| Oct 05, 2006

Feature Article - October 5, 2006

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Feature Article - October 5, 2006

Cloyne Historical Society Heritage tour

by Carolyn McCulloch

The Fourth Annual Heritage Tour, sponsored by the Cloyne and District Historical Society traveled through magnificent autumn scenery recently to unearth places, recall people and relive events of the past.

On the Bridgewater Road that crosses the Skootamatta River there is a Faustian legend that states that a “Scotchwoman” bargained with two inhabitants of the area, and in exchange for a bag of gold, had them sell their souls to the devil. The local parish priest intervened, she died and is buried on her farm under a broken crock, but her ghost still trolls under the bridge.


That same road leads to Actinolite, named for the silicate mineral found there. Actinolite was called Troy until 1821 and then Bridgewater until 1858. It was founded (as Flinton was) by Billa Flint. With a population of eight hundred, it once rivaled Tweed . The Garrett Stove was manufactured there, and it boasted factories, blacksmiths, gristmills, weavers, stores, and a large hotel with the unusual name of “The Temperance Hotel”. Actinolite was the home of the only church made of marble in Canada , an original Wesleyan Methodist structure. This beautiful one hundred and sixty-four year old church is now officially for sale. Most of the village was destroyed by fire in 1889, with a loss of twenty-four stores and most of the surrounding buildings. The stately Roberts House still stands on the northwest corner of the village.

The scarcely used Pottery Settlement Road led the tour to Sulphide, named for sulphuric acid made from local Pyrite and manufactured by The Nichol Chemical Company (later Allied Chemical) for use in WWII. The village was once a bustling one, as one hundred and twenty local people worked there and took part in the lively activities of the company town. All vestiges of this period have disappeared. There was an awesome moment when the group viewed the ruins of the stairs from a building of the past, now overgrown with forest.

The CPR came through Kaladar in 1884, and there were both saw and lumber mills there. The village really came into being with the building of Highways #7 and #41. It was a heavily transported route before the 401 was built, and was originally known as Kaladar Station. There were three hotels in Kaladar. The well known landmark, the Kaladar Hotel was actually situated south of Highway #7 and was moved down the hill to its present location while a patron was still sitting in the tavern.

The tour detoured to Tweed to lunch together. The reminiscences and camaraderie of those on the tour made it a special day in this unique area on the Canadian Shield that is so steeped in history.

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