Derelict sawmill©Copyright: Susan Foster
Falkenburg was a small lumbering settlement on the Muskoka Colonization Road first settled around 1862. The new settlers were energetic and enthusiastic. By 1863, the community had already acquired a post office and a saw and shingle mill.
At its height, Falkenburg was home to a store, Anglican church, school, and an Orange hall. Businesses included two hotels, built to accommodate stage traffic along the Muskoka Road, a store, carpenter, shoemaker, plasterer and a blacksmith shop.
Falkenburg's demise was a direct result of the arrival of the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) in the early 1890s. Once the railway was established, stage travel dried up and the hotel business was doomed.
Just to add insult to injury, rather than building a station in Falkenburg, the GTR built their own station village a few kilometres south, named Falkenburg Station. Businesses quickly began moving to the new town site in order to be closer to the station.
Today there are very few vestiges left of Falkenburg. The village still contains a few homes, of more recent vintage, and supports a small rural population. The ruins of a sawmill from a later period lie to the west of the town site. By contrast, Falkenburg Station continues to thrive.