The Twentieth Century

Recreational activities in Moulinette were not much different from those in similar small towns. In the early days of the twentieth century, passenger steamers would arrive from Toronto and other western points and run the Long Sault Rapids on their journey down the river to Montreal. The rapids were also regarded as a great spot for fishing, especially at night. By the 1930s, hockey had become a regular Friday night pastime. Moulinette belonged to the same league as nearby Mille Roches and Massena, N.Y. and matches were played weekly at the new Mille Roches arena. Other popular places for socializing included Ethel Forsyth's Ice Cream Parlour and the dance hall at the Orange Lodge.

Inside InnThe Inside Inn

Like many of the neighbouring villages, Moulinette developed in a strip along old Highway 2 and the Cornwall Canal with buildings lining both sides of the highway. By the mid 1950s Moulinette, with a population of 311, was reaping the benefits of a growing tourist trade. In addition to the two hotels, it also had three tourist homes, a motel and a group of tourist cabins near the railway track run by Allan Fetterly. The 'Inside Inn' on Highway 2 remained a popular watering hole until the very end. In addition to the churches and stores, there was also a barbershop and bakeshop. A portable schoolroom had been added to take care of the overflow.

As inundation drew closer, the majority of Moulinette's residents were relocated to Long Sault. The post office remained open until September 9, 1957. One of the more distressing losses was a huge elm tree, described as being 10 feet in diameter and nearly 100 feet high. The tree, which had sustained considerable damage during an ice storm in the early 1940s, was estimated to be over 500 years old. Legend has it the great explorer Samuel de Champlain rested under the tree and took his daily lunch there. Whether true or false, it was the type of story that, like the tree, grew and improved with age.

A few small vestiges of Moulinette continue to remain. The magnificent Christ Church was relocated to Upper Canada Village. Two later discoveries, Zina Hill's barber shop and the small Grand Trunk railway station, have both been restored and now form part of the Lost Villages Historical Society grounds at Ault Park. The name of Moulinette has been commemorated both as a street name and as one of the islands that is part of the Long Sault Parkway.