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West Huntingdon

Introduction

Town site photo

The derelict Orange Hall

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

West Huntingdon began as a small farming hamlet in Hastings County during the early 1800s. An early school, established around 1816, also served as a church and a community centre. By the mid 1830s, a council had been formed and residents were appointed to official posts which included tax collection, assessment, and bylaw enforcement. A post office was opened in 1845.

Throughout the 1850s and 60s, West Huntingdon continued to thrive and grow. The small hamlet acquired an Orange Lodge, a new schoolhouse, and a Methodist Episcopal church.

West Huntingdon saw its best days during the 1880s. By then it boasted a population of around 200. Following the arrival of the railway in 1877, a station village, known as West Huntingdon Station, was built one concession south of the town site. Other businesses included a store, blacksmith shop, wagon shop, cheese factory, grist mill, hotel and two taverns. Wesleyan Methodist and Presbyterian churches were also added.

West Huntingdon began to fall off during the 1890s. With better road access and the railway, it was easier to travel to larger centres such as Stirling or Belleville. As the population slowly began to decline, the area gradually reverted back to farmland.

West Huntington continues to support a rural population. The three churches are still standing, all in use as private homes. The Orange Hall, although derelict and abandoned, was still standing when last seen. The cheese factory building sits on private farmland and is well maintained.