Meet the Author Week: Lynne Porter

To write a novel or book of any kind is no small feat and the local Brucedale Press brings the works of authors to the public.  They are works that have a connection to Bruce and Grey Counties and help to preserve the history of the region.

During the summer, Brucedale Press presented a ‘Meet the Author’ series at Port Elgin’s Farmers’ Market each Wednesday to promote local writers and, this week, we are again featuring the authors during Authors’ Week.

One such author is Lynne Porter who brings rural hamlets’ and villages’ histories to life through her series ‘The Way It Was’.

                         Lynne Porter with her historic drawings – for larger view, Click on Image

Porter has lead a life-path with many turns, from being a housewife raising her children in Windsor to owning a grocery store and then florist shop in Wiarton on the Bruce Peninsula.  She also sold advertising for the local Peninsula newspaper, the Wiarton Echo, where she wrote obituaries and is a volunteer with the Grey Genealogy Society in Owen Sound.

Porter began writing in earnest as a senior only a few short years ago and had several short stories published in ‘The Leaf’ by the Brucedale Press.

She became interested in, and eventually passionate about, genealogy and began to spend extensive time researching on-line until, today, where she has amassed a data base of some 50,000 names.

Porter says that a lot of her historical research uses various sources of information, including from genealogical websites, the Canadian census, local archives and long-time residents who remember the old stories.

With her deep interest in history and the history of family, friends, and neighbours who settled at Oxenden and area, Porter decided to write a history of the community where she lives in the small hamlet of Oxenden in Keppel Township on the Bruce Peninsula and about the pioneers who settled there.  In 2017, she published her book ‘Oxenden, The Way It Was’ and thus began the series.

“I discovered so many things about this little hamlet including the fact that it had once had  a library, supported by local farmers, that had some 3,500 books and that eventually received support from the Carnegie library foundation.  It was then that I thought there are so many small communities like this that have so much history.”

Next, in 2019, came her book ‘Big Bay & North Keppel – The Way It Was’, a chronicle of the pioneers who settled in the near-by communities with some 20 drawings of the area.

Porter’s books, in fact, contain her exquisite drawings of historic homes and buildings, many of which have long since disappeared with the annals of time. ‘Each drawing has a little black cat, Lucky, that readers may sometimes not spot at first.”

Porter’s third and most recent book, ‘Lake Charles, the Way It Was’ tells the story of a community on the Niagara Escarpment between Wiarton and Big Bay.

While in one breath Porter says she may not continue with the series, she also laughs that she already has the next one in mind … ‘Zion Keppel – The Way It Was’.  “There are so many small communities each with their individual history and it would be a shame to see those histories lost.”

For more information about author Lynne Porter, visit:  Brucedale Press 

Porters’ books are available  at:
Brucedale Press
Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre
Berford Books Wiarton
Ginger Press Owen Sound