ORILLIA MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY
This article was submitted by Mary Ann Grant on behalf of the Orillia Museum of Art & History.
Have you ever heard of Martinville an historic lumbering camp situated in the Copeland Forest?
David Kennedy, President of the Copeland Forest Association, asked this writer that question. We then went on a tour of the site where Martinville stood.
He provided the background about this community where lumbermen and their families once worked and lived. It inspired this writer to research and to tell the story of Martinville to celebrate and help preserve our local history.
Martinville was a thriving lumbering community established by the Martin Brothers in 1907. It was a key centre and force in this area’s lumber industry. Located in the Copeland Forest in Medonte Township (now Oro- Medonte) about four miles southeast of Hillsdale, south of the Ingram Road, the community helped fuel the area’s economy.
The lumbering industry played an important role in Simcoe County’s economic and cultural history. The lumbermen felled these forests with axes and the lumber barons harvested, milled and shipped the wood to markets. This backdrop led to the founding of the lumbering camp of Martinville.
There are still vestiges of Martinville to be seen in Copeland Forest, yet, little is known about it. The storied history of this lumbering community of Martinville deserves to be told.
Click here to learn more about this historic community of Martinville.