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P.O. Box 337, 17 George St.
Parry Sound, Ontario, P2A 2X4 
Phone: 705-746-5365
Adults $5
Senior/Child $3
Pass Holders FREE
Start Date:
Nov 15/2014
North Star Exhibit

End Date:
Aug 30/2015

The North Star Exhibit
Celebrating 140 Years in Publication

November 15, 2014 - May 31, 2015


Read the complete history of the Parry Sound North Star HERE

Download the "Historic Walking Tour of Parry Sound: Historic Home Edition" pamphlet which coincides with the exhibit


This exhibition tells the history of the Parry Sound North Star, our community paper which has provided constant community coverage since 1874. This year marks 140 years in publication which is worth celebrating. In partnership with the Parry Sound North Star, the Museum presents to the public its largest exhibit since the Avro Arrow exhibit, which first opened in 1998, an exhibit which took nearly a years' worth of work to create. This proves to be an innovative six-month exhibit that you simply cannot afford to miss.

Highlights include a 1940s reporter's work area that features Agnes Wing's desk, former owner and editor of the Parry Sound North Star, as well as Parry Sound's first female mayor who welcomed Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to Parry Sound in 1959; the Town of Parry Sound's Guestbook in which the Queen and Prince signed during their visit; a reading nook, where you are able to sit and peruse through 8 categorically organized scrapbooks which include copies of original clippings from the newspapers; 8 reproduced posters of key front pages that demonstrate both the history of Parry Sound and the changes of the paper in terms of style; a room dedicated to the physical printing of a newspaper which includes historic printing equipment; and the framed oldest existing edition of the Parry Sound North Star dated March 17, 1879.



Exhibit Highlights

  • 1940's Reporter's Work Area
    This area contains everything that you would find on a 1940's reporter's desk – a typewriter, an agate ruler, a bankers lamp, a telephone, a camera, stamps, ink, a stapler – you name it. The desk featured in the work area was once owned by Agnes Wing (on loan courtesy of Fred Heidman).

    Harvey D Wing, purchased the North Star in 1928. When Harvey passed away in 1946, his son Harvey Jr. and his wife Agnes tookover. Agnes, often known as "Aggie" to friends and family, became Parry Sound's first female councillor in 1952, and went on to become the town's first female mayor in 1959. As mayor, she welcomed Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to Parry Sound in 1959. She served for four terms as the Town's mayor.

    Furthermore, Agnes published a book in 1977 titled, History of Parry Sound – The Place and the People, which was, at the time, Parry Sound's first published history. In that same year, she was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.

  • Town of Parry Sound Guestbook
    The exhibit features the original signatures of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip which appear in the Town of Parry Sound's Guestbook (on loan courtesy of the Town of Parry Sound). The framed reproduced front page from July 9, 1959 is hung on the wall beside the guestbook where you can see photographs of the Queen and Prince signing as Mayor Agnes Wing looks on.

  • The Reading Nook
    Feel free to take a seat at one of the two desks on either side of the layout table to peruse through our 8 scrapbooks. The scrapbooks are categorically organized – Significant Anniversaries, Birthdays, and Deaths; Human Interest Stories; Miscellaneous and Odd & Unusual Happenings; Tragedies; New Developments; The North Star; The World Wars; and Advertisements – and are filled with copies of the original Parry Sound North Star papers.

    The layout table was previously owned by the Parry Sound North Star and has been donated to the Museum.

  • 8 Reproduced Front Page Posters
    Reproduced, to-scale front page posters, printing completed by Minuteman Press in Parry Sound, appear throughout the exhibit which highlight key historical events in Parry Sound and the changes of the paper in terms of style. Front pages include: August 2, 1900 "Vote for the By-Law to Boom Parry Sound – Town cannot afford to lose this opportunity of securing the Railway;" November 14, 1918 "Let Use Bow Our Heads in Honor of the Heroes Who Lie in Flanders Fields;" June 23, 1927 "CANADA DIAMOND JUBILEE;" May 10, 1945 "GERMANY CAPITULATES;" July 9, 1959 "15,000 Here to Welcome Queen;" April 5, 1966 "Eleven Die in Reserve Fire, Mass Committal Monday;" May 12, 1970 "Bobby Orr Scores Winning Goal – Sweep Bruins to Victory;" and December 14, 1994 "Emergency? Call 9-1-1."

  • Printing Room
    An entire room dedicated to the work that went into the laborious task of printing a newspaper. This area provides you with the opportunity to view historical printing equipment such as an old press, a large layout table complete with type and line setting tools, typeset cabinets, a light table with a layout of film that was once used by the Parry Sound North Star, and the mail cart which was used to transport bundles of papers to and from the hoist and work area.

  • Framed Oldest Existing Edition
    The oldest existing edition, dated March 17, 1879, was beautifully framed by Artistic Endeavours located in Parry Sound, and served as the official handoff of the archives from the Parry Sound North Star to the Museum on Tower Hill at the opening ceremony for the North Star Exhibit, and thus, the exhibit was officially opened to the public on Saturday, November 15th, 2014.

Did You Know?

  • The Parry Sound North Star has taken up residence in only three locations. The first office was located on the corner of McMurray and James Streets, where L&H Motors is today, and the North Star stayed there for approximately 20 years. The second location was at 67 James Street where the 'Star only recently vacated and moved to their current location 66 Bowes Street.

  • The first newspaper to serve the town of Parry Sound was actually the Northern Advocate, a newspaper pioneered by Thomas McMurray, the subsequent owner and operator of the Parry Sound North Star. He moved the Northern Advocate to Bracebridge in September of 1869 and returned to Parry Sound in 1874 and printed the first issue of the Parry Sound North Star on October 1st of that year.

  • B. Noel Fisher, proprietor of the Parry Sound North Star when he purchased it from Thomas McMurray in February of 1879, drowned in November of that same year in the wreck of the Waubuno.

  • The Parry Sound North Star once published twice weekly – once on Tuesdays and again on Thursdays. This was due to pressures from the Sudbury Star, nearby competitors, who wanted to buy the 'Star, though the paper was not for sale. The Sudbury Star threatened to hone in on the market of the North Star in order to put them out of business. Thus, the printing of two publications a week arose to compete with the Sudbury Star.

  •  1973 was the year that the press stopped running in Parry Sound. Printing was then moved to a community press house in Elmvale.




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Phone: 705-746-5365 Fax: 705-746-8775 E-mail
Funding provided by the
Government of Ontario.