Kinch Street – A Forgotten Hamlet in Kitley

Kinch Street

Kinch Street on a map of 1861-62

The great Irish immigration into Canada in the late 1830’s and early 1840’s brought the first Kinch Family to this old community. They carved a homestead out of the wilderness beside the road that is known as Kinch Street.

Although always prosperous because of the fertility of its’ farms, Kinch Street had no major industries, mills or factories in its past.

Grist mills and sawmills flourished on Irish Creek near Jasper, and on Slab Street to the southeast, or at Toledo to the southwest, but Kinch Street did not develop these standbys of pioneer days.

Dairy farmers along the street produced great quantities of milk, which was processed into cheese at the Newbliss factory two miles west of this community. When the Newbliss factory closed in the 1940’s, the local milk was shipped to a cheese factory at Easton’s Corners, until it too disappeared in the 1950’s.

Ernie Dack bought out the Newbliss factory and moved to Easton’s Corners. He made cheese for over 40 years until he was killed when his car was hit by a train in Ottawa.

The first homes on Kinch Street were made of logs. In the period 1880 to 1900 a number of Victorian style homes were built with high ceillinged rooms and lots of cellar space. Rooms downstairs had ceilings 10 feet above the floor, upstairs they ran to eight or nine feet high. Following 1900, red brick homes were built by Edward Kinch. Edward Kinch used bricks from the demolished home of pioneer Hiram Buker to erect a house in 1920. One of the first brick homes in the area was built in 1870 by Edward Kinch.

First School

The first log school house here was built in the early 1840’s on the west corner of the farm of pioneer Isaac Foster. Known as S.S. #8, the log school  burned down a few years after it was built.

The community replaced it with a wooden frame structure sheeted in galvanized iron and painted white. For around 100 years it educated generations of Kinch Street children, until it was phased out by the school consolidation in the 1950’s.

This school stood on Lot 9 of the 6th Concession of Kitley. The teacher in 1876 was John Mackay, a veteran educationalist who taught in Newbliss for 20 years before coming to this school.

School trustees in 1876 were Isaac Foster who had donated the plot on which the school stood, James Love and James Morrissey, who was also the boards sectary treasurer. A Dr. Kinney was the school inspector.


Ezra Kinch and Family


Ezra Kinch and his wife, Sarah Ann photo from 1909

Ezra Kinch and his wife, Sarah Ann, descendants of pioneers who settled Grenville county around 1840, posed with their family in 1909 for this photo. In front is Lauretta, who married Wes Chant of Toledo; second row, left to right, Maud who wed Bob Lucas, was widowed and married Thomas Ferguson; Mrs. Sarah Ann (Wright) Kinch, mother of the family; William J. Kinch 7, Ezra, father of the family; Mary Jane, though her birth certificate said “Mary Louise”, who married Albert Ferguson of Jasper; rear row, Myrtle, who died at the age of 16; Eliza Ann, who wed a man named Ready in Jasper; Florence May who wed \|Harry Wood, of RR#2, Jasper; Kathy Loyola who married William H. Bell for many years reeve of Kitley and Warden of the United Counties; and Gertrude Estella, who married Alex Morrison, of Morrison Road, south Kinch Street.


J. Knch at the plow c1930
Ezra and Sarah Ann Kinch c1920
Edward Kinch c1910










Looking down Kinch Street c1985
Kinch Street on map of 1998