The Nipissing Colonization Road obtained its name as it was a road which the government hoped to colonize with prospective settlers to the area. Today, a drive down this road shows a sad tale of the hardships endured by early settlers: child mortality, unsuitable farm land and diseases.
In 1879, John Clarke and his partner Joseph Irwin, opened the Dufferin House hotel along this road. It is said that this hotel had a gaming room in the basement. A few months afterwards, Joseph's relative Richard would also open a hotel, named the Lorne Hotel. It included an outdoor dance floor.
Among the owners of stores in Dufferin Bridge were Sam Plumtree, Thomas and P.J. Vigrass, James Vigrass (carpenter), Henry Good (shoe maker) and Charles Clark (blacksmith shop).
Dufferin Bridge contained a Methodist and Anglican church. A post office was built to provide mail service for the residents. Richard Irwin would be the postmaster from 1878 until 1887. In 1888, the Dufferin Bridge Store was built by the Guelph Lumber Company. The Dufferin Bridge Store post office was operated by John McGarry until he resigned in 1889. James Vigrass took over until he died in 1898. After this, James' wife Martha took over mail service until 1905, when the post office closed.
The Influenza epedemic of January 1902 took many lives as can be seen by the grave markers. One grave marker belonging to the Morden family indicates they lost all but one of their seven children. Their oldest daughter, Lucinda, would live to be 102.
Dufferin Bridge's population began to dwindle when the Booth railway allowed easier access to the more suitable farming land north. Today the road has no residents, the few remaining homes are used seasonally. Seguin Falls has a small population of about 65.
The only remains of the village of Dufferin Bridge is the aging Dufferin Methodist graveyard along the Nipissing Road.
Location: Follow Highway 518 east from Highway 69 at Parry Sound for about 30 km. The Nipissing road runs right across the highway. If you head south (right) you will be in Seguin Falls. If you head north (left) you travel down the old Nipissing Road, full of old ruins. Their are two graveyards, St. John's and Dufferin Methodist, both on the right hand side. St. John's is the first cemetary while Dufferin Methodist is the second.
* In the middle of the 1900's other ghost towns listed on this site also had a Department of Lands and Forests' fire tower lookout located on a nearby hill. These include: Pakesley, Key Junction, Key Harbour, Dufferin Bridge, Bummer's Roost, Pickerel Landing, Lost Channel, Byng Inlet, Moon River, Cheddar, Germania, Ormsby, Uphill, Biscostasing, Renabie Mine, Milnet, Armstrong, Metagama, Cheminis, Wavell and Pineal Lake . For more info. on Ontario's Fire Tower Lookouts go to this link: Ontario's Fire Tower Lookouts.