Historical Sites


This Cairn of local stone was dedicated by the honourable William G. Davis, Premier of Ontario, on October 25, 1979 to commemorate the Village of Bancroft’s Centennial year. 1879-1979.

This monument was built in memoriam of those lost in war, 1914-1918, 1939-1945, and the Korean War.

Hastings Road, Ormsby

This road was begun in 1854 as part of a network of “Colonization Roads” planned by the government to open the southern fringe of the Precambrian Shield to settlement. Under the supervision of Robert Bird, construction began at the northern boundary of Madoc Township and within a year 40 miles of summer road had been built northward to a point near present-day Bancroft. The road, when completed, was about 100 miles in length. The free-grant lots along its course were quickly taken up but poor soil prevented the development of a prosperous agricultural settlement. When the decline of lumbering in the region removed a market for produce and a source of employment, the settlers abandoned their farms and the road fell into disuse.

Bancroft ON Monck Road History

Peterson Road

The Peterson Road was named after Joseph S. Peterson, a surveyor who determined its route in this region. Constructed 1858-1863 at a cost of some $39,000, it stretched about 114 miles between the Muskoka and Opeongo Roads and formed part of a system of government colonization routes built to open up the southern region of the Precambrian Shield. Poor soil disappointed hopes of large-scale agricultural settlement along this road both on government “free-grant” lots and on the lands of the Canadian Land and Emigration Company. Though portions of the route were overgrown by the 1850s, the Maynooth-Combermere section added lumbering and now contributes to the development of an important Ontario vacation area.

Bancroft Ont Road History - Peterson Road

Sinking of the Mayflower

November 12, 1912, nine people died when the 77ft long Mayflower sand in Kamaniskeg Lake, near Combermere Ontario.  The boat was making it’s final run of the season to accommodate a request to bring a body to Combermere. The casket ended up saving three men, and desperate passengers clung to it as it floated to shore. You can find the plaque at Lookout Point Road, off Hwy 62, between Combermere and Purdy.

The Mayflower on Kamaniskeg Lake

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