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Silcote

Introduction

Town site photo

Van Wyck's Cemetery

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Silcote, located in Grey County, began as an early farm settlement in the 1840s. Originally known as both "Mountain" and "The Mountain," by the 1850s, it contained a school and an Orange Lodge. Initially Mountain had little success and by the mid 1860s, the school had closed and the Orange Lodge had moved to nearby Balaclava.

By the late 1860s, the residents banded together and re-established the school. The school board was extraordinarily thrifty. Upon its reopening in 1871, it ran a small deficit of $3.93 in its first year. A Methodist church (later United Church) was opened in the late 1870s.

Silcote was mainly a farming community and offered little in the way of commerce. The Grange operated a hall during the 1870s. Other than the school and church, the community was home to a blacksmith shop, that operated from 1890 to 1931, and a small general store.

In 1899 residents petitioned for a post office under the name "Mountain." Their choice of name was refused and they had to settle for Silcote instead. Once the the post office was in place, a telephone company was formed in 1912. The Silcote Telephone Company remained in business until 1956, when it was absorbed by Bell Canada.

By the 1930s Silcote began to decline. Farming held little appeal for the younger generation, and with few employment prospects in area, many began to depart for larger centres. Today the area has reverted back to farmland. Other than a few original farmhouses, nothing else remains.