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About Us
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Our History

10,000 B.C.E. Glaciers retreated exposing parts of the Bruce Peninsula and leaving other areas beneath the post-glacial Lake Nipissing.
2,000 B.C. Indians occupied the valleys of the Saugeen and Sauble rivers and established a portage route across the base of the Bruce Peninsula between Wiarton and Oliphant.
1625-50 Jesuit missionaries visited the Lake Huron shore from their base near Midland.
1700's The portage route became a major link in the fur trade between the Lake Huron shoreline and Matchedash Bay in Simcoe County.
1855 The peninsula was surveyed by Charles Rankin.
1870 Passenger pigeons were reported to nest "in abundance" west of Boat Lake.
1871 The first bridge built across Pike River (Rankin River) allowing settlement to proceed to the Lake Huron shore.
1873 The Mason family acquired the Centre property for $1.25 per acre. They began clearing land and planted an orchard.
1874 Log cabin, small barn and outbuildings built on north side of Bruce County Road # 21.
1886 First barn built on south side of property.
1895 Passenger pigeons last reported near Sauble Falls.
1907 All the present agricultural land had been cleared. Spry Lake was visible from the house. Present stone house was completed.
1908 Sauble Falls sawmill burned and started a fire that consumed the forests to the west of Boat Lake.
1913 A storm on Good Friday blew the roof off the 1896 barn which was then expanded and re-roofed.
1934 A severe winter this year killed the original orchard. The present orchard was set out the following spring.
1971 The property known as the Mason Farm, comprising 130 ha between Boat Lake and Spry Lake, was acquired by the Bruce County Board of Education as an outdoor education site.
1973 Programming began on the site.
1976 Two portable were added as dormitories to allow year round residential programs.
1984 Two buildings from the Bruce Nuclear Power Development were moved to the outdoor education property to provide upgraded dormitory facilities.
1997 The Bruce County Board of Education approves a plan to build permanent dormitory, dining and instructional buildings. A fund raising committee is struck and begins to plan.
1998 The Bluewater District School Board endorses IOEES "Growth Plan".
2006 Construction of the new dining/dormitory/kitchen facility is completed. Grand Opening celebrations were held in October 2006.
2007 Construction of the new Bruce Power Environmental Learning Classrooms begins.
2007 Grand Opening celebrations were held in November 2007.
2008 Mason Farm barn foundation repaired.

Last Modified: Sep 26, 2012
© 2007 - Bluewater District School Board