This is a ghost community on Brady Lake Rd about 1 km north of Hwy 118. This was once part of the Bobcaygeon Rd. , north of the Peterson Rd., in the 1860's. This road continued north of Hindon Hill along the Hindon/Stanhope boundary line, but has become both impassible and reclaimed by the forests and swamps a few kms north of where Brady Lake Rd and Rugged Lane meet. Rugged Lane is the Bobcaygeon Rd. It continues northward to the top of Brady Lake. A trail on the east side of Rugged Lane up by the cottages there is also the old Bobcaygeon Road.
The first white man in the area was James Austin Sr. who walked 300 miles from London, ON to take land on Brady Lake. By summer he cleared his lot for next years crop. By fall he walked back to London then returned the next season. His descendants still live in the region.
By 1862 Dan Taylor (from Ireland) founded the post office. He had 2 children from his 1st marriage and 12 from his second. Before the post office opened the locals (names like: Wright, Crawford, Coulter, Dawson, Armstrong, Guin, Gannon, Stevens and Taylor) had to travel to Peterson Corners for their mail.
Dan Taylor had a feud with a local named Johnny Boyd. Boyd recited a poem in anger, "Dan Taylor's is blood we'll spill. When we post our letters at Hindon Hill." Dan lived until age 93 luckily. Dan also offered travel by horse and buggy. One famed story involved a lady he was transporting who lost her hat and wig during a sudden stop. Nobody had known this lady was bald.
At the same time as the post office opening there was a school at Brady's Lake. 3 of its students, Rachel and Barbara Coulter, and a Gannon boy, found a canoe with a leak in it and took it out on the lake. All three drowned.
A church existed, but little is known about it. There was also an Orange Hall on west side of the Bobcaygeon Rd.
Most of the community lived on the Stanhope Township side of the road (the east side). By 1890 names like Bull, Fuller, Coulter, Pearl, Stevens and Wright still existed here. Lumber camps were in the region too and kept some of the pioneers busy with work.
Baseball was very popular here and throughout all of Haliburton in the late 1800's. The Hindon Hill team would gather after long days on the farm and practice or play other communities in the county.
Liquor consumption was common. One story tells of a local who was a prolific producer of the fire water called potcheen. When he died his teeth had no cavities due to the germ-killing qualities of his potion.
As the soils became depleted and the population declined a Dr. Nesbitt of Lindsay started a muskrat farm here. It was managed by Swan Ackerblade.
Mrs. C. Taylor was the postmistress in 1911.
The final blow to the community came in 1927 when the Ontario government decided to evacuate the bush farmers to greener pastures in the clay belt and to refill their lots with trees. Livestock were driven from the barns and were driven with the farmers to the Gelert train station and then northward by train. The farmers included: Hewitt, Toye, Trumbull and Kent.
James Austin Sr. and Jr. continued living at Brady's Lake. In 1937 it was reported that they had shot 8 wolves here.
A few buildings (collapsed and such) and foundations remain.
(The ghost town of Peterson Corner was directly to the east of it according to modern maps. But since many historians claim it was as the junction of Peterson and Bobcaygeon Rd. it must have been straight south of Hindon Hill).
For a map of both ghost towns from the 1950s go here:
The Toye Family History by Minnie Eastman (courtesy Carol Moffat):
"Mr. and Mrs. James Toye
They immigrated to Canada from County Antrim, Ireland to Bell's Corner
near Ottawa in 1871. There, a daughter was born named Mary in 1872.
They came and settled at Hindon Hill on the farm where their son William farmed
for a number of years.
Mary was 16 month old when they came to Hindon Hill. They had 5 children, one passed away when just a baby.
Mary, Letisha, William and Johnstone were the family names.
Mary m. John Rivers and had 12 children; Mary was postmistress at Peterson Corners for 15 years but gave it up to move to Gelert where they farmed for more than 15 years.
Letisha m. George Piper and had 5 children and lived in Sault Ste Marie,
William m. Jennie Sawyer and had a family of 13- 10 girls and 3 boys and they moved to Chartton, New Ontario in 1926 and farmed there until his retirement. Mrs. James Toye went with him, as did his brother Johnstone. Mrs James Toye died at the age of 32. She was not accustomed to a rugged life that the pioneers had to endure in the early days of this new country.
Johnstone was a bachelor.
Mr. James Toye m Janie Johnstone from County Antrim, Ireland.
Henry Johnston, brother of Janie Toye was Personal Photographer to the Royal Family in England for a. number of years before coming to Canada.
My mother (Mrs. Rivers) school teacher's name was Miss Jennie Prentice, sister of William and Thorn Prentice. My mother spoke very highly of her, she was so good to her; taught her to sew and cook as well as her other school duties.
Mother was very clever, she could do anything she put her hand to, she spun yarn for all the neighbours as well as sewing and making clothes for different families and her own 12 children and she made the most wonderful butter preserves.
The women in those days made everything; they could not go to the supermarkets and buy all the goods. To raise 12 children in those days was really some job, they did not receive Baby Bonus or any help of any kind to feed and clothe them. We had lots to eat and wear, maybe they were not the most stylish, but a lot of fun we had,
I feel sorry for the young people today, they have missed so much happiness and love. Mother was always at the helm, so nothing else mattered. Home was full of love and laughter, we had a few little spats to make it more fun. My Dad passed away at the age of 89 years, he never had a doctor until he was 85.
My mother was in her 80th year when she passed away.
My brother George would hitch up his team and sleighs and take a load to Oliver Stevens or Jack Walkers or William Toyes the next time Hertie Walker would do the same and we would have a ball. There was a nice lunch and make our way home or everyone would come to our house.
We did not have much of the world's goods but we sure had a lot of fun.
I would not trade one minute of my childhood for all the world's riches today. We children would go sleigh riding down the hills or go for walks on the crust in the bright moonlight over the fence. There were no roads plowed then, we always had a nice driving horse and cutter
These winters are mild to what they used to be, but sure go faster now we have open Highways and so much more than 35 or 40 years ago. After Christmas everything was dead, and all the men went back to the lumber camps and we did not see them until the spring breakup in March, a big letdown.
After Christmas and New Years we had concerts at the schools and basket Socials.
February 1977 "
Name of Postmaster Date of Appointment Date of Vacancy Cause of Vacancy
Mrs. C. Taylor 1906-01-27 1919 Death
Mrs. Jennie Cameron 1919-05-12 1921-03-23 Resignation
Mrs. Ruby MacKay 1921-05-07 1938-12 Resignation
Mrs. Elizabeth Coulter 1939-10-18 1950-02-18 Closed
* early map shows a post office for Peterson Corners at Concession A and B Lot 3..
Lot Owners (Conc. and Lot) :
Austin 4 5
Boyd 4 1
Kent A 31
A 32 (could be Stanhope Township as listed, but near Pine Springs)
Phennig 4 9
Taylor A 9
A 13 (could be Stanhope Township as listed)
A (or B?) 3
Crawford A 19
9 21 (listed under Stanhope Township, but this would be way too far east..Luckily other sources show that it was A21)
Gannon 5 6 (listed under Stanhope Township, but this would be Boskung PO, so must be Hindon)
Toy 2 1
A (or B?) 5
Wright A 7
Coulter 3 7 (listed under Stanhope Township, but this would be Boskung PO, so must be Hindon)
3 2 (listed under Stanhope Township, but this would be Peterson Corner PO, so must be Hindon)
Here is a list of early settlers on the Stanhope Twp side of the Bobcaygeon Rd (all Lot A)- check the link below:
A1- W Buck (1872) and later Rivers (1901)
A2- J Jarvis (1866)
A3- W Jarvis
A6- J Gannon (1870)
A6- Stanhope SS#9 on its SW corner (1897)
A7- H Coulter (1866)
A8- W Wright (1866)
A9- BC Wright (1869)
A10-FE Wright (1869)
A16- G Armstrong (1881- farmer)
A21- S Keers (1868) and later J Crawford (1881)
A31- J Fuller (1879)
A32- J Fuller
A33- A Stamp (1879)