BANCROFT AND AREA GHOST TOWNS
Ghost towns are abandoned settlements that were once thriving communities, but have since been abandoned due to various reasons such as economic decline, natural disasters, or in some of these cases, the absence of gold! These eerie, abandoned towns often hold a rich history and serve as a haunting reminder of the past. It’s fun to imagine what life was like for the people who once lived there and these places offer a unique and intriguing glimpse into the area’s past.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to the Ghost Town’s of Ontario, we recommend the book Ontario’s Ghost Town Heritage. It’s a wonderful read, very information, and has a lot of great photos.
In the mid 1850’s, Blairton was an iron manufacturing town located on the shores of Crowe Lake. They were open-pit mining in a location only accessible by water. In 1866 however, the railroad arrived in Blairton, and increased profits. With this, the town grew to a reported 500 people enjoying boarding houses, stores, and approx. 40 houses for miners. more…
At the height of its time, Craigmont had a population of around 400. The town was a mining town which mined Corundum by the Canada Corundum Company. Operations began in 1900 after the Craigmont deposit was discovered. Sadly, in 1923 there was a fire that destroyed the mill, and the town fell into decline. By 1921 all that was left were the remains of the smelter and it’s foundations.
Eldorado came to be when the first gold rush hit Ontario in 1866. Rumours flew of prosperous gold strikes in Hastings County. With great hopes of finding their fortune, people fled to the area, causing hotels, bars, brothels, boarding houses, stores and more then 80 buildings to spring up. Eldorado grew fast and furious. But as the gold mines proved to be worthless, the town was deserted as quickly as it was inhabited.
Foymount is located on the highest point of land in eastern Ontario. The Canadian Armed Forces set up a radar base there, but when their occupancy in the town was no longer necessary, they shipped out, and the town lay quiet. Many buildings remained empty for some time, including the school, warehouse, homes and apartment buildings. Over the years a developer successfully filled many of the vacancies. Still empty and over-grown are the remains of approx 6 apartment buildings, a warehouse and the school.
Driving Directions: Foymount is located around a kilometer west of the intersection of Hwy 512 and Opeongo Road.
Millbridge is part of the Old Hastings Road. In the 1860’s, families came to the area from Southern Ontario when provided free land by the government. The rocky soil made for poor farming conditions, and the settlers fled. In its prime, the town boasted three hotels, stores, mills, a school, a church and a town hall. more…
In 1875, Umfraville had 250 residents, a post office, sawmill, flour mill, 4 churches, a school and stores. Built as part of the Old Hastings Road, Umfraville was a Irish community, turned into a ghost town. more…
Not much remains at Wallace, only the old church and cemetery, and the old community hall which stands boarded up. This Polish community was located at the end of the Hastings road, and was home to several sawmills, supplying the townsfolk with jobs of hauling timber. When the timber supply decreased, the people left, leaving Wallace to become another ghost town.
Driving Directions: From Maynooth, travel north on hwy 127. Travel to South Mackenzie Lake Road, and continue on 127 for another 7.3 km. Turn right and travel 1.3km when you see the township maintained road. You have found Wallace when you arrive at the white boarded up building on your left. This is the old community hall.
*Disclaimer: Please be sure not to trespass and verify all locations and directions before you go.