Paul White:
Historian, Writer, & Researcher

The ships that sailed the Great Lakes, especially Georgian Bay, have always been of interest to me. Perhaps it all started when I was a youngster and my grandparents would take me on a stroll along Owen Sound's harbour to watch the Norgoma or the Norisle embark on a journey northward. On other occasions we would watch a freighter loading, or unloading, at the grain elevators. 

This interest in Great Lakes vessels heightened, especially in terms of the region's maritime history, when as a teenager, I met Orrie Vail the legendary Tobermory fisherman, who claimed to have found pieces of the wreck of La Salle's vessel, the Griffon. On that occasion Mr. Vail invited me into his workshop where he handed me a well-worn piece of wood, and said, "son, you are holding a piece of history, this is part of the Griffon." From that point on I was hooked!

After completing a B.A. in History at Trent University where the professors combined passion with historical methods, I began a quest to apply my knowledge and passion to a career in history.

In the early 1990s I was given the opportunity to further my interest in Great Lakes maritime history when I was part of a team of three historians who researched and wrote "A Maritime History of Georgian Bay" for Parks Canada. 

After completing this four-year project, I took on new projects, including a book about my hometown, Owen Sound: The Port City, another book about another passion, hockey history, The Hockey Scrapbook, and I began a seven-year stint as a freelance columnist for the Owen Sound Sun Times, writing a weekly column about the history of Owen Sound, the Bruce Peninsula, and Georgian Bay.

In the summer of 2020, I completed a M.A. in history at the University of Western Ontario. My thesis was about the Bruce Peninsula, "The Impact of the Forest Products and Tourism Industries on the Development of the Bruce Peninsula, 1850-2019." 

In 2024, using my MA thesis "The Impact of the Forest Products and Tourism Industries on the Developmetn of the Bruce Peninsula, 1850-2019" as a base I created the first history of the Bruce Peninsula. I have titled the book Shipwrecks, Parks, & Sawmills, which is available by clicking the links provided on this page. I know that you will enjoy this dive into the history of my favourite part of the world, the Bruce Peninsula.

This book details the evolution of the forestry industry on the peninsula using historical anecdotes and detailed government documents in the Appendix. Similarly, the reader will discover how tourism grew in area based on the impact of provincial and national parks; interest in diving and exploring for shipwrecks, and other circumstances. Once again, the reader will find several documents in the Appendix to detail the amazing growth of tourism and its impact on the Bruce Peninsula. 

I know that you will enjoy this book.

In you will find pages dedicated to most of the genres that have captivated my interest, not to mention, that of publishers, editors and most importantly, my readers. is a website illustrating my ongoing career as a freelance writer, researcher and historian. 

Although most of my work has centred around the history of Georgian Bay, especially Owen Sound and the Bruce Peninsula region, I have also researched and written articles and books about hockey history, both in the Owen Sound area, and beyond. 


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Another source of my interest in history comes from a hobby that I started when I was about ten years old. I would scour magazines and newspapers for advertisements about visiting various locations around the world. I would respond to these advertisements by sending letters requesting more information about the countries. Soon I had a large collection of books and pamphlets from countries located in every continent of the world. 

Although I enjoyed reading about these places, even as a child, and later a teenager, I was still enamoured by the Bruce Peninsula.

For a more detailed outline of my experience please see my curriculum vitae on my Professional Inquiries page.

I believe that a good writer, researcher and historian never stops learning; never stops asking questions; and never stops stretching their personal knowledge limits. To this end, although it has been more than three decades since I started my career as a freelance writer, researcher and historian.

Although I have many historical research interests, I focus most of my attention to almost any aspect of the Great Lakes region and especially the Georgian Bay area, including the French River region. I always welcome new ideas and research questions.

I hope you enjoy my website, Please see my Contact Page if you would like to comment about my articles or to discuss whether I can be of assistance to you or your group.

Paul White

Where To Now?

Professional Inquiries  I welcome all inquiries and this is the place where submissions for professional projects can be submitted.

My Book Publishing  My book publishing career was a natural extension from my history articles that I had researched, written, and published with various newspapers and magazines. They are listed here for your perusal.

Bruce Peninsula  The Bruce Peninsula is more than a haven for those wishing to hike and explore the natural beauty of this region. It is a place full of rich history, as you will discover on this site.

Georgian Bay Sailing

Sailing vessels traversing the rugged waters of Georgian Bay predate the arrival of European explorers and settlers.

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