The SS Bigwin Restoration Project was inspired by Jeff Gabura, a cottager (summer resident) on Lake of Bays. Jeff initiated the fundraising and oversaw the entire restoration process.
Many others participated in the effort, led by the Board of Directors of the Lake of Bays Marine Museum and Navigation Society. These included:
- Ellen Briant
- Mark Cowie
- David Flynn
- Matthew Gaasenbeek
- Jeffrey Gabura
- Kelvin Johnson
- Collin Reaney
- Tim Stanley
- Don Tapscott
- Paul Thomas
- Michael Wilson
In 2009, the fundraising got a big boost when a local club The Trading Bay Grouse and Trout Club took on the SS Bigwin as a project.
In 2012, a new Board of Directors was constituted to take the project to completion. New directors included Chairman Matt Gaasenbeek, Mark Cowie and Don Tapscott.
By-Laws of the Lake of Bays Marine Museum
The objects for which the corporation is incorporated are:
- To promote public interest in the marine and navigational heritage of the Lake of Bays region, in the District of Muskoka, and to that end;
- To preserve, restore, construct and reconstruct, maintain, display and demonstrate to the public antique, classic and heritage vessels and boats;
- To establish, maintain and operate dockage and storage facilities for the Society’s vessels;
- To establish a public museum displaying artifacts, pictures, displays, memorabilia and models; and to collect oral and written historical recollections concerning marine history of the Lake and area;
- To conduct programs designed to acquaint the public with the marine history and traditions of the area.