History of Rosseau Stonemasonry and Related Trades
Presentation by Dan Fraser, September 10, 2013
RM0033 - Buildings - #5 HWY 632 - Foote House 3 men on roof Details
Most early homesteads in our area came into existence due to grants from government during the early 1800's, commonplace with most communities in Ontario. Acreage for farming and construction of living quarters was acquired after fulfilling certain obligations, like clearing land.
First homes were generally basin log or wood frames structures approximately 20' x 15'.
Every home required a fireplace or cook stove for warmth and cooking, and a chimney to expel smoke.
Farming in this area proved to be unsuccessful for most families, partly due to the "famous" Muskoka/Parry Sound granite. Fortunately due to the location at the north end of Muskoka Lakes and the introduction of steam ships to move goods and travellers to and through the area from the railroad to Gravenhurst and more heavily populated areas south, this area was able to prosper near the end of the 1800's.
Consequently this prosperity resulted in the construction of many hotels and tourist resorts followed by private cottages along the shores of the lakes, providing a demand for tradesmen, carpenters, stonemasons etc.
Many local residents who may have been involved in earlier attempts at farming or declining logging related activities found a more lucrative existence in construction related trades.
The Mason was one of this group.