The area was first settled and founded in 1869 by George Hunt, who built a small agricultural centre there. In 1870, a post office was built and the area was named Huntsville after Hunt, who became the first postmaster. Huntsville's economic development was stimulated by the engineering of a navigable water route north from Port Sydney to Huntsville which opened in 1877. A railway route from Gravenhurst was built by the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway in 1885, which encouraged development and resulted in Huntsville becoming officially incorporated in 1886.
In the following year, the Muskoka Colonization Road reached this area. The central Ontario community became an important industrial area in the late 19th century and had several saw, planing and shingle mills, as well as a tannery. Today, the many lakes and hills in the area, combined with the town's proximity to both Algonquin Park and Toronto, make Huntsville and the Muskoka region a major tourist destination.
To learn more about Huntsville, go to www.huntsville.ca
Soft Beer Pretzels
1 1/2 tsp
4 to 4 1/2 c
active dry yeast
unsalted butter, melted
large egg yolk
coarse salt, optional
In a small saucepan, heat beer to 110°-115°; remove from heat. Stir in yeast until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, yeast mixture and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide and shape into eight balls. Roll each into a 24-in. rope. Curve ends of each rope to form a circle; twist ends once and lay over opposite side of circle, pinching ends to seal. In a Dutch oven, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain well on paper towels. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and water; brush over pretzels. Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to a wire rack to cool.