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Vesta

Introduction

Town site photo

The ruins of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Vesta, a small milling hamlet in Bruce County, was first settled in 1856. By 1860 it had both a store and post office. Shortly afterwards a sawmill was opened and Vesta sprang to life.

At its height Vesta contained a store, tavern, carriage shop, cooperage, barber shop, and blacksmith shop. By the mid 1860s, there were both Methodist and Roman Catholic churches. There was also a school and later, an Orange Lodge. An Anglican church was built in 1892. In later years the Methodist church was replaced with a new structure. The old church was converted to an Orange Lodge. The average population hovered at around 100.

Vesta began to slip in the early 1900s after the sawmill closed. By the mid teens it was in a serious state of decline and its businesses and institutions began closing. As the population slowly began to dwindle away, Vesta gradually reverted back to farmland.

Today there are still a few small reminders that Vesta once existed. These include the schoolhouse which is still used seasonally, and the foundations, bell tower from St. Michaels Church.

The Methodist cemetery was badly neglected. Many of the stones were later moved to Chesley, however a few have been preserved. The Roman Catholic cemetery, and the remains of the church, are still maintained by members of the Ferguson family who donated the land for both the church and cemetery.