The former hotel built by Hugh Bell in 1868 was destroyed by fire in 2013.©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Dunkeld was a small farming hamlet in Bruce County that thrived from the mid 1800s to early 1900s. During its best days it included a hotel, school, Orange Lodge, two churches and a store. The community was fortunate in having a rail line, siding and a small flag station. Over the years it boasted a number of small industries including a cheese factory, flour mill, cider manufacturing and timber shipping. Its population ranged from 75 to 100.
Dunkeld was located just north of Walkerton, which had the added advantage of being the county seat and the hub of business in Bruce County. By the early 1900s, its population began to fall as residents moved either to Walkerton or to other larger centres nearby.
Today Dunkeld, although still very much a rural community, is part of the municipality of Walkerton. A number of early buildings still stand. The school house is now a private home. The Presbyterian church, was used as a mortuary for a number of years until that service was moved to Walkerton. The building still stands but is no longer in use. The old stone hotel survived for many years as a popular restaurant and banquet facility. Sadly it was destroyed by fire in March 2013.