When the area around Dorset, then known as Ridout Township was originally surveyed in 1862 it was described as "high and rolling, the whole being covered with the finest description of timber, and the western and north western portions not to be excelled for agriculture."
By 1862 the Bobcaygeon Road had reached Dorset and George G. Burwell was appointed Free Grants Agent for the land along the road. His first report in 1862 stated that "The road crosses a narrows of the Lake of Bays, or more commonly called Trading Lake, here a good settlement has commenced."
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