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Postcard Memories

First steamer built in Orillia enjoyed a rebirth as the Islay

First steamer built in Orillia enjoyed a rebirth as the Islay

The rebuilt 116-foot steamer could carry up to 350 passengers was a popular sight on local lakes, but was beached during the war and consumed by fire in 1919
Hatley's butcher shop was once a downtown mainstay

Hatley's butcher shop was once a downtown mainstay

After coming to Canada in 1868, James Hatley built the 'Hatley Block' — the first block in Orillia to be finished with brick
Orillia was home to Camp 26 and about 600 recruits in 1942

Orillia was home to Camp 26 and about 600 recruits in 1942

The recruits stayed in tents behind the armories on West Street while the new barracks were being built by Brennan Construction near Brant and Park Street.
The day everything went wrong on the trip to Strawberry Island

The day everything went wrong on the trip to Strawberry Island

The Islay struck a bridge, a scow used to transport passengers sunk and, on the way home, a bridge at The Narrows failed to open but nobody was hurt in 1912 adventure
Local fibreglass boat builder was way ahead of his time

Local fibreglass boat builder was way ahead of his time

Harry Dewey was a leader in the plastics industry and operated one of Ontario's earliest fibreglass boat-building and repair facilities in Orillia
Golfers once teed off at Orillia's first course on Westmount

Golfers once teed off at Orillia's first course on Westmount

The property was sold to developers and in 1912, the lots were sold for $100 to $200 and, eventually, 50 two-bedroom and 25 four-bedroom homes were built
Success was not a 'lock' for Orillia company when Depression hit

Success was not a 'lock' for Orillia company when Depression hit

Company began in 1903, grew, adapted to help war effort and even had investments from community leaders, but was forced to close in 1934
Supermatic Water Pistol helped Otaco make a splash in toy market

Supermatic Water Pistol helped Otaco make a splash in toy market

Hundreds of these durable, simple and fun water pistols were sold during the 1950s before becoming obsolete when plastic imports entered the market
Otaco was front and centre at world-class event <b>(3 photos)</b>

Otaco was front and centre at world-class event (3 photos)

At the first world championship plowing match in 1953, Orillia had a significant presence within the so-called 'Tent City'
Resort started with a log cabin built on 'fern-covered' rocks

Resort started with a log cabin built on 'fern-covered' rocks

Over the years, and thanks to the stewardship of generations of local families, Fern Resort has been 'transformed into one of the most popular resorts in Ontario'