History of the Area
Bancroft has a rich history, and there are many reminders of its past scattered throughout the town and surrounding areas. Some of these include the church on Old L’Amable Road, abandoned buildings, and even old rock piles in fields that were once cleared by hand. If you have any stories, facts, or photographs that you would like to contribute to our site, please don’t hesitate to contact us and help add history and memories for others to discover. We are always looking for people who can help us share the history of Bancroft with the world.
The Town of Bancroft, with a population of 3,880 (2011 census), is presently the business and recreational centre of the County of North Hastings. Yet the history of the people of Bancroft and surroundings goes back several centuries. It starts with two Native groups, the Chippewas and the Mississauga, who lived in this area long before European settlers laid claim to their land.
The history of this community in the township of Madawaska Valley starts out with the Algonquin, who named it “Kuaenash Ne-ishing”, which means “beautiful bay”. Long before the first pioneers ever laid eyes on this bay on Kamaniskeg Lake, it was a meeting place for bands of aboriginals, who enjoyed the fruits and beauty of the unspoiled nature.
The Hamlet of Coe Hill, in the Township of Wollaston is located in northern Hastings County on County Road 620. Coe Hill has a history of mining. Incorporated in 1880, it was named after William Coe of Madoc. He formed the Coe Hill Mines Company, after Harry Johnson had discovered iron deposits in a hill.
The name Killaloe hails from an Irish community in Ireland of the same name and salutes the Irish heritage of many of the first settlers to this area who came to Canada in the early 19th century seeking a better life. The early beginnings of this little town centered around the lumber trade.
I’ve recently discovered that my Great Grandfather Leander Hontoon resided in Bancroft and I’m searching for any information or pictures regarding his life or homestead area Thanks
I have information about him but it is an arrest record… Are you sure you want to see it? – Linda