Bobcaygeon Colonization Road

Notes: (Source: Echoes of the Past, compiled and written by Ed H. Devitt & Nila Reynolds)

  • This Is the boundary road between Muskoka and Haliburton.
  • It was surveyed from Port Hope to Bobcaygeon and north to Lake Nipissing although consequent lack of homesteaders made Dorset its northern terminal after disuse dictated abandonment of the last section built to the Oxtongue River.
  • It was planned to bring genuine pioneers to its hundred acre lots on either side and eventually to all the empty Free Grant acres known only to loggers already holding part of the region under timber licence. 1. pg 19
  • The lands along the Bobcaygeon Road, which roughly followed township boundaries between Anson, Hindon and Ridout to the west and Minden, Stanhope and Sherborne to the east, were advertised for sale as early as 1859.
  • The party held to celebrate the Bobcaygeon Road's extension to Minden, then called the Gull River Post Office, where such as Francis Kent, Malachi Campbell Sr., William and Henry Burns, Ben Sawyer Sr., and Harry Dawkins already had cabins, is marvelled at even to this day -- it went on for four days and five nights. Daniel Buck, the postmaster, who already had a tavern accommodating construction men and travellers, must have been a very busy man. 1. pg 39

Bobcaygeon Colonization Road Map:

Travel on the original Bobcaygeon Road was a considerable challenge. The difficulty and hazards encountered are documented in the journal of a pre-1920 trop with a wagon load of half-tonof butter and two hundred dozen eggs, from Carnarvon to Dorset. The journey involved departure at 6 am heading west to Peterson Corners (current junction of Brady lake Road and Hwy 118), and then turned north along the Bobcaygeon Road. This is the personal recollection of Clayton Rogers, who kep t store and post office in Carnarvon, recorded in "Echoes of the Past", by Ed. H. Devitt and Nila Reynolds, about 1980.

"The 'tough trail' worsened at the Bull Run where it turned upward over a steep grade, beside a rocky bluff narrowing at the summit. Spring floods had cut ditches down and across it, and the corduroy logs forming its bed were frost heaved and protruding dangerously. "I took the horses off the pole and got the logging chain I always carried, skidding the worst of the logs into the ditch. Hitching up once more I managed the grade and two or three miles of rough road beyond, which rolled down the long grade on the other side to the Black River Flats. From Kushog Lake to the grades before Dorset meant three or four easy miles which ended at the Longford store at 4:30 pm ten and a half hours after leaving Carnarvon."