History of Tudor and Cashel compiled for 125th celebration

The following historical information was compiled by Debbie Woolley for the 125th birthday celebration of Tudor and Cashel in 2011 from the following sources:  1. Historic Hastings by Gerald Boyce (1967)  2. Ontario’s Vanished Villages by Ron Brown (1999) and  3. North of 7 and Proud of It (2003).

Tudor Township

Tudor was named after the Tudor family of England in 1822.  There were few settler’s here prior to the 1850’s.  In 1852, Publius V. Elmore a provincial land surveyor was hired to explore and layout a line from the northeast corner of Lake Township to the Ottawa River.  This spearheaded the Hastings Colonization Road (now known as the Old Hastings Road).  A forty mile route started from Hastings (now Madoc) and headed north into Tudor Township.  the entire cost of the road was approximately 5000 pounds.   The amount included bridges.

In July of 1856, an agency was opened by M.P. Hayes for the settlements of the Hastings Road.  Mr. Hayes had jurisdiction over twelve townships which were added to the County in 1858.  These included Tudor, Lake and Grimsthorpe.  By 1863, five hundred thousand (500,000) acres had been divided into one hundred (100) acre farm parcels.

Settlers could obtain the parcel:

  1. If the settler was 18 years of age.
  2. If cultivation of at least 12 acres of land occurred within the first 4 years, a home was built (18 X 20) and that the settler reside on the lot until conditions of the settlement were dutifully performed.
  3. The road must be kept in repair.

Timber resources were plentiful but the land was rough with rocky ridges.  The land was of inferior quality.

By 1860 many settlements began to spring up.  In 1861 approximately three hundred (300) resident land owners were in existence for a population of approximately 848 people.   All free land grants were assigned.

In 1863 Mr. Hayes another 207 lots were put up for sale.  There were squatters who had already taken up some of those properties.

Until 1859 Tudor was amalgamated with Elzevir and Madoc Townships.

By 1863 Tudor was united with Wollaston and Limerick Townships.

In June of 1868 settlers petitioned Hastings County Council for monies to fix the broken bridges and improve road conditions from Millbridge to the northern boundary of Limerick and Wollaston Townships.  The County was to appoint competent road commissioners to keep roads in a state of repair.

Instead, the County decided to tax the unorganized northern townships to help contribute to keeping their own roads repaired and schools open.

Some of our earlier settlers went into the potash business.  The ash from three acres of heavily timbered land would produce a barrel of potash worth six pounds sterling.  These businesses declined toward the end of the 19th century.

Prospecting and mining was also popular in the 1860’s.  By 1864 some lead mines were up and running, along with iron ore, and copper.  Hasting Gold fever struck in 1866 but little was found in the area.

Lumber was very popular in the 1860’s.  The Gilmour Lumber Company of Trenton had three shanties in operation.

The Gill and Fortune Company of Trenton took over the lumber production in the early 1900’s.  Part of that company was owned by the Sawyer-Stoll Company.

In 1858, the Canadian Government added Cashel Township to Hastings County.  In 1869, Cashel was united with Limerick, Wollaston and Tudor Townships.

In 1886, Limerick and Wollaston separated leaving Tudor and Cashel Townships united to for their own Corporation.


Millbridge (originally called “The Jordan”)

Captain Ralph Norman the founder of Millbridge and his wife established a Trading Post and were the first to provide land for the church and graveyard.  In 1859, the first school was built but a forest fire burned it and the second one also burned.  Classes were held in the Town Hall until 1907 when the brick school was built.

Several families along with the Norman’s were established in Millbridge.  Among those most prevalent were McEwen, Ward, Moran and Clark.

In 1860 John Bull opened the first post office in Millbridge.  Six years later it moved to the Norman Trading Post where it remained until 1911.

In 1871 the Anglican Church was erected.  In 1894 the Methodist church was erected.  It was later sold to the Orange Lodge.

Millbridge was the place to be in the 1880’s.  The settlers had an annual fair which was  known throughout the county.  There were activities such as log cutting, horse drawing contests, and grain and livestock exhibits.  The ladies exhibited their quilts, knitting, weaving, spinning and baking skills.  Horse racing was a popular event.\

Millbridge also had hotels.  Potter’s Hotel was also called “Cupid’s Hotel” because all young ladies were snapped up and married to eligible gentlemen.


Glanmire (originally called Jelly’s Rapids)

Jelly’s Rapids lies approximately seven miles north of Millbridge on the Of Hastings Road.  It was named after its founder Andrew Jelly.  Andrew was the first Reeve of the Township.

It was later renamed Glanmire.  Glanmire had a school, a hotel, a church and a store.  The mail was taken once a week to Bancroft by foot, over 30 miles for $128.00 per year.

Early settlers were named, Jelly, Lavender, Breen and Lummiss.

All that remains is the cemetery.


Gilmour (named from the Gilmour Lumber Company of Trenton)

Gilmour was established when the Central Ontario Railway was built from Trenton to Coe Hill in the 1880’s.  Gilmour became the northern centre for the railway.

A few of the early settlers were Dafoes, Holmes, Lidsters and Ricketts.  The first frame school house went up in 1891.  From 1905 to 1910 the North American Telegraph Company operated out of W.A. McMurray’s store in Gilmour.  It later became part of the Bell System.

McMurray’s store bought and sold logs, handled furs and sold cars.  W.A. acted as justice of the peace, issued death certificates, surveyed land, and obtained deeds from settlers.  He also served as Reeve for a short time.


Cashel Township

Cashel township takes its name from Cashel in Tipperary County in Ireland.  Near Cashel Lake the land rises to over 1450 feet, the highest natural point in the County.

The soil is generally shallow but rich and early settlers had a variety of crops, furs and fish.  Cashel has many water systems with origins from the Moira River and Beaver Creek, along with parts of the Madawaska and Mississippi Rivers.

In 1860, Gunter was the chief settlement named after four brothers; Abraham, Ephriam, John-Harvey, and Hiram.

Other early settlers were Trumbles, Weeses, Kemps and Kellys.  Around 1875, James Cunningham operated the first water powered mill.  A small school was built in 1865, then a larger one ten years later.  A frame school served until 1951 when it was decided to send the children to the new Gilmour school.

John Harvey Gunter was the first post master (1883-1901).

Abraham Gunter built the first Methodist Church in 1894.

There was a cheese factory located in Gunter in the late 1800’s.

Lumber men of the time were Murphy’s from Lakefield and the Cooney Brothers from Gunter.

Kerstemen’s Lead Mine was the chief mining development.  Copper, pyrite, talc and several other minerals were mined at the time.

Weslemkoon (Running Bank Beaver) was formerly called McCrea Post Office after Scottish settler Henry McCrea.

It was partly in Cashel, Effingham and Ashby Townships, with access through Tudor and Cashel Township only.


Photos from the 125th Celebration:

  1. Debbie Woolley (Chair of Recreation Committee)  in period costume
  2. Irene Martin (Councillor) in period costume
  3. John Woolley (Councillor)