Hillside Pioneer Memorial Manse, Muskoka

 Pioneer Memorial Manse ~ Hillside, Muskoka

HWY 60, Pioneer Memorial United Church and 2360 HWY 60 are connected through mutual history dating back to the late 1800’s.  In 1867 Reverend Norton Hill came to Muskoka to find land for his family. He hiked and canoed from Bracebridge to Fairy Lake, where he placed a claim on a plot of land.  Later that night the Reverend dreamed of a beautiful peninsula. Again he hiked and canoed from Bracebridge arriving on Peninsula Lake. Here he found the land from his dreams, where he laid claim by cutting down several trees. Hill then returned to Bracebridge, where he cancelled his claim on Fairy Lake and registered his claim on Peninsula Lake.

In 1869, the Hill family became the first family to settle east of Huntsville.  They are credited with blazing the trail between Hillside and Huntsville which is now known as HWY 60!  With an established trail, Reverend Hill then opened the post office, and named it Hillside.  Voila!  The origin of the Community’s name!

In 1904, the house at 2360 HWY 60 was built, the manse for Reverend Hill and his family.  In 1908 a summer kitchen was added.  In 1979, the Manse was first offered for sale.

Manse – Wikipedia


A manse (/ˈmæns/) is a clergy house inhabited by, or formerly inhabited by, a minister, usually used in the context of Presbyterian, Methodist, United church, Baptist and other traditions.

Hillside Manse 2

The Manse today!

113 years later, the updated manse backs onto the Pen Lake Farms Nature reserve.  Currently for sale, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a rare piece of  Muskoka history.

Today grand granite stairs lead to a wrap around porch set among the trees.  A beautiful granite stone pathway circles the east side of the house, past a shrub garden and under a romantic cream arbour.  Continuing on, the path leads to the back deck, which looks out over a tranquil setting of trees, perennial gardens and seasonal lake views.  Not to be threatened by future development, this view is protected by the Pen Lake Farms Nature reserve, with the goal to preserve the land in its natural state.

A large garage and workshop features a full theatre room above.   While just steps away a studio (once a stable) with a propane stove offers a serene setting for relaxation and artistic pursuits.

Hillside Manse 3

The updated kitchen features updated fixtures and quartz counters.  The generous dining room has hardwood floors, high baseboards and transitions into the traditional living room.  A wonderful period staircase leads upstairs to 3 bedrooms & a fully updated bath.





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