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Redickville

History

Town site photo

The Redickville schoolhouse

©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko

Redickville was a small farming hamlet and stopping place first settled in the 1850s. It was named after its founder, George Redick, an early settler in Melancthon Township.

George Redick, a plasterer by trade, was also running a popular hotel and tavern during the 1860s. Before the days of township halls and other formal meeting places, official township business was frequently conducted in hotels. This included such things as council meetings and the issuing of permits and licenses. Redick was well-respected and his hotel was among those often chosen for official business.

Within a short period of time, a small hamlet grew up around George Redick's hotel. The farmland in the area was considered excellent and there was great need for a nearby service and supply hamlet.

In addition to hotel-keeping, Redick continued to work on a variety of construction projects such as the "Gravel Road Church" and the "Bruce," in nearby Melancthon Village.

By 1865 a log school was open with Miss Brunker as one of the early teachers. Unlike many of the schools in the area, it was not open year round. The log school lasted until 1884 when it was replaced with a new brick school. The Methodist church, located on James Ostrander's property, was likely built in the 1870s.

In 1879 Redick opened a post office. He was followed in 1880 by Frederick Wallwork who by this time had taken over the hotel. Wallwork closed the post office in October 1880 and it remained closed until 1886, when it was re-opened in John Wheeler's general store. The Scott Act, which forbade the sale of liquor in hotels, went into effect in the mid 1880s putting a serious damper on the hotel business.

By the late 1880s Redickville was managing quite well, despite the loss of the tavern. In addition to John Wheeler's store, the village boasted a number of people in the building and construction trades. These included two carpenters, Richard Metcalfe and Nelson Mortimore, a mason, David Long, and a well digger and pump agent named John Mosley. There was also a blacksmith shop run by Lang and Henderson. Mail service took place three times weekly.

Redickville's businesses changed hands several times through the 90s however the population continued to grow. By 1898 the population was listed at around 100, double what it had been 10 years earlier. Albert Perry, who took over the blacksmith shop, also became postmaster in 1891. A.G. Campbell took over the general store. Samuel Moore and later Thomas Moore were running the hotel. By 1907 George Mortimore had opened a second general store and taken over as postmaster.

By the mid 20th century, small farming hamlets like Redickville had pretty much run their course. The church, which became known as the Redickville United Church in 1925, closed around 1963. The building was later demolished. The school closed a few years later. It was sold and is now used as a private home. When last visted, one business was still operating - a store, gas station and popular chip wagon, located on the exact corner where George Redick's hotel once stood. The former owner believed it was the same building. A number of rural dwellers remain in the community and continue to call Redickville home.