Gresham, located in Bruce County, began as a small scattered rural community of sorts, first settled around 1855. Unlike most planned communities, concentrated around one or two crossroads, Gresham spread along several concession roads for a distance of several kilometres with farms interspersed between various institutions and businesses.
Gresham contained a number of successful farm based industries, in particular two sawmills that lasted well into the 20th century. Other businesses included a general store, carpenter, blacksmith and wagon shops. There was also a Grange hall.
The Central Bruce Presbyterian Church (later United Church) was the focal point of the settlement. The church was unique in that they also conducted services in Gaelic. Fundraising and social events included soirees and garden parties which lasted until the 1940s. Gresham shared a school with the neighbouring community of Willow Creek.
By the 1950s the population had dispersed and the community fell apart. The church and school both lasted until the mid-1960s. Today virtually nothing remains of Gresham’s early industries. They demolished the church in the 1960s. The school still stands and is now a private home. Learn more