The Gillies Hill schoolhouse©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Gillies Hill was a small crossroads hamlet in Bruce County first settled in the early 1850s. Named for John Gillies, an early settler and career politician, this tiny hamlet went on to play an important role in early local politics.
By far the most important institution was the town hall, opened in 1874. The building was used for Township Council meetings and for storing township papers. Other institutions included a school and a Presbyterian church. Businesses included a store with a post office, blacksmith, and a number of small farm-based operations.
In addition to its role as the seat of township government, Gillies Hill also managed to produce two career politicians, John Gillies and Duncan Marshall.
Despite its early prominence, Gillies Hill never grew beyond a tiny crossroads hamlet. Its average population was around 50. Over time it gradually faded away, piece by piece. The schoolhouse lasted until 2002, when it was replaced with a modern home. The church is only partially standing. Across from the church, on the site of the old town hall, stands a cairn, dedicated to the early pioneers, and a plaque dedicated to Duncan Marshall.