Bell’s Crossing – A Forgotten Hamlet in Elizabethtown

Bell’s Crossing (Shiloh, Whitehurst and White’s Corners)


“What was the neighbourhood at Bell’s Crossing called before the railway was put through there – was it Whitehurst? The name Whitehurst was simply the name of the post office, and as far as I can remember there was no post office bells-crossing-1861-62there before the railway (Brockville and Ottawa RR) was built. The name to most of us is a mystery, at the time many comments were made upon it. The reason generally given as to why it didn’t start with Bell was the railway said that there were already too many names starting with Bell.


Before the railway went through, the place was generally called the Bell Neighbourhood, and the school house always the Bell School house. The reason for this is that all the land around was owned by James Bell. The majority of all this land was simply wilderness when it was settled before 1831. There was a large section of wet swamp. The area where the railway went was practically filled with the original logs mixed with clay and some stone. What we called the ‘Island’ was surrounded by swamp through which a log road was built to drive over. Atkin’s Lake down to Cranberry was a big stream of water in which we all washed our sheep, and the boys would often go there to have a good bath.


As for the Shiloh Church, this Methodist Church was built after the church union of 1871 when the Wesleyan and New Connexion [sic] Methodist Churches became the Methodist Church of Canada. The Wesleyan Methodist Church worshipped in Bolton’s School House in what we commonly called ‘the Berry Neighbourhood’. After union these two congregations merged into one and built the Shiloh Church in a central place for all to come together for worship. This church was built upon the Moore property.” (Recorder and Times Letter to the editor, no date)

Bell’s School taken in 1937
Bell’s School class of 1937









Bell’s Cemetery next to the school photo 2016
Bell’s Cemetery taken 2016
Bell’s Cemetery on the Rocksprings Road next to the school
Bell’s Cemetery photo fall of 2015