Cooper’s Falls was first settled by Thomas and Emma Cooper, who arrived from England in the mid-1860s. By the 1870s, an increase in immigration brought more people to the area and a small settlement began to form.
The hamlet grew to include a schoolhouse and a general store, built by the Coopers. In 1878, they added a post office. As well, two churches, Methodist and Anglican, located 2 kilometres west of the village, stood side by side.
By the 1880s both road and railway access improved. The Northern Railway of Canada (later GTR and CN) built a station in Washago. Nearby Severn Bridge boasted a Grand Trunk station. In addition, the village included a lumber mill, blacksmith, cheese factory and town hall, which also served as a “court house.”
The bulk of Thomas Cooper’s business came from the lumber trade. To that end, lumber camps dominated the area. As a result, Cooper became a major supplier to the lumberjacks heading up to the camps. By comparison, the village spiraled downward once the lumber supplies declined.
Today a small population continues to reside in Cooper’s Falls. The former general store with its old gas pump closed in 1968. It still stands and is in excellent condition. Also standing are the town hall and shed, both churches, and a number of other structures. Many of Thomas and Emma’s descendants continue to live in the area. Learn more