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Location #

Over 5,200 Delicious Decay Locations
Return to index of Ajax/Pickering
Altona (ghost town)
Located in: Ajax/Pickering
Location #691
Public
Location Owner: clay70
Creation Date: 6/5/2009
Last Updated: 6/7/2014

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Description
Altona is a ghost town located on the border between Uxbridge and Pickering Townships, in the old Ontario County. It was named after the town near Hamburg, Germany where many of Markham Township's first settlers hailed from. Today, Altona is in the City of Pickering in Durham Region at Sideline 30. It is just east of Stouffville, Ontario. Its north section is in Uxbridge Township.

In 1852, the Altona Mennonite Church was erected. The building was constructed by pioneers who immigrated here from Pennsylvania in the early 1800's. The bricks came from the Cherrywood brick yard. Local families included the Reesors, Widemans, Nighswanders, Hoovers and Stouffers. The first grave is dated 1835.

The 1st postmaster was J. Monkhouse in 1857. A photo of his farmstead on the west side of Altona is pictured below. He built the large grist mill just SE of the 4 corners below the mill pond. The Nighswanders built the woolen mill 1 km south of the hamlet on the west side of the road. It was converted into a cider mill that was popular throughout most of the 1900's. It has been taken down in recent years, but the mill pond waterfall is still there.

In the 1800's, along with the post office, grist and woolen mills there was a hotel at the main intersection's NE side, built in 1858. It is located right on the Uxbridge/Pickering border. The site was used as an inn for 60 years and then as a grocery store and later in 1921 as an apartment building. A public hall existed on the NW side of the 4 corners.

Today, 2 churches, a school, 2 cemeteries, the general store/hotel, and homes remain; but more than half of the other buildings have been been boarded up by the federal government due to supposed plans to bring an airport to the area. This gives a very eerie feeling as you drive through from all four directions. As of 2010 they are being torn down one-by-one.

A web search reveals this from Ontario County records (1869):

A village in the township of Pickering, 20 miles north-west of Whitby. Population about 200.

Brown, A, hotelkeeper
Monkhouse, T., merchant
Cliff, E., carder, &c.
Mordon, G., laborer
Haggerman, L., pumpmaker, &c.
Neighswander, S., merchant miller
Hoover, J. G., laborer
Neighwander, M., farmer
Jones, A., farmer
Robertson, R., shoemaker
Key, M., carpenter
Skene, J., millright
MONKHOUSE, JOSEPH, Postmaster, &c.
Stouffer J., farmer
Wilson, J., blacksmith







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Status: Unknown
Category: Ghost Town

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glueguy says:
6/8/2014 9:07:45 AM
Is the entire town abandoned?
clay70 says:
7/7/2013 11:33:22 PM
I am glad I preserved the history of this place before it was too late...I knew it was a ghost town when I 1st visited it even though Brown never wrote about it in his books
timo explorer says:
3/29/2013 3:56:17 PM
The school is now gone, and the church just to the east as well. Altona has been wiped off the map.
clay70 says:
12/8/2012 8:02:54 PM
They tore down the hotel? Good Grief!!!
timo explorer says:
3/24/2012 9:54:43 PM
The hotel on the NE corner is now gone :(
don says:
3/27/2011 11:04:06 PM
proof again that out government people dont have much I.Q. tearing down historical sites for a G D Airport we dont need :p
Show All comments

On 6/7/2014 11:03:07 PM user DARKMAN uploaded photos : Reeser church-8401.jpg / Reeser church-8402.jpg / Reeser church-8406.jpg / to SID: 67201420131
On 6/7/2014 11:01:52 PM user DARKMAN created gallery : Cowboy Church
On 12/24/2013 7:52:13 PM user clay70 moved gallery titled "Altona Community Center" from location #10028
On 12/5/2012 9:54:49 PM user D Explore uploaded photos : IMG_0088.JPG / IMG_0093.JPG / IMG_0094.JPG / IMG_0095.JPG / to SID: 691D Ex526
On 12/5/2012 9:52:24 PM user D Explore created gallery : Union Church 2012