Vesta, a small milling hamlet in Bruce County, was first settled in 1856. By 1860 it had both a store and post office. Shortly afterwards a sawmill opened and Vesta sprang to life.
At its height Vesta contained a store, tavern, carriage shop, cooperage, barber shop, and blacksmith shop. By the mid-1860s, there were both Methodist and Roman Catholic Churches. There was also a school and later, an Orange Lodge. They added an Anglican Church in 1892. In later years the congregation replaced the Methodist Church with a new structure. They old church remained in use for a number of years as an Orange Lodge. The average population hovered at around 100.
Vesta began to slip in the early 1900s after the sawmill closed. By the mid-teens it was in a serious state of decline and its businesses and institutions began closing. As the population slowly began to dwindle away, Vesta gradually reverted back to farmland.
Today there are still a few small reminders that Vesta once existed. These include the schoolhouse which remains in use seasonally, and the foundations, bell tower from St. Michaels Church.
Unfortunately the church badly neglected the Methodist cemetery. In later years they moved many of the stones to Chesley, however they preserved a number of them on site. Members of the Ferguson family, who donated the land for both the church and cemetery, still maintain the remains of the church and the cemetery. Learn more