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Millington

History

Town site photo

The area schoolhouse

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Millington was a small farming village situated in the old county of Ontario, east of Lake Simcoe. It thrived during the mid 19th century and by 1869 had a population of around 60.

Millington was a busy little place during its heyday, offering a variety of services to accommodate the surrounding farmers. By the late 1860s, it had a blacksmith shop, operated by C. Champlin, two carpenters, A. Kelly and A.P. Mcdonald, a shoemaker, weaver and shingle-maker. John Warrington operated a post office from 1863 to 1866.

By the late 1870s Millington had grown to include a sawmill and a town hall. Mrs. Prudhomme, who had recently obtained a tavern licence, was busy serving up liquid refreshments at her hotel. Other residents included a councillor, J. McHugh and R. McDonald who served as road commissioner. A school, S.S. #7 Mara, was built on Concession 8 some time before 1877. The hamlet also had a Methodist church built some time before the mid 1800s.

Millington continued to prosper throughout the 1880s and 90s. By 1885, Alex P. McDonald reopened the post office and in 1888, the school was replaced with a handsome yellow brick building. However, by the mid 1890s, the sawmill was gone and the village was once again offering mainly farm-based services. Residents during that time included Michael Flood, a hotel owner, Michael Cleary, a blacksmith and John Fox, the township treasurer and bailiff. P. George McDonald was a man who wore many hats. In addition to working as a blacksmith and farmer, he also ran the general store and post office.

Unfortunately the 20th century was not kind to Millington. The hamlet never had a railway station and as roads improved, farmers found it much easier to travel to larger villages such as nearby Brechin or towns such as Orillia and Barrie. The village gradually began to shut down and the area reverted back to farmland. The post office closed in 1914, following the arrival of rural mail delivery. Today, all that remains is the old schoolhouse, now privately owned.