The Opeongo Colonization Road in Renfrew County remains strewn with the tattered remains of failed settlements from the mid-19th century. Vanbrugh was one of several casualties of the road colonization scheme, the sad result of poor planning practices by the province during the mid-19th century.
By 1870 Vanbrugh had a post office. It also included a hotel run by Xavier Plaunt, located about halfway between Clontarf and Vanbrugh. By the 1880s, it had two churches, Methodist and Roman Catholic, a school, a second store, and two blacksmith shops. Two sawmills opened in the late 1880s. At its height, Vanbrugh boasted a population of 110.
The sawmills continued to operate into the early part of the 20th century. Once they shut down, Vanbrugh began to fade away.
Today it’s becoming more and more difficult to find Vanbrugh. Very little remains other than the schoolhouse, now a private home. Learn more