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Latlng: (43.975584, -79.1964)

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Ajax And Pickering

Altona (ghost town)

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Discovered by clay70
Created Jun 05 2009
Recent status Unknown
Category Ghost Town
City Ajax And Pickering, Ontario
Location # 691

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(a)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(a)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(a)s. It has been taken down in recent years, but the mill pond waterfall is still there.

In the 1800(a)s, along with the post office, grist and woolen mills there was a hotel at the main intersection(a)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

Latlng: (43.975584, -79.1964)

Comments

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unknown user avatar

Unknown user So creppy and scary

Sep 16 2020

mobileworks If there are old cemeteries there, then there is still lots to explore:) Why not expand Markham Airport just SW or expand Oshawa Airport just east?

Apr 27 2016

clay70 most of the buildings were removed for good 2 yrs ago

Apr 06 2015

__seetee The hubby and I went up here on Friday, and there was really nothing to explore at all. Shame really.

Apr 05 2015

gabrillathehun I still have very good friends living in Altona, although many Homes, Farms, and other buildings are gone, I believe there may be about 150(ish) people still living in the area. A beautiful two story home I used to live in on the 30 Sideline (right beside clay70's cover photo house Altona Ghost Town in Progress. It burnt down from the tenant that moved in after me. :( 2 Barns, Pool, nice proper

Oct 06 2014

gabrillathehun That hotel from what I understand, had William Lyon MacKenzie as a guest.

Oct 06 2014

glueguy Is the entire town abandoned?

Jun 08 2014

clay70 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

Jul 07 2013

timo explorer The school is now gone, and the church just to the east as well. Altona has been wiped off the map.

Mar 29 2013

clay70 They tore down the hotel? Good Grief!!!

Dec 08 2012

timo explorer The hotel on the NE corner is now gone :(

Mar 24 2012

don proof again that out government people dont have much I.Q. tearing down historical sites for a G D Airport we dont need :p

Mar 27 2011
unknown user avatar

Unknown user Me and some friends went by 1.26.2011 and 5 buildings are still up a piece of history that will be gone very soon.

Jan 27 2011

captamerica Anyone interested in seeing history should have a look in this area soon. The Feds are demolishing homes at an unbelievably quick rate. Many of the houses pictured here are already gone forever.

Jan 02 2011