Allenford, a village located on the banks of the Sauble River on Highway 21, halfway between Owen Sound and Southampton, was named for its first settler, James Allen. However, the site was originally known by the Indian name "Flood Wood Crossing". It seems a serious dispute arose in 1855 when the survey of the town plot of Southampton, north of the Saugeen River, began. This arose from differing interpretation of the 1854 Saugeen Treaty. Lord Bury met with the Indian delegation at the point halfway between Owen Sound and Southampton for a Pow-wow, where the parties sat, eat and danced in the traditional manner and eventually smoked a "pipe of peace".Lord Bury successfully negotiated a resolution. This place was called "Flood Wood Crossing".
GPS coordinates: 44.53698, -81.17665
Located on Provincial Highway #6, half way between Wiarton and Hepworth, Clavering is a small residential crossroads. Two-thirds of Clavering is located on the east side of the highway and in Keppel Township, Grey County, the remainder is in the former Township of Amabel.
Settlement of the four northern townships of the Bruce Peninsula started following the survey of Albemarle Township, which began in 1855. The first settlers in Albermarle took up land to the north of Colpoy's Bay in 1857. In may of 1858, five families came: Rev. Ludwick Kribs, Caleb Spragge, Ludwick Spragge, Henry Kribs and Joseph Stringer. The latter two men perished late in 1858 in a storm while carrying supplies by sailboat from Owen Sound.
Another early settler, William Bull, was the Indian Lands Agent in this area and sold a good many acres of land for the Crown Lands Department in Ottawa. Prices were very cheap. Henry Whicher bought approximately 300 acres of land at three dollars per acre. All these old pioneers are buried in the Colpoy's Bay cemetery.
The township's trading soon came to be focused on the settlement of Colpoy's Bay with the early establishment of saw and gristmills and the opening of the post office in 1863.
Wiarton's first settler arrived in 1866 and the post office was opened there in 1868. With the opening of wharf facilities in 1868 where grain could be marketed, Wiarton soon outgrew the older settlement of Colpoy's Bay. The establishment of the railroad of the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1881 left no doubt as to Wiarton's dominance of the area.
Mr. Sweetman, who was an Inspector in the post office department, suggested the name Elsinore as some members of the Royal Family were visiting the historic site of Elsinore in Denmark at that time, 1865.
At one time there were two general stores run by Royal Gawley and Robert Nelson. The Campbell Hotel and the Johnston House were hotels run by Joseph Johnston. Mrs. Johnston and Robert Nelson were brother and sister. There were two blacksmith shops. Joseph White and Josiah Kolb were blacksmiths and Miss MacInness, a sister of Mrs. Jim Rowe had a dressmaking shop on the corner.
In 1865, William Spencer, a young Englishman, built an inn as a halfway house between Wiarton and his Amabel Township farm to accommodate travelers and settlers to the area. As the inn grew in popularity and was moved to larger premises at 513 Spencer Street, so did the population of the village, which sprouted up around it. Hepworth honours the birthplace of John Wesley in Epworth, England. The "H" was added to the official spelling of Epworth to match the way the name was pronounced by Spencer and the other English Settlers.
Hepworth's crossroads lead to Sauble Beach on Lake Huron, the Bruce Peninsula and the Bruce Trail overlooking Georgian Bay, to Owen Sound and South Bruce's rolling countryside, diverse destinations all.
The hub of activity is at the crossroads - with several variety stores, a building centre, unique craft shop and a gas station to provide daily conveniences. You can rent canoes or buy a knapsack; enjoy fresh fries; have your notices and announcements printed; or have your vehicle repaired, in Hepworth. Tim Horton's provides great coffee and a warm gathering spot. The Hepworth mini-mall contains an appliance store, second-hand clothing, flooring supplies and take-out pizza. Several hair dressing salons provide the personal touch with flexible hours.
Community facilities include the Wilbur J. Cunningham Memorial Park hosts community ball activities, a playground for the little ones and an adjacent community centre. The community Post Office is located at Cindy's Variety.
Three golf courses nearby provide challenge and recreation, as do the Sawmill Cross-Country Ski Trails and the snowmobile trail networks accessed on the outskirts of the village.
GPS coordinates: 44.63407, -81.13337
Hope Bay lies between Cape Dundas in Eastnor Township and Cape Paulett on the Cape Crocker Indian Reserve. The origin of the name is uncertain. Some believe that the name comes from Col. Henry Hope, member of the Legislative Council of Ontario. It seems that the name comes from Admiral Sir Wm. Hope, First Lord of the Admiralty in 1807. The aborigines called the area " No Che Mo We Na Ing" - their hopes of getting food were realized there.
Hope Bay was originally surveyed in 1855-1857 to be a town called Adair - hence the name of the nearby quarries. Street names such as Water, Beech and Brock date back to that time. The 2,025 acres were divided into residential lots and park lots, but with poor sales, farm lots were offered - again with little success. In its early days, Hope Bay was a logging community with the school being built inn 1890 - the Anglican Church in Hope Bay held services in the school.
The first cottage was built in Hope Bay in 1924 to Rev. James Robinson, an Anglican priest from Toronto, with many more to follow. The descendants of many of the early families still live in the area - the Hepburn's, Thompson's, Dickie's, Richardson's , and Drury's.
With its beautiful sunsets, peaceful beach, and great hiking, Hope Bay continues to be a relaxing retreat.
Mar has traditionally been a service center for the local area and a rest stop for those on their way up and down the peninsula.
The Hamlet of Mar has a gas bar, convenience store and restaurant. Need some information, ask one of the friendly faces who serve you.
Also close by on Highway 6 a motel and restaurant serve the public year round. Turn West on Red Bay Road and find beautiful Sky Lake, where you can rent a cabin and a boat for an afternoon of fishing and the sunset reflecting in the Lake in the evening.
Located on the Huron shoreline just north of Oliphant, the Oliphant Fen boardwalk brings a unique environmental area to life. Interpretive signs explain the various plant life as you wind your way back to the bush line. Completely wheelchair and stroller proof the boardwalk is a great stop for children of all ages. Children do need to stay on the boardwalk so they don't damage the plants or get their feet wet.
Community facilities includea a marina, dock, ball diamond and great swimming areas.
Mr. William A. Simpson was the first settler in the area, and his diary re-creates for us the step-by step development of the very earliest days in Park Head. In 1930 Mr. Simpson's daughter, Mrs. B.C. Ashcroft, used her father's diary to prepare a paper on those early days: the following is a slightly adbridged version of her story.
"In the fall of 1855 my father came up from the Township of Verulam, County of Peterborough, prior to the date of the first Indian Lands Sale, and with his compass and the help of a couple of men from Arran Township, located Lots 1 and 2 Concession 5, Amabel Township and applied for same, afterwards returning to his home.
The following spring on March 20, 1856, he started with his oxen and sleigh, his wife and baby daughter and what personal effects he could bring. The trip necessitated staying overnight at country taverns by the wayside, which in those old bar-room days meant noisy, maudlin hilarity until midnight or later and much anxiety lest their belongings be missing in the morning. However, they reached Owen Sound without mishap on April 1 and went on to the home of David Harris of Arran Township, which at that tiem was very sparsely settled.
On his arrival in Arran Township his diary tells of renting a small house and garden, , helping his neighbours with his oxen, and in return getting help to cut a road into Amabel Township, cutting beaver hay for the next winter's feed, getting settlement duties done on his Indian Land and affidavits of same made, and on September 2 attending the previously-adjourned sale of Indian Lands at Owen's Sound where his title was confirmed and his first payment made. On September 25, 1856, they moved to their isolated home in the bush.
Join Wiarton Willie's Purple Valley cousins for the exhilarating spring experience of the annual Maple Syrup Festival, held Easter Saturday, at the Purple Valley Community Center on Bruce Road 18, 15 km North East of Wiarton.
The Groundhogs won't be caught in their burrows, and miss the fun, as Purple Valley folk gear up for the annual arrival of hundreds of visitor. Enjoy live musical entertainment, tour of a sugar bush, kid's corner (face painting, games and crafts), pony rides, turkey shoot, craft fair, and animal petting zoo. And of course, plenty of locally produced maple syrup served on delicious fresh made pancakes, also available home made sausage, home cut fries and fresh pies. Tour a local sugar bush.
And don't forget, no need to drive, the Festival runs free buses from downtown Wiarton to the site and the sugar bush, all day. As the sun goes down on the Valley, the dancing begins at an Old Tyme Dance in the Community Center. Winter will be behind us at Easter time, so join in the traditional country fun, long established at the Purple Valley Maple Syrup Festival.
Red Bay and Howdenvale
Fantastic Lake Huron sunsets, excellent swimming, sailing, birding, stargazing, biking, wildflowers at Petrel Point, canoeing, snow shoeing, steps to groomed x-country ski trails.
The settlement of Red Bay is located north of Oliphant and boasts the prettiest sunsets in Ontario. The Red Bay Park is located on the Huron Shoreline at Red Bay. A small dock extends out into the lake allowing the adventurous to jump into the shallow sandy water. A large expanse of sand keeps the children entertained building sand castles and tunnels. Red Bay, one of the beautiful tranquil places you will find in South Bruce Peninsula.
Sauble Beach is home to the second longest fresh water beach in the world. Bask in the sun on seven miles of beautiful, clean beach on the pristine shores of Lake Huron. Catch a thrilling stock car race at Sauble Speedway.
For more information on business, accommodations, dining and events in Sauble Beach visit www.saublebeach.com.
GPS coordinates: 44.62982, -81.2566
In the 1960's there was a large sawmill just below the falls on the Sauble River, employing 40 people. Although it burnt to the ground in 1906 taking half of the surrounding forest with it, dedicated reforestation by Bruce County and the province has resulted in beautiful tall pine groves.
The Falls now provide scenic walks and views, whether from the shoreline on the raised boarkwalk or from the historic bridge. During the spawning season visitors can watch the struggle of salmon and trout undertake the instinctive fight up and over the falls to gain access to the river and spawning grounds. During the summer families take cooling strolls in the shallows, beware of the rocks.
The campground at Sauble Falls Provincial Park is scattered under the pines, and east of the Falls. The Park is located both west and east of the County Road and provides great picnic facilities for day users. The stone walkways beside the falls allows you to watch the salmon and trout as they leap upstream to spawn in season. There are many types of accommodation in the area, including a B & B and Inn and a convenience store.
During the Summer a drive down the Rankin Bridge Road will result in a very scenic drive with many chances to walk on beautiful and quiet trails. In winter, the forest becomes the picturesque backdrop for snowmobilers and cross-country skiers on some of the best trails in the County.
Wiarton sits at the foot of the beautiful Bruce Peninsula, a rocky finger of land pointing north between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, in the north central region of Ontario. The view of the majestic escarpment and Colpoys Bay has not changed over the years, however the facilities available have. One of the most appealing assests of Wiarton is it's waterfront park. Special attractions found in Bluewater Park are the Wiarton Willie Memorial Statue, the historic Train Station and the children's playground. Recreation facilities include tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool, beach, and ball diamonds. Other facilities include a campground, boatlaunch and picnic pavillion. Bluewater Park is a short walk to downtown Wiarton shopping and restaurants.
Winter activities include snowmobiling the extensive trail system, a multitude of activities at the Wiarton Arena and cross country skiing through the Sauble Dune Trails, Whispering Pines in Hepworth or at the Outdoor Education Centre on the Rankin River Wildlife Management Area. For those indoor enthusiasts the curling club has a full card of activities.
Of course winter would not be complete without the fun of the Wiarton Willie Festival - Canada's Foremost Weather Prognosticator Willie lives in Wiarton. As ambassador for the area Willie leads residents and visitors alike through a winter break in February and holds them in anticipation as too whether spring will come sooner or later. The entire community participates in this annual celebration and it draws thousands of visitors.
In January of 1999, the Town of Wiarton was amalgamated with the surrounding municipalities of the Township of Albemarle to the north, Township of Amabel to the south and west, and the Village of Hepworth to the south. The new municipality is the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. The business and economic opportunities in the area abound. As the economic urban centre for the Bruce Peninsula, the population served significantly exceeds the actual Wiarton population. Town Council and Community Planners have developed policies and zoned to facilitate the development of clean industry, home based business and telecommuter development; and to encourage business to locate to the area. The downtown continues to be the hub of economic activity, with businesses and services catering to everyone. The South Bruce Peninsula Chamber of Commerce and Wiarton BIA are active in commerce in the area.
GPS coordinates: 44.74182, -81.14097