Melancthon Village, located in Dufferin County, began as a small stopping place in 1851. By the mid 1850s, it contained three hotels and a post office, followed by a blacksmith shop, carpentry business, school, and an Orange lodge. Roman Catholic and Methodist churches sprang up a few years later.
The arrival of the railway led to the construction of a store and a much larger hotel, which also served as a distribution centre for alcohol, as per the practice of the times. Another new business was a saw and shingle mill, first opened in 1877.
Melancthon’s hotel business declined sharply following the enaction of the Scott Act, which forbade the sale of liquor in hotels. On the positive side, one of its more successful businesses was a granary and hay operation. As a result, the Canada Grain Company took over that business in 1906 adding a large grain elevator near the railway station.
Following the end of World War I, Melancthon fell into a steep decline from which it never recovered. Slowly it began to trickle away piece by piece. The last building, a general store and gas bar, stood until 2007.
Today nothing remains of Melancthon apart from a few century homes, the Roman Catholic church, and the small Methodist cemetery at the side of the highway. There are a number of abandoned farmhouses in the area from a later period. The provincial government reclaimed the barren remains of the old townsite which is now home to a massive wind farm. Learn more