masthead image

Eldorado

Introduction

Town site photo

The former store

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Eldorado's infamous history began in 1866 when traces of gold were discovered on a farmer's land in a remote area of Hastings County. An instant town, consisting of about 80 buildings, sprang up almost overnight as the entire county was hit by a rabid attack of gold fever. The small hamlet quickly acquired four hotels, three stores, a post office, and not surprisingly, a lawyer.

The mine turned out to be a bust. There was no actual vein, merely small, sporadic, isolated deposits. The would-be millionaires cut their losses and bailed out as quickly as they came. By 1869 the mine was closed.

Eldorado managed to reinvent itself and thrive for many years. Following the arrival of the Central Ontario Railway (COR) around 1882, Eldorado was designated as a junction point between the COR and Grand Trunk Railway (GTR). Three churches and a school were built. Later industries included a cheese factory, shingle mill and box factory.

Eldorado still exists today as a small rural backwater with a few residents. It's beginning to show signs of rejuvination. One of the early stores still stands. It's partly occupied and has been attractively renovated. Sadly the cheese factory, a victim of a declining industry, closed in 2011. The building still stands, vacant and for sale.