Ponsonby, located in Wellington County, had its start as a small outpost community. First settled around 1840, Ponsonby’s original name was Thorpville. The settlement had its beginnings as a stopover along the stage run to the Queen’s Bush.
During the 1860s, Ponsonby contained a hotel, general store, blacksmith shop, and wagon shop. The post office was first opened in 1853. In 1863 it moved to the general store and renamed Ponsonby.
Ponsonby was never an extensive or prosperous community. By the time the railways arrived in the 1880s, its fortunes were beginning to slip. It managed to reinvent itself for a while as a service and supply centre for the nearby farming community. A school opened around 1886 and a Methodist Church by 1892.
Unfortunately Ponsonby’s revitalization didn’t last long. By the early 20th century, it resumed its slide downward.
Much of the original townsite has disappeared due to road widening, however a few small remnants still remain. The hotel still stands and is now a private home. Portions of the former store and old post office remain in use. A number of other original homes still stand and remain occupied. Learn more