Ontario Abandoned Places

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As with Seguin Falls, Swords was a whistlestop along the Booth railway. When the OA&PSR came through with the railway, they built a small flag stop and siding and named it Maple Lake Station. The railway brought lumbering to the area and in 1894 the Ludgate Lumber Company bought large amounts of land and began cutting down trees. The company built a general store and three workers homes south of the tracks. In 1904 a school house was built for the children. In 1925 the name of the town was changed to Swords, after the Sword family, to avoid confusion with another Maple Lake Station. The Swords were responsible for operating many of the businesses in the area and the Swords were voted to have the town named after them. One such business was the Maple Lake Hotel, owned by John and Annie Sword. Annie would stop and inspect the boots of the lumbermen to ensure that they weren't dirty and likely to scuff the hotel floor. The hotel stood until the late 60's or early 70's. P.D. Sword worked for the Ludgate Lumbering Company and Thomas Sword operated the general store and post office until 1923, when he passed away. After his death, Eliza Sword operated it until 1930. In 1900 the Ludgate Lumber Company sold the buildings they owned, but continued logging operations in the area. The three workers homes were turned into private homes and John Swords bought the store. He would later receive the contract for the post office, which was run from the store. Location: Swords is along the Tally Ho–Swords Road located west of Orrville. Turn south on Tally Ho–Swords Road from Highway 518, and drive approx. 3km. Swords used to see as many as 20 trains pass through per day. By 1930 that number had dropped to less than 10. The reason was that the lumber had been pretty much consumed. The railway station closed in 1946. The post office closed in 1966 and the majority of the residents moved away. An occupied home with the Swords sign stands in its place today. The building attached to the store was a residence until 1984.

The old SWORDS sign announces your arrival

A view from the old railway bed, now a recreational trail (as is common with such beds)

An old storage barn hides in the woods.

An abandoned
home sits to the left of a seasonal home.

A view behind the store.


Behind the store.

John Collins pop sign.

A close look at the store. Note the Black Cat cigarette ad.

The old store

A residence used until 1984, is attached to the store