Bracebridge, branded as "The Heart of Muskoka", is located geographically in the centre of Muskoka. The community was incorporated as a village in 1875 and a town in 1889. With the advent of regional government in January 1971, the Town of Bracebridge and the surrounding townships were brought together as one municipality. It encompasses 62,119 hectares and has five wards: Bracebridge, Monck/Muskoka, Macaulat, Draper and Oakley. The naming of Bracebridge has been traced to a postmaster who took the name from the book, "Bracebridge Hall" written by American author Washington Irving.