The Old Hastings Gallery
3103 Old Hastings Road
at the corner of Hwy 620
Run by Gary and Lillian Pattison. Gary sells leg lamps like the one seen in "Christmas Story". He also played the french horn in the film's soundtrack with 4 other Toronto horn musicians back in the early 1980s. Check his photo below beside the lamp. His twin brother Ernie runs the tea restaurant across the street in the old schoolhouse.
In 1856, M.P. Hayes opened an agency in Madoc to get settlers to locate themselves on the new Hastings Road. 1 of 25 such road was built to lure pioneers to the highlands of central Ontario. The Hastings Rd. went from Madoc north to the Monck Rd. at Bancroft. Many settlers found conditions too harsh and left for the prairies. Ormsby (in Limerick Township) is the most intact of the road's ghost towns. In its heyday it has 2 hotels, 2 stores, 2 churches (in my photos), a school, blacksmith, a sawmill and more. By 1893 the population was at 225 when the railway came through. The village's station was called Rathburn. Today the population is far less.
For more info about the ghost towns along the Old Hastings Rd. check out this link: http://www.pinecone.on.ca/MAGAZINE/stories/OldHastingsRd.html.
The other famed ghost towns along the road are (from south to north): Eldorado, Millbridge, Glanmire, Murphy Corners, Thanet, Ormsby and Umfraville. All 7 have write-ups and photos on this site, so read about each and learn more about the Old Hastings Rd.
To see the old map of all the colonization roads check the photos below.
* In the middle of the 1900's Ormsby also had a Department of Lands and Forests fire tower lookout on the nearby hill. Many ghost towns had fire towers in or near them, such as: Pakesley, Key Junction, Dufferin Bridge, Pickerel Landing, Lost Channel, Byng Inlet, Cheddar, Uphill, Germania, Ormsby, Biscostasing, Milnet, Renabie Mine and Pineal Lake. For more info. on Ontario's Fire Tower Lookouts go to this link: Ontario's Fire Tower Lookouts.
Postal History of Ormsby
Opened in 1885 by George Jarman. Closed finally in 1970 when Miss Jean Park ran the post office..For more details check the link below..