Balaclava (Grey County)
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In 1850, George Scott opened a mill in the area which would soon be called Balaclava (The original spelling was Balaklava).
A general store was opened by John D. Kergan in the 1860's. Elijah Moulgton operated the inn and tavern. Alexander McMullen operated the wagon shop, John Lusk was the carpenter and Duncan Cameron operated the blacksmith shop. Shortly thereafter Balaclava had three more blacksmiths open up shop: Elijah Cross, George Johnston and W. Moulton.
Balaclava has a neighbouring town to the south, named Johnson. Johnson had their own school and post office which was run from Moulhton's inn. Balaclava eventually caught up to Johnson and had their own post office by 1890 which was operated by W.H. Hunt.
A school (S.S. No. 8) opened in 1864 where Simon Grantham taught approximately two dozen students. A fire would eventually consume the wooden school building so classes moved to the Orange Hall until a new wooden school could be built. A stone building replaced the second wooden school in 1870 and was used until 1915. In 1915 a brick and mortar school replaced the stone building.
Balaclava had no church whereas their neighbours in Johnson and Silicote did.
As technology was becoming more commonplace, Balaclava received their very own telephone company in 1912. 34 customers initially joined the service, which routinely held public gatherings to help erect the poles. The community came together during these gatherings to aid in the construction and by the end of 1912 Balaclava's 3 party-line phone system was complete. This phone service lasted until 1960 when Bell Canada replaced the services with their own.
Balaclava ceased to exist when, in 1942, the government purchased the land for the purposes of training soldiers in tank warfare and artillery gunning. The post office closed in 1961.
The store built by the Whites in 1919 was purchased in 1997 and is being restored. The original general store is still used as a residence.
Location: Balaclava is at the junction of County Grey Road 20 and Side Road 8. The village of Johnson is to the west, while Silcote is to the south. Take highway 26 and turn north onto 2nd Concession North. It is in the Municipality of Meaford.
To see Balaclava (Renfrew) look under Renfrew County listing.