Newbliss – A Hamlet in Kitley


Newbliss on a map from 1861-62

The village dates back to 1802, when United Empire Loyalists settled on grants of land given them by the Crown.

Rachel and Isaiah Wiley were granted Lot 13 on the 4th Concession and opposite it Lot 13 on the 5th Concession was granted to Catherine Moore in 1805. Two dirt roads crossed at the borders of the two lots and a hamlet was born as more settlers moved in.

Newbliss didn’t start out with that name. Originally it was Dodd’s Corners named after a shoemaker who lived on the corner and his father George Dodd with a family of five lived on another. This was in 1802 and in 1820 it became Dack’s Corners from the family of William Dack. In 1855 the name was finally changed to Newbliss.

The name comes from the Town of Newbliss in Ireland, brought here by an Irish schoolmaster, John Mackay who came to teach in Newbliss in that year. He thought the collection of houses and business deserved a new name and he made the decision stick. Mackay taught in Newbliss for over 20 years before retiring.

Further to the south William Dack bought parts of lots 19 and 20 in the 4th Concession and other acquisitions and became the largest landowner in the area.

He was operating a tavern in the 1830’s but the site is unknown. It was probably located along the road from Brockville which became the Victoria Macadamized Road during the 1840’s and eventually became Hwy 29.

Dack’s Tavern also gave birth to the Orange Order in Kitley. Newbliss Lodge was formed in the tavern in 1835 and around 1850 the order built a hall in Newbliss, which burned in 1944.  Newbliss LOL, No.87 observed its centenary in 1935 . The lodge moved its headquarters in 1949, taking over the former Coad’s school, a stone building erected in 1875, replacing the earlier log cabin school. The school had originally been named for the Dack Family, but adopted the name of Coad in the 1850’s.

Newbliss was once a thriving community of over 600 people, with inns, a cheese factory, several schools, a hotel, stage coach house and other business. There was also an active Orange Lodge and a Temperance Hall.

Lovell’s Gazette of 1873 ascribes 250 persons to the village population. There were two blacksmiths, a dressmaker, and engineer, harness maker, milliner, postmaster, two teachers, shoemaker, tailor, wagon maker, two weavers and 35-40 farmers.

The Gazette listed 600 in the village population, but seven years later another census cut the population to 300. In 1902 the population of the hamlet itself was only 25 persons. Earlier figures were believed to be based on post office addresses.

“The original Newbliss Cheese Factory consisted of three frame buildings, the main factory, a curing house and a boiler room. When the main factory was moved from the old Ross farm to the centre of Newbliss, a frame cheese house was constructed for the cheese maker. It still stands beside the general store.” (Kitley 1795-1975 by Glenn Lockwood)

John Edgar, father of James Edgar, was a staunch Presbyterian, but he ran the first hotel and bar room in Newbilss. In 1862, he gave up the hotel business, leasing the premises to George Stewart.

Edgar then formed a Sons of Temperance lodge and was for many years one of its most prominent leaders.

Newbliss cheese factory, later a general store, was one of the busiest in Leeds County in the middle and later part of the 19th Century. Farmers for miles around brought their milk here for processing. The factory produced cheeses weighting 90 to 100 pounds. Patrons used to haul the cheeses encased in round cheese boxes by wagon to the Jasper railway station, from where they were shipped to the cheese board offices in Brockville for grading and later sale. The factory operated until around 1944 when it was converted into a store.

In 1904 the cheese maker, Robert Beckett, was one of the most prominent men in the village and owner of the first car in Newbliss. For years it was known as “Mr.Beckett’s Buick”

Early School

The former Coad’s school, a stone building, was erected in 1875, replacing the earlier log cabin school. The school had originally been named for the Dack Family, but adopted the name of Coad in the 1850’s.

Dack’s school was built on Lot 17 of Concession four about 1830, a simple log structure with unpainted interior walls and austere benches and desks.

About the same time, Newbliss village had a log school which was replaced in 1874 by a stone structure. Newbliss School was phased out of existence in 1961 with the pupils being transferred to Jasper.

Newbliss had two schoolhouses to serve the community, each its own section. The first school was built around 1830 and was titled S.S. #5 Newbliss School. It is believed the first schoolhouse for S.S. #5 was made of log, however no records of the school exist. In 1858, the stone schoolhouse which replaced the log structure was erected. This schoolhouse is still standing, located at the intersection of Highway 29 and Line Road 4. The other school section in Newbliss was #6, with its school being called S.S. #6 Coad’s School. Originally, Coad’s School was known as Dack’s. This schoolhouse was also constructed of log before being replaced by a stone building in 1870. Upon its closure in the 1940s, Coad’s School was sold to the Orange Lodge. (Kitley 1795-1975 by Glenn Lockwood)

Newbliss Schoolhouse photo November 2016
Newbliss Schoolhouse – photo taken November 2016
Newbliss School House c1985


As in many areas of Leeds and Grenville, circuit riders first brought religion to Newbliss in the early days.

Ezra Healey, probably the most famous of the early circuit riders, included Newbliss in his itinerary in 1822. He was a Methodist assigned to the Rideau Circuit. In 1818 he had begun conducting services in Toledo in a log school house. Methodist history records the fact he ministered to only four families here, probably meeting at Dack’s log school house.

Methodists worshipped anywhere they could find shelter, a barn being used on more than one occasion but in 1834, the congregation built a log chapel on the eastern edge of Kitley Township in the community known as Crystal and the church subsequently bore the name “Providence Chapel”.

The church was used until church union in 1935 when it was sold to a local resident who in turn donated it in 1960 to Upper Canada Village.

Early Anglicans also held their services at Dack’s School with a minister coming from Smith’s Falls to preach. It was years before the first Anglican Church was built. St. Paul’s Church was erected here in1904.

The village was also the first centre for Presbyterians in Kitley Township. The home of James Edgar, a pioneer inn-keeper, was turned into a mission centre about 1835 and Kitley Presbyterians met there until 1847 when St. Andrew’s Church was constructed in Toledo.

Newbliss Church – photo taken November 2016
Newbliss Church – photo taken November 2016









General Store, old cheese house on the right c1985
Edgar Hotel c1985
Road sign entering Newbliss
Newbliss as shown on a map from 1998



“Edna’s Scrapbook”

is a paperback book written by Edna B. Chant and was published in 1998. Edna Chant was a reported with the “Athens Reporter” for 23 years and she is the author of four books.

Her book, which is made up of news clippings from various sources, from which we have taken excerpts, gives us a glimpse into life in our area for over a hundred year period ending with stories from 1975.

While her book covers many areas of Leeds and Grenville we have only focused on the area within Elizabethtown-Kitley Township.


While working on the new house of Robert Mackie near Newbliss in August, 1908, a young man Sidney Christie aged 22 of Smiths Falls fell to the ground from a scaffold and was instantly killed.

On February 3, 1928 George Price aged 19 of Newbliss, was found in the stable of his father’s barn with one side of his head smashed in. It was quite apparent that one of the horses had kicked him. He remained unconscious for 36 hours and then he died.

On February 26, 1959 Isaac Lockwood, 73, of Newbliss died of injuries in a car accident.

An 88 year old man, John Andrew Lyons, of Newbliss, was killed on September 11, 1967 on Hwy 29 at Newbliss when a car driven by his wife Bella Lyons, 71, in which he was a passenger, was struck broadside by a car driven by Mrs. A.L. Wells, 21 of Jasper. Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Wells were both injured.

St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall at Newbliss was burned by fire on April 21, 1968. Due to the efforts of the firemen, the church was saved.


Jasper – A Hamlet in Kitley

Jasper   ( Irish Creek, Olmsted’s Mills)

Map of 1861-62 shows Irish Creek sitting on the border with Wolford Township

Jasper lies in the North East section of Kitley along the boundary with Wolford Township, with Irish Creek running through the village.

Joseph Haskins, the first miler in these parts, settled on the future site of Jasper in 1802. At that time, Irish Lake was a muddy swamp (Mud Lake) or marsh, drained by Irish Creek which turned into the Rideau River north of Haskins’ Mill.

Haskins dammed the creek near his homestead then used the dam water to run a grist mill he erected. A sawmill followed and pretty soon a hamlet grew up around the homestead.

Damning of the creek backed up water to form a lake where the marsh land had existed. The name Irish Lake was given to this body of water.

Haskins’ dam created such a body of water that when Col. John By’s surveyors were laying out the route of the proposed Rideau Canal in 1925 they seriously considered running the new waterway down Irish Creek, through Irish Lake and thence westward to Bellamy’s Mills, now Toledo. However the prospect of having to cut through high ground west from Toledo deterred the surveyors and further tests on Irish Lake indicated some six feet of mud would have to be excavated over the entire length of the lake to make a channel feasible.

The Irish Creek – Irish Lake idea was abandoned and the surveyors laid out the canal route past the estuary of Irish Creek on to Smith’s Falls, eventually cresting the height of land at Newboro and then going downhill along the Cataraqui River to Kingston.

In the 1820’s, Irish, English and Scottish settlers flooded into Kitley, helped by free passage over the Atlantic guaranteed by the government and an offer of 100 acres of free land per family.

Many Irish settlers took up homesteads in the area lying east of the present No. 29 highway, along a shallow pond which still today is called Irish Lake. At the north end of the lake, a settlement called Irish Creek grew up. Today it is the modern village of Jasper.

The new settlers also farmed the area east of Frankville known as Crystal. The community boasts one of the earliest Loyal Orange Order Lodges, No.8.

In 1806 a Mr. Haskins built a grist mill in the tiny settlement then called Albune. In 1820 Gideon Olmstead bought the mill, and the community became known as Olmstead’s Mills.

In 1830, construction of the Rideau Canal raised the water level in Irish Cr. and destroyed the waterfall, which had supplied power for the mill.

That closed the mill but allowed Irish Cr. to be used for rafting timber.

When the Brockville and Ottawa Railway was built from Brockville to Smiths Falls in 1859, railway officials complained that the name Irish Creek sounded ‘petty.’

They urged residents to come up with another name. In 1864 the post office was renamed Jasper, the name chosen by residents from a list provided by the post office.

A fire in 1938 wiped out one corner of the main business area of this village and from the ashes rose a hotel and general store and post office.

The Jasper Hotel stands on the site of the Fitzgerald Hotel, a famous hostelry dating back to the days when the settlement was called “Irish Creek”. Thomas Fitzgerald was running the hotel back in the 1870’s and then Jasper boasted two other hotels.


Methodist Church is located in Wolford Township, Photo c1985
Methodist Church photo 2016

Jasper United Church was built in 1877 as a Methodist house of worship. The old red brick building with its tall silver prier is a focal point for the faithful of this village







Irish Creek

In 1815 Irish Creek was described as being 60 feet across, today it is more like 200 feet. It no longer caries the river traffic associated with the early mills which dotted its banks more than a century ago. Lying south of this village, Irish Lake, also figured prominently in the development of the area.

Irish Lake from which Irish Creek springs is a body of water five miles long, a mile across at its broadest, lying south and east of Toldeo. The lakes headwaters originate in the area west of Hwy No.29 between Plum Hollow and Frankville.

The lake roughly follows a southwest- northeast line east of Hwy No. 29, passing Newbliss Its outlet Irish Creek meanders through a peaceful farming country, through Jasper and emptying into the Rideau River at historic Polley’s Point.

From time immemorial Irish Lake and Irish Creek and their adjoining marshes have been a mecca for hunters.

In the early 1800,s muzzle loading muskets were used by settlers during the annual fall migrations of ducks. The birds were taken for immediate food, or for preserving and use during the long winter months.

One of the area’s earliest hunters was Roger Stevens and he was the districts first duck hunting causality. Stevens a pioneer mill owner in Wolford and Montague townships drowned on a creek emptying into the Rideau in 1795.

Stevens was hunting ducks at the time. He apparently stood up in his boat to fire at a passing mallard, and the recoil of the old hammer triggered shotgun, knocked him out of the boat into the ice cold water.

To this day, the stream bears his name, though some geographers have misspelled it “Stephens”. Roger Stevens was a brother of Able Stevens, first settler at Delta and Philipsville, and the man who brought the Baptist Church to north Leeds.

In 1818 Kitley had 300 residents, most living along the creek and in the Toledo area. In addition to Haskin’s Mill, a grist mill was operated by Richard Olmsted (or Olmstead) and Able Kilborn had grist mills and saw mills south of Irish Lake. He also had mills on Bellamy’s Lake west of Toledo.

In 1829 there were 801 persons living in Kitley and the following year 96 families were living north of Irish Lake and 86 south.

Around Olmsted’s mills on Irish Creek a small settlement grew up, originally called Irish Creek, later Olmsted’s Mills, still later Jasper. That is how the modern hamlet of Jasper came into being.

The hamlet received its greatest boost in 1858 when the Brockville to Carleton Place (later to Ottawa) railway was developed. Though Olmsted’s mills had been idle for 30 years, the hamlet was thriving.

Legend says that the first railway engine to use the line north of Jasper was brought by scow down Irish Lake and Irish creek from the railway line being inched north from Brockville. The two sections joined here.

Martin Doyle was the first station master. At that time there was a store operated by G.Cross, a hotel run by J. McLeod, a school house and five houses.

Ambrose Olmstead had a 100 acre spread here in 1854 and in 1862, he hired John Burchill, a surveyor to lay out a village which he was going to call “Albune”. The village was laid out in 12 blocks, with 95 lots available. For streets he had the following names: Queen’s Highway, Centre, Maple, John, Main and William. Though the plot plan was approved May 31, 1862, the lots were not registered at the Grenville registry office until 1888.

The name ‘Albune’ never caught on and the railway settled the issue by calling the station ‘Jasper’.

Because Jasper became a focal point for produce of all kinds, the railway erected extensive freight sheds, with facilities for handling dressed pork, mutton, butter, wool, clothing, flour and grain.

The Dominion Gazetteer of 1873 listed 750 people in Jasper, but most historians believe that the figure was greatly exaggerated. The following business were also listed: W.S.Cameron, store; W.A.Chester, milliner and dressmaker; Albert Clark Blacksmith; Thomas Fitzgerald, hotel; Tom Huffman, tinsmith; John Mrquette; Mrs. Ambrose Olmstead, grocery; W.S.Ralph, store; Chris Richards, store; Amos Robinson, hotel; Levi Soper, blacksmith; W.H.Sparham. stationmaster.

The railway provided area farmers with a ready flow of cash, since engines burned cordwood by the load. The wood was cut into four foot lengths to fit into the engine fire-boxes. The wood was stacked in sheds along the tracks and every spring an official scaler would come along and measure the wood for size and pay the farmers.

The first station burned in 1871 and was replaced.

Excerpts from the “History of Leeds and Grenville from 1749 to 1879”

by Thad. W.H.Leavitt pub 1879

M.E.Church, Jasper

Etching of the Methodist Church published in Leavitt’s History Book of 1879

This church is substantially built of brick; it is 30×46 feet, with a tower 14 feet square surmounted by a spire. The charge includes four congregations, viz., Jasper, Easton’s, Kilmarnock and Roseville, the total membership being 190. The trustees of the church are Thomas Edmunds, James Edmunds, Levius Brown, William Cross and B. Warren, the pastor (1878) being the Rev. Eli Woodcock.




Irish Creek Antique Store c1985
Jasper Hotel c1985
Jasper Hotel photo November 2016
Jasper School House

















Jasper Hotel photo November 2016
Jasper as it appears on a map from 1998


Edna’s Scrapbook”

is a paperback book written by Edna B. Chant and was published in 1998. Edna Chant was a reported with the “Athens Reporter” for 23 years and she is the author of four books.

Her book, which is made up of news clippings from various sources, from which we have taken excerpts, gives us a glimpse into life in our area for over a hundred year period ending with stories from 1975.

While her book covers many areas of Leeds and Grenville we have only focused on the area within Elizabethtown-Kitley Township.


Harry Moffatt postmaster and merchant of Jasper, had a close call from death on April 25, 1900. He had been to market in Merrickville and was on his way home. He had not sold all his load, and was taking home fie cases of eggs. When he got in front of Alex Clark’s farm, he decided to water his horse and he drove to the waters edge. He cannot explain what happened but the next thing he knew he was in the water, with the struggling horse and wagon on top of him. He used every bit of his strength to reach the surface, and when he got his head above water, he was too weak to crawl out. In the meantime, Mrs. Phillips of Riverview saw the accident and had gone for Mr. Clark. Together they helped him from the water and he had to cling to the fence for some time before he could stand on his feet. He was unable to speak but after they got him to the house and wrapped him in blankets and out his feet in hot water, he quickly recovered. His first concern was for his horse, but Mr. Clark attached a chain to it and pulled it out with his team, but the animal was dead. It was still attached to the wagon.

The cheese factory at Jasper burned on July 7, 1901, the fire starting from the chimney. The proprietor, Isaac H. Fifield, who lived upstairs lost all of his possessions.

Mrs. W.J. Anderson of Jasper was killed in a motor accident at Newbliss on October 30, 1937.

On July 18, 1939 Connerty’s store and Fitzgerald’s Hotel burned at Jasper.

Alfred Leacock of Jasper died of injuries received in a motor accident on November 20, 1940

On November 10, 1959 William McCabe, 51, of Jasper and his 20 year old son Michael drowned when their auto plunged into the Rideau River.

Two sisters, Mrs. Albert W Morrison aged 64 years, and Miss Harriett Cannon aged 68 years died together when their car was struck by an oil truck driven by Garnet Sands of Frankville on May 4, 1961. They lived at Jasper and taught school to Toledo. They were on their way to school at 8:45am and drove from the Jasper Road onto Highway 29, directly in front of Sands who was travelling towards Smiths Falls and he was unable to avoid a collision. Both car and truck were demolished, the latter catching fire and burning to a shell. Sands was able to escape but received severe burns and shock. He had his 3 year old son Terry with him and he was able to save the boy but he was also burned. Mrs. Morrison was the former Edith Pearl Cannon and both sisters were born at Portland. They had been teachers for many years and were very well known and highly regarded.

Damage was estimated at $100,000 when fire destroyed the William Connerty and Son grain elevator and feed plant at Jasper on May 20, 1961. Several hundred tons of grain were in the plant as well as valuable machinery. Firemen were able to save four homes located across the road. A 14 car train of the CPR was due and would have to pass dangerously close to the fire, but it was flagged down. The train was already four hours late due to an accident at Trenton. It was delayed anther hour at the fire scene where CPR officials carefully guided it by the blazing buildings only a few feet from the track.

On May 17, 1961 a large sheet metal warehouse owned by C.A. Pryce was burned at Jasper. The building was full of crown assets merchandise. The Smiths Falls fire department prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings.

On the farm of Lorne Driver on the road between Hwy 29 and Jasper, the fire made a clean sweep of all his outbuildings on June 26, 1965. Seven barns in all fell to flames. Firemen from Smiths Falls were able to save his house. No livestock was lost but one barn contained over $1,000. worth of lumber.

A Jasper youth James Elwood Wells, 19, had a miraculous escape from death on September 16, 1966 when the car he was driving was totally wrecked by a Brockville bound CPR train travelling at 57 miles per hour. The car was hurled 37 feet into a ditch, with the motor torn out and pieces of the vehicle scattered right and left. The youth escaped with a fractured leg and a slight concussion.

Mr. and Mrs. Jonas Ellis of Jasper were married 60 years on May 12, 1969 and were at home to 150 friends and relatives. Mr. Ellis was born at Rocksprings in 1878. He is known by all as “Joney” and he learned the blacksmithing trade early in life and worked at this trade until he was 85 years of age. Mrs. Ellis is the former Eva Edwards and was born at Wolford Centre. They raised a family of 14 children and all are living except one daughter Stella May. They are Ormond, Clayton, Marjorie, Wesley, Donald, Dorothy, Sidney, Geraldine, Meda, Earl, Jean, Norma and Robert.

A Jasper girl, Emily Scouten, aged 16 years, was killed on June 26, 1969 when a car in which she was a passenger crashed in heavy fog. The accident occurred at the Kitley- South Elmsley Line and the driver was William Bertrin, 18, of Perth. Other passengers in the car were Joan Purcell, 20, of Smiths Falls and James Duberville of Brockville who were slightly injured.

Milton Cardiff, 56, drowned at jasper after falling from a boat on August 5, 1973.

Irish Creek

Mr. and Mrs. John Luckey and their daughter Miss. Mary Ann Luckey were murdered at their home at Irish Creek on Oct. 11, 1892

Charles Luckey was hanged in Brockville on December 14 for the murder of his father, mother and sister at Irish Creek, 1893

On February 13, 1909 Michael O’Connor and Henry Rathwell of Kitley had spent the evening at Irish Creek and left about 10 o’clock to return home. The cutter was on its side, the horse was in the ditch tangled up in the harness, O’Connor aged 60 was lying face down in the snow with Rathwell lying on top of him. O’Connor was dead and Rathwell unconscious. Dr. W. Anderson said O’Connor died of suffocation. Rathwell was suffering from frost bite but recovered.

Mrs. Harry Stevens aged 32 and Miss Bessie Jones age 20, were drowned in Irish Creek on September 1, 1909. They had been visiting at the home of Harvey Timleck and went out alone in a boat. No reason can be given for the accident as the water was only three feet deep and they could have easily made it to shore.

The Athens Reporter and County of Leeds Advertiser

Excerpts have been taken from this paper referencing the following hamlet for the years 1889, 1894 and 1895

Tuesday July 16th, 1889

At Irish Creek on Tuesday last, a builder named James Heaslip was rendered insensible by a stroke of lightning, and H. Johnston who was standing by, was slightly injured at the same time. Both men are recovering.

Tuesday April 9, 1895 issue

Miss May Johnson of Irish Creek is the guest of Miss Helen Dixon who recently returned from New York where she was visiting her sister, Mrs. Howard McGrath

Blanchard’s Hill – A Forgotten Hamlet in Kitley

Blanchard’s Hill

Location of Blanchard’s Hill on a map of 1861-62

Blanchard’s Hill is reached by two roads, off of No.15 and off of No.29 highways. A large sign on No.15 Hwy three miles southwest of Lombardy proclaims “Blanchard’s Hill Road”. The road takes off from No.15 on an abandoned section of pavement, and then climbs the hill towards the old Blanchard Homestead. From No.29, Shane’s Road running west off that highway runs right into Blanchard’s Hill.

Quaker families fleeing hostility they encountered in the Athens area, were probably the first settlers on this historic hill south of Lombardy.

Among these Quakers were the Palmers and Wiltsies, from Athens. They built up a Quaker settlement here, and it is likely their success led to the migration of the first Blanchard to the hill which bears the family name.

Students of Indian lore believe that the hill was known to the Indians who roamed the Rideau long before the coming of the white man. It is believed the high elevation of Blanchard’s Hill provided a lookout for Indians on their hunting and fishing expeditions into the Rideau.

Albert Blanchard owned 400 acres of prime farmland along the town line between Kitley and South Elmsley, was a Quaker who settled on the hill about 1850.

Members of the Loyalist Blanchard family which settled the Greenbush area, Albert was born at Hard Island north of Athens in 1815. His branch of the Banchard Family embraced the Quaker faith.

He wed Sarah A. Hayes an Athens girl and in 1850 brought his family to Blanchard’s Hill. He died on the hill in 1874. His wife born in 1821 died in 1892 at the age of 71. Albert’s homestead stool across the road from the farm, later owned by Manford Blanchard.

Franklin Blanchard was born in 1860. Franklin’s first wife Martha Seymour died in 1887 at the age of 27 and Franklin married again taking Elizabeth Gardiner as his second bride.

Elizabeth was a daughter of the pioneer Gardiner Family which homesteaded about 1830 on the town line between the townships, about a mile east of Blanchard’s Hill.

Road Sign c1985

Blanchard’s Hill Road is still a gravelled thoroughfare. Entering via the old preserved section of No15 Highway, the traveller will wind up back on No.15 if he continues on past Blanchard’s Hill and follows the winding road westward.

The long abandoned railway line through the area crosses the road twice, but only the weather beaten X-shaped caution signs mark the crossings. The rails are buried deep beneath the gravel.

Irish immigrants were among the first to homestead around the hill, following the Blanchards. About 1845, John Seymour migrated from County Armagh, Ireland and five years later in 1850 brought 100 acres of land on the first concession of South Elmsley, on the rise of land forming the base of the hill.

Travel in the early days was usually undertaken by horseback. Later, stage coaches began runs between settlements, and farm wagons and carts became numerous. Then buggies and gigs became popular.

In the 1830’s the inhabitants of Blanchard’s Hill had little access to other settlements. Consequently they petitioned the old District of Johnstown for a road which would link them with such centres as Perth and Kingston. The Old Perth Trail already linked this area with Lombardy and as a result had a new 50 foot wide road surveyed southward from the Perth Road to Portland where it would connect with the old Kingston Trail.

This new road was put through as far as Banchard’s Hill. From Blanchard’s Hill the road followed a road allowance between Kitley and South Elmsley. This section of road, between Portland and Lombardy, past the foot of Blanchard’s Hill eventually became part of old No.15 highway.

The pioneer Blanchards rest in Union Cemetery in Lombardy. Last of the clan buried there was Charles, who died in November 1984 at the age of 90.  (Recorder and Times c1985, Darling Collection Bk 5, pg.3)

Blanchard’s Hill with Manford Blanchard’s Home at the top c1985
Map of 1998 showing location of Blanchard’s Hill
Manford Blanchard’s Home built around 1895 – photo c1985
Blanchard’s Hill School built in 1874- photo c1985






St. Philip Neri RC, Old Cemetery

St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Cemetery, Toledo

Old Cemetery: west from Toledo to King Rd., to Lake Eloida Rd.


Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016

















Looking towards the hill where the first Roman Catholic Church was built


Memorial to the first church
Etching of the first St. Philip Neri Church 1840-1907









Pray for the soul of Thomas OHora who died Oct 27, 1858 aged 75 years
Pray for the soul of Michael Dempsey died Nov 27 1868 aged 48 yrs also his son John N. died Oct 5, 1874 aged 25 yrs

St. Philip Neri, RC Cemetery

St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Cemetery, Toledo

This is the new cemetery, Across the road (Hwy 8) from old cemetery, take road on the left or right to cemetery.


View of Cemetery from the Old Cemetery across the highway- Photo November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016

Lehigh Cemetery

Lehigh Cemetery

Concession 10, Lot 22, Twp of Elizabethtown Kitley*, GPS: 44.707355, -75.952617- Hwy 29 to Line Road 9 turn west south side of road. One mile south of Frankville on the Leigh Cemetery Road. (all photos taken November 2016)



Looking south- November 2016
Looking north- November 2016
Looking towards the main gate- November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016
Photo taken November 2016






















In Memory of Lydia Cornell who died Jan 21, 1856 age 94 years of the late Seth Cornell (L)- Delorma Leehy on the right, see monument below




Erected in memory of Madora C., Daughter of Nelson & Abigail Leehy who died May 10, 1852 age 2 mo
in Memory of Delorma, son of Gideon & Clarrissa Leehy, died June 7, 1843 in the 18 year of his age
Eva M., Daughter of Franklin & Frances Lehigh, Born Sep 15, 1866 died Sep 21, 1874
Henry A. Kilborn, M.D. died Sep 8, 1873 age 26 years
Erected in the memory of Clarrissa G., daughter of Nelson & Abigal Leehy who died Feb 19, 1854 age 1 yr & 20 days
In Memory of Elizabeth wife of Robert Johnston who died Oct 10, 1855 in her 70 year of age
In memory of Mary Johnston who died Sep 30, 1847 in the 25 year of her age
Elizabeth Johnston (L) and Mary Johnston (R)
In Memory of Elizabeth wife of Robert Johnston who died Oct 10, 1858 in her 70 year of age
Horatio Nelson Lehigh 1828-1914 his wife Abigail Blackmer 1833-1904
McCrea Monument
Hiram McCrea born July 2, 1809 died Apr 7,1888 also his wife Heldha Wyatt born Mar 11, 1811 died Apr 15, 1879
Henry Rolston Crummy 1858-1936 and Idela Elora Abels 1860-1916
Farrah Monuments








Soper’s School – A One Room Schoolhouse in Kitley

Soper’s School

(Otterman’s School)

 School Section No. 13


School location on map of 1861-62

Concession #9, Lot 12, built 1850 (see map)

The origins of the original Soper School have been lost in the sands of time. It was probably a log cabin school and existed on the site as early as 1820. This original one room school was known as Otterman’s School, from the Otterman family living nearby. Later when Soper deeded the land over to the School Section board it became Soper School.

Levi Soper owned a homestead three miles to the east of Fankville. A school was built on part of this property. The school stands on the 9th Concession, but the road running past the school building is Morrison Road, Kitley 8th line. The school fence runs between the two concessions..

A stone building supplanted the original log school and it served the community until it was destroyed by fire in 1912. The present stone building was erected on the site in the same year. George Brundige was the contractor when the school was rebuilt. The building was constructed of square cut stone locally quarried. The inside was finished with a white plaster. A raised platform was installed for the teacher.

Among the first settlers around the old school site were the Morrisons, Wilkins, Pryces, Sopers, Wrights, Reynolds, Barringstons, Davises, Mulvaughs, Steacys, Hewitts, Hantons, Brundiges, Merciers. Later the Cooks and O’Gradys moved in.

Louise Mulvaugh was a teacher there prior to 1900. In the 1900’s teachers included Miss. Cocklin (1908), Miss. Greeves; Kenneth Blanchard, Miss. Clow, Misses Nellie and Rose Judge and Fred Leacock who later became a doctor and was killed in a car accident. First salaries paid to teachers ran from $200. to $300. per year. Average attendance was 25-30 pupils but when the school closed in the 1960’s attendance was down to 12. (Recorder and Times)

Soper’s School c1985



Soper School November 2016
Soper School November 2016
Soper School -November 2016
Sign for Soper Road, school is across from the sign
Schoolhouse pump hidden in the brush on the corner of the lot

Shane’s School – A One Room Schoolhouse in Kitley

Shane’s School

School Section No. 2


School location on map of 1861-62

Concession #1, Lot 9, in South Elmsley Township (see map)

In 1873, school trustees received the deed for a property of land from Henry Shane.

A new stone building was constructed in 1875, replacing an older school further down the road which was subject to arson, possibly committed by a pupil. The schoolhouse was used after hours as the community church, as well as a meeting hall. Well into the 1900s, the building was used by the Shane’s Women’s Institute.

Shane’s Corners was a small settlement located along Highway 29 near what was the First Concession of Kitley. Shane’s Corners was settled by a man named Lawrence Shane and his wife; Mrs. Shane kept a private school here at one time. The settlement consisted of a few homesteads and very few businesses. [2]

The settlement was large enough that it was able to become its own school section in the late nineteenth century. The school was known as S.S. #2 Shane’s School, and at the time was located along the boundary of Kitley and South Elmsley townships. [2]

Shane’s School enjoyed an upswing in attendance during the 1950’s, when more people moved into the area.

The old Shane’s Road running west from Shane’s Corners on No.29 highway forms the boundary between South Elmsley and Kitley.

Known as the Town Line, the road was a natural spot for school houses. Thus at least three were set up along its route, and because education knows no boundaries, these schools became union, uniting South Elmsley and Kitley pupils.

Shane’s School, still sitting in quite dignity on the knoll that marks the junction of Shane’s Road and No.29 Highway, was a union school with around 15 South Elmsley children attending it in 1840, though it was located in Kitley.

Halfway between Shane’s Corners and Blanchard’s Hill, another public school, also union existed in the 1840’s. It has since vanished and no historian today knows where it stood.

[2] Recorder and Times]

Rock Springs School – A One Room Schoolhouse in Kitley

Rock Springs School

(School Section # 19 – Kitley)

(School Section #25 – Elizabethtown)

School Location on map of 1861-62


School Superintendents Report (Ontario Archives)

Shows the following information, which in some cases contradicts what we have already researched, and contradicts other filed School Superintendents Reports:

1850: no report

1854: no report


If anyone has any information on this school we would appreciate hearing from you.

Redan School – A One Room Schoolhouse in Kitley

Redan School

(School Section #20 – Kitley)

Location of school on map of 1861-62

(School Section # 26 – Elizabethtown)


Redan was settled in the years 1840-1860 by Irish Immigrants. The original inhabitants were the Youngs, the Marshalls, Burnetts, Pritchards, Motts, Richards and Wilsons. The old Richardson homestead here was originally part of a clergy reserve. In 1854 the government released all clergy reserve land to the public and the Richard family took a 100 acre plot in the centre of this community.

Redan School was located a short distance from the Mott homestead.  The original schoolhouse was a log structure located near the junction of the Rocksprings and Redan roads. The site is now covered by a swamp.

School Superintendents Report (Ontario Archives)

Shows the following information, which in some cases contradicts what we have already researched, and contradicts other filed School Superintendents Reports:

1850: no report

1854: Frame building


The following information was extracted from the motion papers of the Elizabethtown Council 1855-1873:


That the request of the trustees of school section no 26 be excepted and that the sum of $125. be levied and collected on the rateable property for the current year 1862- 1862
that the application of the Trustees of School section No 26 be complied with and the sum of $80 be levied and collected on the rateable property of said School Section exclusive of all expenses-1871
that the application of the Trustees of School Section No 26 be complied with and the sum of $80 dollars be levied and collected on the Taxable property of said section exclusive of expenses-1872
that $36 dollars of Clergy money be divided amongst the School Sections of this Township in the following manner, namely Sections No 1 $10, No 12 $5, No 26 $9, No 27 $9.31 cents, No 28 $5, No 29 $2, No 30 $5, No 31 $6 bring union section all the full Sections will leave the sum of $13.11 cents each and the Clerk ? the sum to be paid to the Trustees of each School Section-1873[1]

[1] Lyn Museum Archives