14 years ago
Bonnechere Valley, Ontario
Newfoundout, a ghost town, is perhaps the best photo opp of abandoned pioneer log cabins in the province..Its worth the drive up the mountain to find them all.
According to Cameron B: "Much like the Nipissing Colonization Road, the Opeongo Road was another of the government(a)s road colonization attempts. As people would immigrate to Canada and settle along these roads, they(a)d clear the land to build a home and farm. However the land proved to be poor for growing and many of these settlers left with broken dreams.
The settlers to the Opeongo Road were given 100 acres of land. The Public Land Act (1853) proclaimed, "One hundred acres will be given free to any settlers, 18 years of age, who shall take possession of the Lot within one month from the date of his application, erect on it a house, 18 by 20 feet, put in a state of cultivation at least 12 acres in the course of four years, and live on the Lot during the period. Should he fulfill these conditions he will obtain an indisputable titles to the land, but failing to do so, it will be sold or given to another." While many immigrants received title to the land in 1864, the title was not deeded until the land was cleared and the home built. So many settlers lived on the land for years before receiving title to what they had worked so hard for. Land was given out on a first come, first served basis.
Newfoundout was a community where 13 families made their homes up a large mountain ridge on a trail just off the Opeongo Rd. It was not an easy route, for the trek to the site was a complete total of 6 km. Children had to walk this route every day to attend school down the mountain.
The road to Newfoundout was situated across from what was called Davidson(a)s Corners just north of Esmonde. This was the site where the Davidson family first built their home in 1849.
Between 1860 and 1890 these families lived in the back part of the colonization road, trying to make a living on their farms. By 1948, the area was completely abandoned.
As for the Colonization Road, Agent T.P. French resigned in 1864. Others tried but were never able to finish the colonization road. When the Canadian Central Railway made its way through Renfrew in 1893, immigration to the area declined. "
According to the 1946 map (see links), Newfoundout was known as "Donahue" Post Office for a while.
Location: Take the Opeongo Road west from highway 41 for about 5 km to Newfoundout Road and turn left. The Newfoundout Road is NW of the ghost town of Esmonde. Drive up the hill from 1.5 km- 6.5 km to see all the buildings. *When you come to a fork in road make sure to turn left.