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Cluny

History

Town site photo

The former schoolhouse, now used as a farm building

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Cluny was a small crossroads settlement and post office that had its brief moment in the limelight from 1907 to 1909. Like most of the other hamlets in the area it was probably settled during the 1850s as a farming area. The community was located at the crossroads of Concession 12 and the 15th sideroad.

Despite its small size, there was quite a bit of activity going on in Cluny. Sometime prior to 1880, Dan Mclean was operating a blacksmith shop on the corner of Lot 16 on the 13th concession. Much of his work involved horse-shoeing, and working on wagon wheels. Sandy McGillivray opened a general store directly across from McLean's blacksmith shop on Lot 16, Concession 12. Until the post office opened, residents from this area picked up their mail at the Queen Hill post office which opened in 1877 and was located only one concession north.

Cluny was located about halfway between school sections 13 and 14. SS No. 13, located on Lot 11, Concession 12, had been established way back in the 1850s. There are no early records pertaining to SS 14, however a school located on Lot 21, Concession 12 was in place by 1873. Children likely would have attended whichever school was closest.

The North Bruce Presbyterian Church was started in Queen Hill way back in 1855. This church had a lengthy history and remained active until 1959, when the building was consumed by fire.

Just south of Cluny on Concession 10 was the North Bruce Baptist Church, first opened in 1877. The Baptist church lasted until 1966 when it was finally closed due to declining membership. The building was later demolished and replaced with a new home. The location is marked by an historical sign.

The Cluny post office was opened by James Matheson in August 1907. His decision may have been prompted by the temporary closing of the Queen Hill post office from January 1906 to October 1907. Whatever the reason, this small post office remained in operation until 1913 when rural mail delivery arrived.

The two schools survived much longer than the post office. SS No. 13 was gutted by fire in 1940. It was replaced with a new structure that remained active as a school until the mid 1960s. SS No. 14 was closed in 1955, a victim of declining attendance. The building was sold in 1965 for use as a farm building.

A small roadside historical plaque nestled in a small garden marks the spot of this one-time settlement and postal outlet. The remainder of the area has reverted to farmland.