The history of Ontario's premier cottage destination, Muskoka, was not commonplace or uneventful. Beginning in the 1860's, emigrants from the British Isles and Europe were lured to this desolate region with the promise of free land grants for farming. What they found were mature forests, swamp, and never ending rock. Their heroic attempts to make a living farming on the Precambrian Shield did not come without considerable discomfort. Pioneer Muskoka documents the struggles faced by these early homesteaders and their response to hardship, isolation, disease and poverty. This is the tale of a community banding together to overcome fear with courage and determination. Readers will be astounded by the lengths these settlers went in their quest to make a home for themselves and future generations in Muskoka. The eventual shift from farming to more profitable industries such as lumber and tourism brought a shift in attitude towards this now highly sought after locale. The first families, through their enormous efforts, were able to create this positive and enduring change.