Irondale, located in Haliburton County, got its start in 1870. Settlement began following the discovery of large deposits of iron on several settler’s lots. People quickly began to gravitate towards the area. Residents opened a general store and post office under the name of Devil’s Creek in 1874. A church and school quickly followed.
Since roads were very poor, the only viable means of transporting the ore out of the mine at the time was to construct a railway. That began with the construction of a tramway that ran from Howland Junction, on the Victoria line, and ended at Furnace Falls.
Around 1880, two Americans from Chicago took over the mine. After spending a small fortune building a mill and townsite, a devastating forest fire destroyed the entire operation. In 1881, the Toronto Iron Company, formed by Charles Pusey and Henry Start Howland, took over the mine.
The new owners renamed the post office Irondale and began to rebuild the mine and complete the railway. Within a few short years Irondale boasted three hotels, boarding houses, miner’s cottages, a second store and a barrel factory. Pusey built a second church which he donated to the community. The mine lasted until 1900.
Today Irondale continues to exist as a small backwater community and summer tourist haunt. Most of the early mining remnants have disappeared. Learn more