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Vennachar and Glenfield

Introduction

Town site photo

The former general store

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Vennachar, located in Addington County, was a small colonization town settled around 1861. Although there was marginal farming in the area, it was primarily a service and supply centre for the busy lumbering industry that was active in the area at the time. By the 1870s, it had a store, post office, school, Methodist church, tannery, two carpenters and two blacksmith shops.

During the 1880s and 90s, Vennachar spawned a few small satellite communities, that relied on the larger centre for basic services. One of these was Glenfield, located a couple of kilometres east of Vennachar. Records show there were two sawmills operating in Vennachar in 1892, however it's likely one was located in Glenfield. There are no records of other commercial activity in Glenfield, however it did have a small post office and cemetery.

By the early 1900s, Vennachar was on its way to booming with the opening of a grand hotel called the Vennachar House. The hotel was an instant success and well situated to serve travellers along the Snow Road.

Tragically it was over almost as quickly as it began. On April 30, 1903, Vennachar was struck by a horrific bush fire that went completely out of control. By the time it was over a few hours later, only two buildings were left standing, the church and one lone house. The rest of the community had been completely destroyed.

Today Vennachar still exists as a small rural backwater. Although most of the community was not rebuilt, it managed to support a general store and the church until the early 1970s. Both buildings still stand. The Glenfield cemetery remains well maintained.