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Take the time to discover Tay Valley’s
Welcome Change of Pace,
steeped in heritage with lots to see and do!
Bathurst, originally part of the District of Bathurst, was settled in 1816 when the first survey of the land was completed. The District severed from the District of Johnstown in 1822. The township of Bathurst was named for Henry Bathurst, the third Earl of Bathurst, who served as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies from 1812 to 1827.
The villages and hamlets of Bathurst include Glen Tay, Dewitt’s Corners, Balderson, Fallbrook, Playfairville, Harper, Wemyss and Armstrongs Corners.
Bathurst was settled by Irish and Scottish immigrants, most of whom were farmers or military personnel. The main settlement was established along the Scotch Line, from Perth to Christie Lake and north, beyond Fallbrook.
Dewitt’s Corners, located at the crossroads of Christie Lake Road at Menzies Munro Side Road and Cameron Side Road, is well known for its farming. The hamlet signs depicts hay cutting, that continues to this day.
Balderson is well known for its cheese. Situated on County Road 511, shops and tea rooms await.
Glen Tay was settled soon after the new immigrants landed. The farmland in the area was suitable for working, and the river made milling possible, which led to great employment in the area. Captain Joshua Adams, a loyalist, was among the first to live in the military settlement at Perth. Captain Adams bought the mill at Glen Tay around 1820, when the area was known as Adamsville. In 1868, a great fire tore through the mill and all was lost. The fire started in the woollen mill and spread to the other buildings. The mill was then rebuilt and sold again in 1872. During the 1880′s Glen Tay had many industrial buildings, including a grist mill, oat mill, tannery shop, wagon shop and woollen mill. Mica was mined along the Tay River.
William Bolton built a saw mill and grist mill on “Bolton Creek”. The settlement was called “Bolton Mills” and later “Fallbrook“. Bolton Creek runs into the Fall River which then joins the Mississippi River. Settlers built four mills: shingle and saw, grist, carding and woolen. Fallbrook was home to two hotels, two general stores, school, post office, blacksmith shop, cheese box and cheese factories, with iron and feldspar mines nearby. A toll booth on the “old bridge” operated until 1904.
Early families in this industrious community were Ashby, Bain, Blair, Buffam, Ennis, Donaldson, Foley, Keays, Playfair, McKerracker, Smith and Wallace. Three well-known residents were Robert Anderson, William Lees Junior and Walter Cameron. Anderson developed the Lanark Greening Apple, a variety of big, hard apples. His trees sold throughout Lanark County. Lees was Head of Council, Justice of the Peace, Warden of Lanark County, MPP for South Lanark and founder of several nearby mills. Cameron, blacksmith, woodcarver and storyteller, became a legend in his time.
The former township of North Burgess was settled around 1816 by a group of Scottish and Irish immigrants, and soldiers from the War of 1812-14. The first residents established homes and farms along the first stretch of cleared land, which would become know as the Scotch Line. North Burgess, which severed from the District of Johnstown in 1822, was named for Rev. Thomas Burgess, an important religious leader who later became Bishop of Salisbury. Within the former township is the historical hamlet of Stanleyville, named after Michael Stanley, son of a local lawyer. The first residents of Stanleyville were Irish Catholic immigrants. In 1820, Reverend Pierre La Mothe, a Jesuit Priest who served as Chaplain of the DeWattville Regiment, came to the community while traveling inland from Kingston. He promised to visit the following year, and the residents proceeded to build a church on the shore of Black Lake . When the Jesuits no longer visited this area, the residents would travel, often on foot, to Perth for Mass. On August 15, 1857, a building committee was appointed, and plans got underway to build a new church in Stanleyville. Soon, the structure was built on land donated by Michael Stanley. The structure was dedicated to St. Bridget, and the corner stone laid on May 22, 1864.
Stanleyville, the only village of any size in North Burgess, was originally called Micaville. It thrived on the business of the Silver Queen Mica mine, located in Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. Before mica, lumber was an important trade and the Black Creek lumber yard was a vital part of this industry.
Murphys Point Provincial Park celebrates the area’s rich history. For thousands of years, Native peoples hunted and gathered along the Rideau. The area that is now Murphys Point was surveyed in 1812 and European settlement followed on the site of the restored McParlan House and Burgess Mill ruins. The saw mill (circa 1820 to 1870) was one of the earliest on Big Rideau Lake. Owned by prominent industrialists such as Samuel Chaffey, Matthie-Robertson & Co. and Charles Jones, it provided a crucial service to settlers. The Murphy family, for whom the park was named, settled on this site on Hogg Bay in 1856. The restored Lally Homestead is named for another family that established several farms here.
The Rideau Canal improved access and became a key commercial route for produce, lumber and ore. One of dozens of small-scale mines in the area, the Silver Queen opened in 1903 and yielded mica, feldspar and apatite for about two decades. Local minerals were shipped by barge from Hogg Bay. This rugged land along the Rideau system has evolved into a recreational playground. Today, Murphys Point reminds us of how past meets present. In 2007 the Rideau Canal was named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
South Sherbrooke, a long wedge-shaped township surveyed in 1819, was among the first townships settled in Lanark County. At the time of survey South Sherbrooke was one of many townships within the District of Bathurst. The name was adopted from Sir John Coape Sherbooke, who served in the British Army for 30 years and then became Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia from 1811 to 1816. General Sherbrooke also served as Governor General of British North America from 1816-1818. Like much of the surrounding area, South Sherbrooke was settled by Scottish and Irish immigrants. For many years after settlement in 1821, farmers struggled and persevered with the harsh terrain of the Canadian Shield. The hamlets and villages of South Sherbrooke include Maberly, Bolingbrooke, Althorpe, and Rokeby, which was the first settlement of this township.
Maberly, originally called Morrow’s Mills, was named after Lt. Col. William Leader Maberly when a Post Office was established in 1864. While there are different stories regarding the transition from the name Morrow’s Mills to Maberly, it is generally accepted that with the establishment of the Post Office, and the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1882, the name was adopted. At the beginning of the 20th century, Maberly supported five milling operations, five stores, two churches, a hotel and the area’s own telephone company. The Fall River was a vital resource, providing dependable energy for the operation of the mills. Since 1882 the Maberly Agricultural Fair has been enjoyed by area residents and visitors.
Bolingbroke was known as Tom’s Rapids when Dr. Alexander Thom received a crown land grant in 1821 and established a dam and mill there. In 1865 John (Corry) Korry purchased the property and established a post office. The name was changed to Bolingbroke. John developed an industrial empire: four mills (grist, shingle and saw mill, and planing), a store and a lumbering trade employing hundreds and was a regional centre of business in the colonial period. At his funeral, 100 carriages carried the mourners.
Bolingbroke in the early 1900s included two churches, a cheese factory, a school and “Bullies Corners” – the road junction where disputes were settled. Regular trains to Bolingbroke Station served the community and seven farms. The Bolingbroke Road, formerly the Rancier Road, was the early route to Maberly. Deacons, Hannahs, Fourniers, Kilpatricks and Dowdalls were among the early settlers.
Brooke Valley is renowned for its artisans.
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