Emberson (ghost town)

Muskoka, Ontario

Location Owner clay70
Creation Date Nov 16 2016
Status Abandoned
Category Ghost Town
Location Muskoka, Ontario
Site number #14186

Emberson was the most obscure ghost town of Muskoka during its brief life. Even written accounts seem to be rumored memories. But it did exist. In 1876 on one of Brunel Township's windy, swampy, rocky, tree-infested roads a community was formed. Henry Jarvis opened the post office the same year. The children had to travel a distance to school in the next township over , supposedly at South Portage School SS2 Franklin Twp. This school operated from 1892-1956. But I am in doubt about this since the school on Browns Rd at Lot 19 Concession 12 (built 1874) in Brunel Twp was much closer. This school was even moved a bit further east in 1877 to be more central to the school section. It closed in 1953. There was a Gospel Hall of some kind in Emberson (perhaps in someone's home?). It was a denomination called The Brethren. Evangelists like Fred Watson, David Scott, JJ Rouse and John Sylvester made trips here to preach. These fellows also traversed to Deer Lake and Antioch's Gospel Halls.. By 1900 there were 60 brave souls within its confines. The bush farms and logging camps lasted until 1910 and its post office until 1924. Stone foundations exist, though the area has long since been swallowed up by the forest. According to Hinds and Brown it lies 2 km. north of Muskoka Rd. 11 and 2 km. east of Muskoka Rd. 7. But these directions make no sense logically. I found an old map that shows Emberson (below photos) and it was located north of Britannia Rd (Cty Rd 10) and west of South Portage Rd. (Cty Rd 9), which is now a huge forest. According to Gary Long, "It was located south of Peninsula Lake and west of South Portage (Ron Brown really has the location screwed up in his Ghost Towns of Ontario Volume 2, A Field Guide). It was on the original Brunel Road (built in the 1870s) that ran from Utterson to Cain's Corners (near Dwight). It got its post office in 1874. Emberson wasn't really even a village, just a rural post office serving the farm families in that section. Never had a school or any businesses other than farms. The section of road that went through Emberson hasn't been open for many years, though you can still walk it or mountain bike it (at least you could ten years ago)." Here is the pioneer map of Brunel Township: http://www.ontariogenealogy.com/muskokamaps/brunel.jpg The pioneer families names here were: Hall, Young, Ripper, Cappe, Farnsworth, Jarvis, Lester, Ware, Tinegate, William, Slater and Hidchins.

Latlng: (45.307609, -79.122607)


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avatar of timo explorer
timo explorer Well done Clay, great commitment in finding and exploring these lost villages.
Nov 18 2016
avatar of fiso
fiso As always, nicely done Clay. Thanks for sharing.
Nov 17 2016
avatar of mobileworks
mobileworks Good detail and gallery.
Nov 16 2016