Simcoe County at one time encompassed a large geographic area stretching from Orangeville to Gravenhurst to Thornbury. It was a dark wilderness inhabited by wolves, lynx, bear and deer. Travel was primarily by water initially supplemented by native trails.

Crude stopping places appeared in isolated locations offering a potent homemade brew to assist the traveler with their tiresome journey. Travel time was often limited to a few exhausting kilometers an hour. The pioneer society was awash in alcohol … it was cure-all for everything. And trouble to everyone.