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Whitfield

Introduction

Town site photo

Christ Church and the pioneer cemetery

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Whitfield, located in Dufferin County, was first settled around 1832. It went through an assortment of name changes before finally settling on Whitfield with the opening of the post office in 1854.

At its height, Whitfield boasted a population of around 125. Businesses included a general store, hotel and tavern, two carpenters, blacksmith shop, shoemaker, wagon maker, and a tailor. Industries included saw and shingle mills, a quarry and a lime kiln. There was also an Orange Lodge, school and two churches, Anglican and Methodist.

Like most early farming hamlets, Whitfield began to stagnate by the early 1900s. The overall population decline in Dufferin County was one contributing factor along with the movement towards larger farms and people gravitating to larger centres.

Today very little remains of this early community. The schoolhouse is now a private home. The Methodist church, which closed in 1925 following church union, stood until around 2004. It was used a town hall for a number of years and then for farm storage. Christ Church still stands and is used periodically for services. Most recently the old Methodist cemetery was cleaned up, following years of neglect. The small pioneer cemetery, next to Christ Church, contains a monument dedicated to Whitfield's pioneers.