Sauble Beach was originally named by the French explorers for the sandy sable river that empties into the lake at Sauble Falls. “La Riviere Au Sable” was its original name, which means “River to the Sand”. This title was used on maps until 1881, when it was changed to “Sauble River.” Soon after, the beach was named “Sauble Beach” which when translated means Sand Beach or Beach of Sand. The first settler is reported to have been John Eldridge, who built a cottage nearby in 1877. A number of people followed and Sauble Beach began to grow steadily to become the community it is today. It began with a few people building cottages, then a boarding house and finally a store. Development proceeded south and eventually east. In the 1900’s a large sawmill was located just below the falls on the Sauble River, employing 40 people. Although it burned to the ground in 1906 taking half of the surrounding forest with it, dedicated reforestation by Bruce County and the Province has resulted in beautiful tall pine groves.
In the early decades of the 20th century, Sauble Beach became an increasingly popular vacation destination in concert with the growth of the automobile and leisure time among the middle class. Most of the resort development of the modern beach area dates from about 1948, including still-surviving attractions like the Sauble Lodge Motel and the Crowd Inn hot-dog stand.