Latlng: (42.650000, -81.750000)

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Cashmere (ghost town)

Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Location Owner TWP
Creation Date Jan 01 2006
Status Unknown
Category Ghost Town
Location Chatham-Kent, Ontario
Site number #255

Cashmere has a legend that many years ago, a black man walked into town and sought a room for the night. He was refused every where he looked. Finally he found a white frame house in which he could stay. The man placed a curse upon the community, predicting that everything would disappear except the white house and a pear tree in the centre of the town. Today the tree is no longer here, but the house still stands on highway 2. In 1825, Singleton Gardiner moved from Port Talbot on Lake Erie to the banks of the Thames River. He purchased a large area of land and set about creating an illegal dam across the Thames River. He built a saw mill and grist mill. The dam provided power for the mills but it also allowed sucker fish to be caught, and shipped to Detriot by rail. Some residents objected to the dam and tried to blow it up. Today, Cashmere is still referred to as "sucker town" by some because of the fish that were captured in the dam. An inn was also constructed on the nearby Longwoods Road. The post office was built in 1857 by the name of Canton, however the name had to be changed because of another community by the same name. By 1860, Cashmere had 2 sawmills, grist and carding mills, a blacksmith shop, sash factory, door factory and a cabinetmaker. A school was built in 1866 to replace the log school house. It closed in 1968. There was also a church, tavern, three general stores, furniture factory and a wagon and sleigh shop. The population was estimated to be 100-120. Things were looking good for Cashmere. In 1858, Gardiner married Agnes Maxwell. In 1863, oil was discovered in Cashmere and an oil well was built. It produced very little oil but workers drilling wells in surrounding towns stayed in Cashmere. This improved the economy for a short time. After the oil dried up, the population began to dwindle. Due to it(a)s close proximity to the river, Cashmere was prone to spring flooding. In 1876, an early spring thaw left the village under five feet of water. This caused even more residents to leave. By 1879, 33 residents remained. Singleton Gardiner(a)s son, James, realized that Cashmere(a)s future was limited. He moved to nearby Chatham to become a financer. The railway(a)s arrival, as with so many other ghost towns, doomed the little village. By the 1880(a)s it was in ruins. The government of Ontario purchased the dam in 1900 and removed it. For the remaining families, a stave factory built in 1895 provided work, but when the factory closed in 1900, that was the end of Cashmere. The last family had left by 1910 and the post office closed in 1914. A school bell, water pump, post office and stones used for the dam can be found in Mosa Township (six km west of Wardsville). The remainder of Cashmere is buried under a field of corn and beans on the property of Ross Patterson, owner of Cashmere Farms Inc. Patterson(a)s grandfather Archie, who arrived from Scotland in 1829, bought the yellow brick farmhouse from one of the original settlers about 20 years ago. Location : Cashmere can be found along Longwoods Road (Former Highway 2) at the intersection of Cashmere Road, which is 6km west of Wardsville off County Road 2. The Road runs across both sides of the highway. If you(a)re heading towards Thamesville/Chatham it will be on your seventh left. Save yourself some aggravation and don(a)t look for the graveyard in the cornfield. It(a)s a further 6 km down the main highway on the left.

Latlng: (42.650000, -81.750000)

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avatar of Donmacheese
Donmacheese Excellent resource. Many thanks. Don
May 26 2020