In the fall of 2017 I came into possession of a collection of photos taken circa 1914 in the township of Stisted in Northern Ontario. The images were printed on 3” x 3” glass slides and portrayed the people and buildings of the region. Some of the slides were broken but a surprising number of the 100 or so images were in good condition and could readily be scanned into digital files. The photos were created by the Reverend Alfred Tyrer, a minister and social activist in this region of Muskoka that is not far from the Town of Huntsville. Tyrer was a good photographer with a keen eye and was readily able to get his subjects to relax in front of the camera—producing some images that are not only priceless chronicles of pre-war Northern Ontario but also worthy photographs in their own right.
Since gaining access to these images I have been working to make them available to folks in the region. My goal is to facilitate local historical work and to make more people aware of what this region was like before it became known as “cottage country.” In the gallery below you’ll find some of Tyrer’s images as well as brief sketches of some of the things I’ve been doing as part of my efforts to get these images “out there.” Click here to see an interview that provides lots of background and detail about what I’ve come to call “The Stisted Project.” If you have any questions or comments you can email me here.