Vandeleur was a small farming community, first settled in the early 1850s. It included a school, established in 1857, followed by a blacksmith and store. A post office was opened in 1870. At one time Vandeleur boasted two Methodist Churches, Primitive and Wesleyan. These churches merged around 1884, following the union of Methodist churches in Canada.
During the 1880s and 90s Vandeleur was booming. Its population ranged from 150 to 200. There were a number of sawmills in the area, as well as a cheese factory and apiary.
Organizations played an important role in Vandeleur’s history. These included the Centre Grey Farmer’s Institute, the Canadian Order of Foresters, and an early branch of the Women’s Institute, established in 1903. The Foresters hall in Vandeleur was used by many of these groups and also as a community hall. Other groups included the Sons of Temperance as well as church groups.
By the mid-20th century, Vandeleur was a mere shadow of its former self. Like most farming communities, it suffered from the inevitable decline of people gravitating to larger centres.
A number of residents still call Vandeleur home. Still standing are the school, now a private home, the Foresters Court, the Pioneer Cemetery, and a monument dedicated to the hamlet’s pioneers on the 50th anniversary of the school opening in 1907. Learn more