Photo of ruins
©Jeri Danyleyko

Petworth, located in Frontenac, was first settled as a lumber mill town around 1840. Stephenson and Lott established the first mills. They began with a sawmill, followed by woollen, carding and eventually grist mills. In 1861, the same year the post office opened, the Rathbun Company acquired their timber rights.

At its height Petworth boasted a population of about 200. It included a hotel, two grocery stores, two blacksmith shops, a Methodist Church and a school. By the 1880s, it had added a second flour mill. A steady stream of loggers kept the hotel busy during logging season.

By the early 1900s, Petworth’s days as a lumber town had come to an end. Sixty years of steady logging had decimated the surrounding lumber supply. Compounding Petworth’s misfortune was the railway, which bypassed the small community leaving its remaining industries at a serious disadvantage.

Petworth was never completely abandoned. By the late 1990s, it still contained a handful of residents and a number of interesting old structures, such as a derelict schoolhouse, an old blacksmith shop, and the ruins of the mill.

Today Petworth has seen renewal in the form of a new housing development, which is slowly taking over the area. Learn more

How to get there

Petworth lies on a side road just off Highway 38, about 24 kilometres northwest of Kingston. Follow Highway 38 until you reach Petworth Rd. Travel west until you reach Camden-Portland Boundary. Travel south until you reach the first small crossroad and turn west. If you find yourself at Colebrook Rd., you’ve gone too far south. As you enter the townsite, you’ll see the old store on the south side of the road. The bridge is just beyond that.

View Ontario Ghost Town Map in a larger map

Nearby centre: Yarker, 4 kilometres

Please note: these maps are generated by Google. We have no control over the contents. Incorrect street data and/or similar problems must be reported directly to Google. For detailed information on roads, please consult a regular road map.

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