Perhaps as long as 2000 years ago the area was populated by Native Indians, mainly the Hurons, who have left us fascinating archeological sites. French explorers, missionaries and fur traders travelled the region beginning in the 1600s. White settlers began arriving in the 1820s. They came mainly from England, Ireland, and Scotland. In 1819 a Black Settlement was established by government decree along Line 1 of Oro-Medonte. Previously, the Penetanguishene Rd, and Line 1, then called Wilberforce St, were surveyed and cleared, mainly as a defensive corridor to Georgian Bay during the hostilities with the U.S..
Numerous books exist describing pioneer family life. Publications written by the Oro-Medonte History Committee include: The Story of Oro, Kith 'N Kin, The Hills of Oro and Other. Landmarks, Knox Presbyterian Church, and The Oro African Church. Other local authors who have described pioneer life include: Marion Keith, Samuel Jermey, Loreen (Rice) Lucas, Mary O'Brien, Eleanora Hallen, and Monty Leigh.
There have been others who have made major contributions in politics, farming, science, writing and music: Hon E. C. Drury, former premier of Ontario; writer Kenneth Wells; former speaker of the Ontario legislature, Hon. Allan McLean; Sir Sam Steele, pioneer of the RCMP; singer/composer Wishart Campbell; U. of T. philosopher Prof. Hume; former federal Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Rt. Hon. Ellen Fairclough, and; scientist, Dr. Murray Luck.