St. John's Anglican Cemetery©Copyright: Susan Foster
Dufferin Bridge was one of the many casualties of the failed colonization road scheme, started by the province in the mid 19th century. Many of the settlers were recruited to the area for farming. Provincial officials did not take the time or trouble to determine whether or not the area was suitable for farming. In this case the soil was extremely poor and the settlers eventually turned to lumbering and small commercial ventures as a means of survival.
In addition to lumbering, the area along the Nipissing Road was ripe for stopping places where travellers could pack it in for a night or so as they made their way through the rocky terrain.
By the late 1870s, Dufferin Bridge included a saw mill, blacksmith, general store, an Anglican church, orange hall and a busy hotel. A post office opened in 1882. The community was never large with an average population of about 50. A Methodist church and school were added later.
Depletion of the lumber supplies and a new railway stop at Seguin Falls, five kilometres to the south put an end to Dufferin Bridge. As business slowly began to trickle away, many settlers left. By the early part of the 20th century, Dufferin Bridge was pretty much finished.
Today all that remains of Dufferin Bridge are the Anglican and Methodist cemeteries. The tombstones tell heartbreaking tales of high childhood mortality rates and a tragic diphtheria outbreak that claimed the lives of 10 children over a two-week period.