Sparrow Lake History

The Sparrow Lake Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and promoting local history in the area of Sparrow Lake, Ontario, Canada.

The annual SLHS Summer Outing on August 20, 2017 was a visit to the village of Kilworthy in southern Muskoka. A local group met at Kilworthy Park where Betty Chish-Graham gave a short presentation on the origin and continued maintenance of the park.Then we moved down the road to Sparrow Lake Community Church (formally a United Church of Canada), for a community presentation on the history of this church on the east side of Sparrow Lake. Many families, both year round and summer residents, have contributed to it in a wealth of ways for over a century. Special thanks to Marlyn McDonald for hosting the group, and to Mary Lou Stanton for playing the organ.

(Photos by Karen Colenbrander)

After our time at the church, we visited Silver Pines Restaurant for afternoon tea overlooking Sparrow Lake on the homestead site of early pioneer John Franklin.

Mark your calendar for the next Sparrow Lake Historical Society meeting on Saturday, May 26, 2018!

Summer 2017 Newsletter
Spring 2017 Newsletter
Summer 2016 Newsletter
Winter 2016 Newsletter
Summer 2015 Newsletter
Winter 2015 Newsletter
Sept 2014 Newsletter
April 2014 Newsletter
Sept 2013 Newsletter
April 2013 Newsletter
Sept 2012 Newsletter

douglasbrucePhoto at Left: Mnjikaning Elder Mark Douglas at SLHS meeting Sept. 27, 2014 speaks about the heritage of his First Nation at the narrows of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, national historic site of the 5000-year-old Fish Weirs, one of the oldest human developments in North America.
Photo at Right: Simcoe North MP Bruce Stanton gives a presentation about the Trent-Severn Waterway at a SLHS meeting Sept. 29, 2012.

Sparrow Lake Historical Society was established in 1984 and incorporated in 1992 as an affiliate member of the Ontario Historical Society. The purpose of the Society is to record and tell the local history of the lake and it’s environs, from Severn Bridge to the east, the Big Chute to the west, and all the Severn River in between, concentrating on the early saga of the many summer resorts and lodges on Sparrow Lake and the pioneer families that established them.

Members and visitors enjoy informal meetings Spring, Summer and Fall with field trips to resorts and summer homes with historical significance. A memorial plaque was commissioned and dedicated by the Society on August 22, 1999 at Port Stanton to commemorate early pioneer Thomas Stanton and his wife Ellen Franklin who founded the village and contributed greatly to the early development of Ontario’s tourist industry.

James Stanton and his wife Mary Lou, David Stanton and his wife Ann.

Donations toward the upkeep of this website are gratefully accepted. Donations of $15 or more will be acknowledged with annual membership to Sparrow Lake Historical Society.
Please forward website corrections and additions to webmaster Steve Stanton via email to stanton34(at)
Official Historical Society business can be addressed to President Sara Clipsham – saraclipsham(at)

See also the Sparrow Lake Association of Cottagers and Residents for modern issues and events around Sparrow Lake!

Preserving the Past for the Future