Muskoka To-DAILY

Local historian ‘Cec’ Porter dies, wrote, edited 3 books on Gravenhurst

GRAVENHURST - Another chapter in the history of Gravenhurst won’t be written by one of its most famous historians.

Cecil Porter, who chronicled the town’s story back to its beginnings, passed away in Huntsville District Memorial Hospital on Wednesday.

He was in his late 70s.

He edited Gravenhurst’s first history book, commissioned by the town for Canada’s Centennial in 1967, called The Light of the Other Days.

He then wrote two more books.

The first was the Gilded Cage – a History of Camp 20, the Second World War German PoW at the north end of Gravenhurst on Lake Muskoka, on what is now the town’s Ungerman Gateway Park.

It also included a second edition of that book with more memories from German PoW survivors who read the first book.

Porter, a retired teacher, and native of Gravenhurst, finished his last book last year.

It was a sequel to Light of the Other Days and was called Early Days, Early Ways.

It and the Camp 20 books were publised and sold by the archives, the proceeds from which Porter donated back to the archives committee he sat on for many year and is housed at the Gravenhurst Public Library where all his books remain on the shelves for lending purposes.

The last two books are also on sale there.

Porter, who lived at the Granite Ridge retirement home the past few years, had suffered a ruptured ulcer and was transferred to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare’s Huntsville hospital for care. 

“Cec,” as he was known, lived for many years in his family’s home on First Street at Sharpe Street, with his late sister in the family’s original home.

He loved to walk the streets and talk local history.

He did not marry, and is survived by his sister Pat’s children. 

A note Friday June 6 from his parish, St. James Anglican Church says there will be no service at his request.

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