(Botany, Dresden, Kent Bridge, Florence, McKay's Corners)
I was a child, I would look forward to spending a portion of my summer
visiting my grandparents home on Sherman Street in Thamesville. Thamesville
is a small town of approximately 1000 residents nestled in amongst
other small Southern Ontario communities such as Bothwell, Dresden,
Kent Bridge and Florence. I can remember as a child, running to the
Thamesville train station upon hearing the sound of an oncoming train,
hoping to catch a rush of adrenalin as it roared past us by only feet.
Author Robertson Davies born here in August of 1913
Threshing Festival held every July
Battle of the Thames took place here on Oct. 5, 1913
A post office was established at Thamesville in 1834. It was incorporated as a village in 1873.
It's a much simpler life in Thamesville and I've always appreciated the hard work that the farmers in the area of Kent County perform on a daily basis. The drivers are not in a hurry to get anywhere nor are they likely to cut you off. People are friendly in this part of Ontario.
As I grew into an adult the trips to Thamesville became less and less frequent. When my grandmother passed away in 2001, I realized that when the time came that my grandfather eventually passed away, that would end our reason for making the trip at all. Sadly, that day came on November 1, 2007.
While I have no doubt that I will visit Thamesville again, no longer will it be to visit my grandparents, to go for an ice cream with my cousins or to sleep in my grandparent's house. The house that they once lived in was sold almost a decade ago and now memories are all that I have.
Thamesville is certainly not a ghost town, the beauty of this part of Ontario
merits that I place it into this web page so that you may experience the beauty
as well. Remember, if you visit these locations take nothing but photos, leave
nothing but footprints.
arrived in Thamesville at approximately 6:00 AM and proceeded to take some
early morning photos. It began with a beautiful view of a farmer's field
at sunrise. The camera settings were not set properly and I ended up with
a dark orb photo.
Next are two rather eery photos of the stone abutments built in 1874 by stonemasons John and James Tinline. These would be used for a wooden bridge over the Thames River until an iron bridge would replace it.
Next is a marker for a barn which once stood nearby the bridge, followed by a cemetery not far from the bridge. The bridge can be found as you travel from Ridgetown into Thamesville.
The Robert Ferguson home, built in 1885, has always fascinated me for its beauty and appearance. It can be found just off of Sherman Street heading.
The day after the funeral I went out in search of abandoned places. I came across what appeared
to be an old schoolhouse. It stands at the intersection of McKay's Line (a road on which the former hamlet of McKay's Corners was situated) and Kenesserie Road. GPS Coordinates: 42.516 / 81.897 (Google Map)
Along McKay's Line, I happened across the Ogletree Pioneer Cemetery (Google Map). Some of the markers date back to the 1800's while some of the markers belong to children (child mortality rates were high during the 1800's). The 59th image is of Samuel Clark's marker which reads that Clark was "killed by lightning". It is possible that the cemetery originated with the Ogletree family.
For a view of the entire Howard Township as it once looked, click here.
St. Paul's Church (mass Saturday evenings at 7pm)
Chatham-Kent satellite police station
Bull Dog Steel Wool
(You have a box of this somewhere in your home)
On April of 1999, two railway engineers, Don Blain and Kevin Lihou were killed when Via Rail 74 derailed in Thamesville. The historic station still stands but is no longer used for pasengers.
V.G. Graves Abandoned House
This property is located in Thamesville and I found it somewhat intriguing if not creepy. Various animal cages and kennels are scattered about the property. I found a storage shed and hand operated water-pump (not working). The burned out remains of an unknown structure sit not far behind the house. The house is locked up and while the padlock on it appeared to be relatively new, the contents of the house are quite older. The only access to the house was through a broken window with makeshift wooden ladder propped against the wall. A sheet of metal had been secured behind the window thus preventing entering the home.
Here is video footage of the area (7 megs). Right click and SAVE to your computer.
just outside of Thamesville
Historic Tecumseh monument
For more information on abandoned places nearby Thamesville, you might want to look at Cashmere, Northwood and Dawn Mills.