Latlng: (44.8183, -78.57)

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Haliburton County

Furnace Falls (ghost town) 2

Discovered by clay70
Created Jun 16 2009
Recent status Unknown
Category Ghost Town
City Haliburton County, Ontario
Location # 713

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.

The proper directions to the hamlet are: take County Rd. 503 east from Kinmount to the White Boundary Rd and then head east for 1.2 kms to an open field with one surviving log cabin. This was the village centre according to modern maps, but is actually the southern section of the village.

The village's flag station was located at mile 4.9 on the IB&OR Railroad, which sat right behind the old barn and log cabin that can easily be seen in the field on County Rd. 503 on the SE side of the road just prior to the picnic area. This was the northern section of the village. The former railway line is now an overgrown railbed trail, of which I have photos below. A road used to go from the northern section, across the railway line and up the hill through the forest to the southern section. This road made it easier for the residents in the southern section to get to the railway flag stop. It continues on to the highway and then leads over to the other side where an old bridge crosses the Irondale River. It was part of the old Monck Colonization Rd. This section was re-diverted slightly at the new bridge by the falls in the 1960(a)s.

Latlng: (44.8183, -78.57)

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avatar of timo explorer
timo explorer The bridge over the Irondale River, shown in your photos, is now very well marked as Private Property. I was planning on visiting this structure today, but the access has been denied.
Jul 27 2011