Williscroft was a farming hamlet, located in Bruce County, first settled around 1850. By 1856 it had a post office, followed by a school in 1858. The village quickly grew to include a blacksmith shop, a store, two coopers, a door and sash building business, and saw and grist mills. They added a crude Baptist Church in 1875. Sturdy brick buildings later replaced both the school and church.
Later industries in Williscroft included a cheese factory and woodworking and carriage shops. Farm based organizations, which took hold during the 1880s, led to the construction of a large Grange Hall, also used as a community and social centre, and later as an Orange Lodge.
By the mid-20th century, it was clear Williscroft was beginning to slip. The trend towards larger farms, changing transportation patterns, and movement towards larger centres were all contributing factors. The school closed in 1958, followed by the church in 1960.
A number of original structures still exist in Williscroft. These include the school, now a private home, the church, derelict and forlorn, apparently in use for storage. In 1987, the Williscroft Women’s Institute dedicated a cairn to this once busy little hamlet. Learn more