An old foundation©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Motorists driving along the sparse, desolate Highway 41 might understandably be fooled into thinking they can pick up some gas and a quick bite to eat in Khartum. It sticks out like a sore thumb on most road maps and for all intents and purposes appears to be a small, thriving roadside community. Khartum is one of those eerie, little places that keeps popping up all the time, only no one seems to know anything about it.
Khartum was originally known as Lett and appears to have gotten its start at the beginning of the 20th century. Postal records show that Charles Laviolette opened the first post office in 1903. Austin Legree, a wagonmaker, served as postmaster from 1907 - 20. In 1908, the community's name was changed from Lett to Khartum in honour of the Ottawa Valley rivermen who were part of the Egyptian Nile expedition in the 1880's.
Khartum had a lumber mill at one time and the remains of the dam can be found alongside a small creek near Highway 41. It also served as a small rural postal hamlet servicing a widely dispersed population and group of communities. The last postmaster, Mary LaRocque, closed up shop in 1949.
For some strange reason, Khartum still merits two road signs and a prominent spot on most road maps. However there isn't much to see. Apart from the road signs, nothing else is left, apart from a few foundations, cellar holes and the burnt out remains of a building, said to have been a gas station. There's no evidence of a cemetery and no prior records of a church.
Whatever else went on in Khartum and whatever happened to it appears to be lost forever in time.