St. John's Anglican Church, built and donated to the community by Charles Pusey in 1889.©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Irondale, located in Haliburton County, got its start in 1870 after large deposits of iron were discovered on several settler's lots. People quickly began to gravitate towards the area. A general store and post office, under the name of Devil's Creek, were opened in 1874. They were followed by a church and school.
Since roads were very poor, the only viable means of transporting the ore out of the mine at the time was to construct a railway. That began with the construction of a tramway that ran from Howland Junction, on the Victoria line, and ended at Furnace Falls.
Around 1880, the mine was taken over by two Americans from Chicago. After spending a small fortune building a mill site and town site, the entire operation was destroyed by a devastating forest fire. In 1881, the mine was taken over by the Toronto Iron Company, formed by Charles Pusey and Henry Stark Howland.
The new owners renamed the post office Irondale and began to rebuild the mine and complete the railway. Within a few short years Irondale boasted three hotels, boarding houses, miner's cottages, a second store and a barrel factory. Pusey built a second church which he donated to the community. The mine lasted until 1900.
Today Irondale continues to exist as a small backwater community and summer tourist haunt. Most of the early mining remnants have disappeared.