around the San Souci area. The individual retrieved the plate over 50 years ago and kept it in his home until 2019, when it was brought to the Museum. The Northern Navigation Company of Ontario Ltd. merged with the North Shore Navigation Company in 1899, to become the Northern Navigation Company Limited, one of the largest companies operating passenger and freight vessels on the Upper lakes. Some of the vessels under the control of this company included the City of Midland, Germanic, Majestic and Waubic ships.

Commercial fishing equipment used by Parr & Sons Commercial Fisheries Company. The family owned business began in the early 1900s on Georgian Bay. The Parr’s worked out of the Umbrella Islands before moving to the Minks in the early 1930s.

Wooden Net Mending Needle
Cedar Net Float for use on a gill net.

Curling stones that belonged to early Parry Sound resident Alexander Logan.

Alexander Logan, used the curling stones throughout the late 1800s – early 1900s. The Logan family moved to the area in 1883, after emigrating from Scotland. The family quickly became well-known in the area, having constructed such buildings as the Post Office, Methodist Church, Parry Harbour Public School, the I.O.O.F Hall and, of course, Parry Sound’s first curling rink!
Logan curled in competitions in both Scotland and Parry Sound. The donor of the stones notes that Logan would have brought the four stones to Canada with him from Scotland. He is also noted as having gone to Scotland around 1904, for a curling tournament. In order to get there, he apparently took a train to Halifax and then got on a ship to Scotland. All while lugging around these surprisingly heavy curling stones in a trunk.

Painting of the Pine Lodge Hospital in Parry Sound, by Lenore Thomas.

Parry Sound Lumberman J. C. Miller built this home on James Street in 1881, and in 1894, sold it to Doctor John R. Stone. Stone converted the building into a hospital, which opened in 1897. In 1904, the hospital was charted by the Government of Canada and became known as the Parry Sound General Hospital. The hospital held this name until the death of Dr. Stone in 1923, becoming the Stone Memorial Hospital until its incorporation in 1930. The painting was acquired by Orpha White, who was one of the first women to graduate from the Parry Sound General Hospital Training School for Nurses. Donation is in memory of Orpha (Peters) White.

George Moore Stationary & Fancy Goods hanger.

This hanger is from George Moore Stationary & Fancy Goods, a past Parry Sound business located in the downtown, in the Oddfellows block. As the name of the store suggests, Moore sold stationary and other everyday products such as books, wallpaper, hangers and even train tickets. The store was operating during the late 1800s, and into the early 1900s. Donation is from the personal belongings of Wenonah E. (nee Moore) Kitchen.

Georgian Bay Creamery milk bottle.

This milk bottle reminds us of days gone by. Days when milk was delivered to your door, and the local Creamery was producing upwards of serval hundred pounds of butter a day!

Nameplates for Mr. & Mrs. Reginald Kitchen.

The brass nameplates belonged to Mrs. Wenonah (nee Moore) Kitchen and her husband Reginald Kitchen. The nameplates, also known as calling cards, were printed after Wenonah got married to Reginald in 1923. The donor notes that Wenonah likely had kept the plates because her father, George Moore, had a stationary business in Parry Sound. Wenonah worked at the family store for some time before marrying; and it is likely that she ordered the cards through their store. Donation is from the personal belongings of Wenonah E. (nee Moore) Kitchen.

Parry Sound Fire Department Sign

Original wooden sign from the Parry Sound Fire Department which resided at 25 Mary Street from 1890 to 1984, when the new Fire Hall was built for the town. Unfortunately, the sign is in poor condition due to its exposure to agents of deterioration for the whole of its life. The sign, having resided on the exterior of the building, was subject to copious amounts of sunlight, fluctuating temperatures and humidity, pests, water damage and physical force – all of which contribute to its deterioration over time. The sign, now cracked and worn, will now help to tell the story of this long standing building that has catered to the area for over 100 years. *Photos taken by Parry Sound Bikes while moving the sign to the Museum.

Certificate for the New Parry Sound Ski Club. The certificate belongs to Parry Sound resident Ms. Ellen E. Bradey, who joined the club at its inception. The certificate was issued on December 1, 1964 for the purchase of one share.

Postcard Correspondence between A. V. Jackson and Fred Jackson, dated May 19, 1924.

The postcard was sent from Parry Sound to Lost Channel Lumber Mill 3, located near Pakesley. The back of the postcard has handwritten correspondence between family members, which reads, "Dear Fred, Your insurance from ___ place has not come yet. When it comes I will send it on to you. Everybody feeling fine. Yours sincerely, A.V. J."

You Are Invited...Invitations to district events!

On February 2, 1961 the Brunswick Motor Hotel was completely gutted by a fire that started in the south-west corner of the buildings top floor.

Educational material pertaining to Orpha (nee Peters) White.

These four textbooks are just some of the educational material used by Orpha while training to become a nurse with the Parry Sound General Hospital Training School for Nurses, during 1917-1919.
This bacteriology test was given to Orpha in April 1919. The test asks to define terms, describe proper practices and name various forms of bacteria.
Invitation to the graduation ceremony of the Parry Sound General Hospital Training School for Nurses. This was the first graduating class for the school, with the ceremony taking place on September 19th, 1919. The class consisted of four women; Clara Quackenbush, Orpha Peters, Lena Boyd and Alice Davey. Archival material donated in memory of Orpha (Peters) White.

“Hilltop, Our Home” by Nicholas Hornyansky, ca. 1940-50s

This colour aquatint print depicts the George Moore home built in 1900, on Ashwood Drive in Parry Sound. The prints name originated from the name given to the family’s residence, which was located on a rise of land overlooking Parry Sound. The print is a greeting card given to William and Phyllis Bradey during Christmas by Edith and Wenonah Moore.
"Greeting from Our House, At this Christmas Time! May the New Year to Everyone be kind, With Peace, Goodwill to bind, All Nations the World round. Edith Moore and Wenonah & family. Wish you both a very happy Christmas"

Family Bible with Registry

This family bible came to us all the way from Ottawa! The bible contains a front register for members of the Douglas family of Parry Sound, dating back to the late 1800's. The bible itself was published in 1847 by Richard Griffin & Co., in Glascow. John Douglas Senior gave the bible to his son, John A. Douglas on May 29th, 1884. John Addison Douglas was born on August 7, 1861 in Mount Forrest, Ontario. He married Della Grace Shaver in Hamilton, in 1886. Soon after their marriage, the couple had their first daughter Elizabeth in 1887. Shortly after this the family moved to Galt where they had three more children, the youngest of which passing away the day after his birth. From the notes within the registry, it seems as though John and Della remained in Galt until Della’s death in 1932. John moved to Parry Sound after the passing of his wife, joining his two surviving children, Grace Laird and Jean (or Jennie) Cooper.

Donated by the Richmond Family - Plan of the Town of Parry Sound, date unknown.

The Map captures the Town of Parry Sound with portions of McDougall and Foley Township included. The Map shows the Harbour in Parry Sound, the eastward of the Town of Parry Sound and McCurry Lake to Mill Block A. As well as the westward of the Town of Parry Sound at Church St. and Cascade St. The map also highlights Hillcrest Cemetery and all of the lots within town.

A selection of photographs taken from a scrapbook created by Grace (nee Joy) Wright, 1915 - 2017.

Grace and her family resided in Alban, Ontario before moving to Byng Inlet in 1925. The move was due to her father’s appointment to the role of telegraph operator at Byng Inlet Station, a position he held until becoming postmaster in the 30s. Grace and her sister Marg, would assist their father with postal duties, doing the books at the end of each day. In 1937, Grace’s father got a job working as a night operator at Pointe Au Baril Station and all but Grace moved with them. Instead, Grace remained in Byng Inlet working as a postal clerk until someone filled the position a year later. An excerpt written by Grace from the Forest History Society of Ontario’s Vol. 9 2018 newsletter recounts her visits with family, “One experience I remember: After Mum and Dad moved to Pointe au Baril, I was still in charge of the Byng Inlet post office and the only day off was Sunday. Sometimes I went to Pointe au Baril on the #28 [train] Saturday night, returning early Monday morning. One Monday I missed the train No other way to get to Byng Inlet - I walked - along the railroad tracks (about 30 km), then down the road 5 km to the post office. Guess I slept well that night”. Grace then followed her family to Pointe Au Baril where she met her future husband, Art Wright, on November 25, 1941. The two remained in Pointe Au Baril for the remainder of their lives, with Grace passing away in 2017 at the age of 102.