Spry, located on the Bruce Peninsula, began in the mid-1870s, as a small farming and sawmill hamlet. By the late 1870s, it contained a school and post office. Uppermost on the council’s minds was the purchase of land for a town cemetery, authorized in 1880.
By the mid-1880s, Spry boasted a population of about 160. At its height it contained a hotel, store, shoemaker, and a blacksmith shop. There were also a couple of small sawmills and lumber dealers operating in the area. An Orange Lodge formed in 1882, followed by a multi-denominational Union Church. By the 1890s Spry had an affiliation with the “Patrons of Industry” branch in Ferndale, organized by Duncan Marshall of Gillies Hill.
Spry began to decline in the early part of the 20th century. In the 1920s many of the businesses began to close down. By then Spry’s population had dwindled to about 50. A few institutions continued on for a while. The Women’s Institute leased the Orange Lodge which they used regularly as a community hall. The church operated on and off until about 1970.
When last seen, Spry still contained a few small remnants of its former self. The school house and Orange Hall were still standing. The church, now renovated, was in use as a private home. Spry still continues to support a small number of rural dwellers. Learn more