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Harriet T. Weaver Trust

At its Annual General Meeting in August 2013, the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation announced the formal establishment of the Harriet T. Weaver Memorial Trust.  The establishment of the Trust was made possible through a generous initial endowment by her son, Brink Weaver, a former President of the Lake of Bays Association. 

The Trust funds the Harriet T. Weaver Bursaries of the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation that are awarded annually to students from Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School and Huntsville High School who are accepted for post-secondary study, at a college or university, in a subject related to the work of the Foundation.  The Fund has received additional gifts since its establishment and remains open for donations to the capital endowment.

Enquiries about the Fund and the Bursaries should be addressed to info@lakeofbaysheritage.ca.

At the Annual Meeting in 2013, Brink Weaver provided the members with an introduction to the late Harriet T. Weaver, whom we are delighted to honour as a stalwart figure in the building of the community of the Lake of Bays.  What follows is drawn from Brink’s remarks about his mother.

“In the summer of 1922 the Thorne family arrived at “Cairncroft” on the Glenmount Road.  They arrived by boat at the Old Glenmount dock.  The gang plank was lowered and off stepped Stewart, Jonathan, Victoria and Harriet followed by Clare McCullough Thorne and Dr. Victor Thorne plus 2 or 3 staff. (They had travelled by train and boat from Stamford, Connecticut.)

There were 7 summers of joy and laughter.  Cairncroft was deceptively large.  When pushed, it could sleep 20.  Twelve full beds were normal.  Up and down the shore were lots of cousins and friends for the young ones to play with.  In about 1927 Harriet met Bill Weaver.  Of course everyone was escorted in those days.  In 1928 Mother Clare McCullough Thorne died of cancer.  Dr. Victor Thorne never returned to the lake.  The cottage was given to the 4 children.

Harriet became Mother to Stewart, Jonathan and Victoria; often, when necessary, stepping between her brothers, sister and a newly-hired German governess.  Harriet often told the story of some young person sitting at the dining table showing their bad manners with their elbows on the table.  The Governess, on seeing this, would shout loudly with a thick German accent “Elbogins from Ninetesh” as she whacked the offending elbows with the back edge of a knife. Ice for the ice box was cut from the lake and placed in the ice house, the wood shed was filled with firewood, the cottage water system had to be closed and opened, there was the ongoing cottage maintenance, etc.  All this fell to the local trades people.

There was a lady in Baysville who did laundry including lots from all the Weaver cottages.  She had a bright son.  Harriet and Bill paid his tuition for an engineering degree.  That fellow after graduation did well in business and has now retired.  He never forgot his gratitude to his university sponsors.

In the middle of December in the mid 1960’s Harriet and Bill received an evening telephone call from Lloyd Green – the builder and maintenance person of the Weaver cottages – to tell them that a home had burned to the ground and that family had lost everything.  Harriet and Bill, without hesitation, told Lloyd they would pay for the materials if the community would supply the labour.  That small house was built in just a month.  The owners of that house were proud of their home and annually gave 2 gallons of maple syrup to Harriet and Bill.

Harriet’s generosity and kindness in Toronto was even more remarkable.  Annually, there were many Christmas hampers to the unknown needy, another one or two students were helped through university and many, many people in need of help were given a hand-up.

Harriet Weaver never wanted to be in the limelight.  She always preferred to be behind the scenes.  That is the way she was.

As one of her children, it gives me great pleasure to initiate the establishment of this Trust Fund through the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation and thus acknowledge the many deeds of Harriet Weaver in a way that provides a lasting memory of her.

I should like to extend my thanks to the Foundation for making this possible.”


Recipients of the Harriet T. Weaver Bursary 2015

Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School

Christos Siokis, for support in his studies, at the University of Waterloo, in environmental engineering.

Christos Siokis writes:

"I would like to thank the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation for helping me to achieve my dream of becoming an Environmental Engineer and aiding in achieving environmental sustainability.  The Harriet T. Weaver award has been of huge help and I hope one day to return the favour by donating to this organization."

Christos Siokis


Huntsville High School

Jack Callaghan, for support in his studies, at McGill University, in history.

Jack Callaghan writes:

“I am so excited to be going to Montreal to study history at McGill next year. I am also extremely grateful to the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation for this award. I have lived on Lake of Bays for my entire life and it means a lot to be supported by my community. This trust is one more example of how generous and caring the people of Lake of Bays are. Thank you so much!”

Jack Callaghan



Previous Recipients of the Harriet T. Weaver Bursary

Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School

2014: Natasha Benn, McMaster University, life sciences

Huntsville High School

2014: Mariah Smith, University of Waterloo, environment and resource studies

Our Results
  • Acquired over 50 per cent of the Lower Oxtongue River for permanent protection, including 6.5 km of shoreline.
  • Preserved one mile of natural shoreline and 47-acres of forest at Port Cunnington.
  • Partnered with the Ontario Heritage Trust to be the steward of the 100-acre Pyke property near Brown's Brae.
  • Recognized more than 30 building owners with plaques for heritage property protection.
  • Encouraged the Township to create a Heritage Committee of Council to encourage protection.
  • Rescued the Bigwin ferry from a sunken mooring in 1991 and conducted feasibility studies to transfer to the current Navigation Society for restoration.
  • Established the Harriet T. Weaver Memorial Trust which funds two bursaries each year to assist one student from each of Bracebridge and Huntsville high schools to help pay for their first year of university or college.
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Contact Us

Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation
P.O. Box 81
Baysville, Ontario
P0B 1A0