Arkwright was an important community in the early days of Bruce County’s history. The community was first settled in the 1850s and gained early prominence as a supply centre busy stopping place along the stage route.
At its height Arkwright boasted two hotels, two stores, a wagon shop, two blacksmiths and a physician. A sawmill was located close by. Arkwright’s first school dated back to the 1850.
In its early days, Arkwright was able to support two Methodist churches, Wesleyan and New Connexion. The Wesleyan Church closed following reorganization of the Methodist church in the 1870s. The church was on the same circuit as Mount Hope and Ebenezer. A post office that operated from 1857 to 1915 was located in one of the general stores.
As the seat of township government, Arkwight played an extremely important role. The township hall was home to the Township Council. Members met regularly to make crucial decisions covering taxes and bylaws.
Arkwright was a victim of declining rural population. One of Arkright’s major failings was lack of access to the railway. Without railway access, the community was unable to attract any industries. With no industries or large businesses to sustain it, the hamlet gradually shut down.
Today Arkwright is a small rural backwater with a handful of residents and a number of early structures. These include the hotel, town hall, schoolhouse and the church. All remain in use as private homes. Learn more