Ruins of an old building©Copyright: Jeri Danyleyko
Milton Schofield and Thomas Collier, a pair of land surveyors, developed the first plans for Traverston back in 1856. The ambitious twosome envisioned a community that included a sawmill, grist mill and several factories. They named their budding metropolis Waverly and within a short period of time the two mills were in operation.
No one quite seems to know what happened after that, but suffice to say the factories never materialized. Schofield and Collier eventually decided to leave the rocky hills in search of greener pastures and in 1865 sold the entire operation to John Travers, a local miller.
Following a wave a new immigrants, mainly from Scotland and Ireland, the village prospered for awhile. In 1870, Robert McGahey opened up a post office. The village also added the requisite blacksmith and general store. In 1872, Travers took over the fledgling post office and used the opportunity to rename the village after himself.
The mills continued operating throughout the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th century. In the early part of the 1880s, C.F. Cliffe & son operated a woollen mill. The flour and saw mills went through a number of different owners including Francis Cole, John Bliss, Gill Cronk, Norman Hall and James Ross. Isaac Elder was the village smithy until about 1898, followed by James Hastie.
Situated along the Rocky Saugeen River, the community enjoyed an ample source of water power but in the age of the railways that no longer mattered. Without access to rail transportation, Traverston was doomed. By 1914, the post office had closed and Traverston was finished. The old mill has since been restored and is presently being used as living quarters. A few other houses also remain occupied.