Ontario Abandoned Places

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Database location #405
Public Location
Created by OAP (CONTACT)
This member has donated.
Creation Date: 1/1/2006
Last Photos Uploaded: 1/1/2006

Furnace Falls was first settled in 1874 to accomodate workers at the Snowdown Iron Mine (in Snowdon Township) at Lot 20 Concession 1. By 1887 a siding and flag station was built on the Irondale, Bancroft and Ottawa Railway (IB&OR) and was situated between the communities of Irondale and Howland Station where Furnace Falls sprang up at mile 4.9 on the railway line. (Eventually this line included stops at: Howland, Conways, Furnace Falls, Irondale, Maxwells, Gooderham, Hotspur, Tory Hill, Ward, Wilberforce, Ironsides, Harcourt, Highland Grove, Baptiste, Hughes and York River). The Snowdon Mine and its blast furnaces were located at mile 6.75 on the IB&OR rail line.

J.C. Parry opened a saw and shingle mill at Lot 18 Concession 1 after iron ore was found here too. He also built a store in 1883 which served as the settlement’s post office. There was also a smelting works (blast furnaces at the mine), workshops, 5 homes and other buildings in the hamlet. Later there was a Furnace Falls school called USS #7. After Parry’s run as postmaster ended, Jeremiah Herlibrey took over from 1886 until he died in 1910. The village was already in decline by 1900 when the mine closed. By 1912 the Carr family took over the store until 1967 when it closed for good. The IBO ran for the last time in 1960. The hamlet never had a population higher than 50.

Today the only remains of Furnace Falls are the falls themeselves and sporadic log buildings, barns, a bridge and the old railway bed. You can find the former village in Haliburton County. From Highway 503 take the exit on White Boundary Road. Continue on this road for 1.2 kilometers to an open field with a log building on the north side. According to modern maps this is town centre, but is actually the southern section of the village. After extensive research I have located the actual northern section of the village on the former IB&OR railway line that is now an overgrown trail. To the south of the abandoned barn and log cabin visible from County Rd. 503 (just before the picnic area) there is a creek where the rail trail crosses. This is about where the flag stop was located for Furnace Falls.

Another interesting tidbit I came across in my research is that the Monck Colonization Rd. that runs east-west through Kinmount continued east from there. Today the highway crosses onto the north side of the river at the picnic area, which was re-routed in the 1960s and you can still see the old bridge on the north side just before the modern bridge.

Today there is also evidence of an old road the runs across the old railway lines from 503 and according to old topo maps dated in ther 1950s it was gated at the railway line and headed up the hill to another gate at White Boundary Rd. in Furnace Falls' southern section. Using simple logic it is obvious to me that Furnace Falls' residents in the southern section of the village used to take this road down the hill as a short-cut to get to the railway stop in the northern section of the village.

The photo below of a home from 1827 is from another different village called Furnace Falls. This eastern Ontario village also had an iron works in the early 1800's, and was renamed "Lyndhurst" in 1846. It is not the same Furnace Falls ghost town of Haliburton written of above.

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A workers house
dating back to 1827