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Shipley

Introduction

Town site photo

The Mennonite Cemetery

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Shipley, located in Perth County, was first settled in the mid 1850s as a small postal and sawmill hamlet. Shipley grew quickly after Edward Bristow opened a small sawmill in the mid 1850. By 1858 it contained both a school and a post office.

Shipley boomed while the sawmill was operating. The settlement included three carpenters, two masons, a carriage maker, a hotel and a few other tradespeople. There was no shortage of religious institutions. An Anglican church was built around 1863, a Lutheran church followed a year later, and a Mennonite church was built around 1870. Mail from nearby Mayne Corners was transferred to Shipley after their post office closed in 1866. At its height Shipley boasted a population of around 100.

After the sawmill closed in the mid 1880s, Shipley made a rapid descent downward from which it never recovered. By the end of the 19th century, the population had dropped to around 40 or 50.

Today there are very few reminders that Shipley ever existed. Most of the original buildings have been torn down. The only institution still functioning is the Lutheran church, which still continues to hold regular services.