Yonge Mills, first settled in the early 1800s, was a small milling hamlet located in Leeds County. Located near Jones Creek, Yonge Mills was ideally located. It was close to an excellent water power source and also had a clear navigable channel directly to the St. Lawrence River.
Yonge Mills quickly grew to become a busy, industrial settlement with a population of about 175. By the mid-19th century it boasted six mills, that included two sawmills, grist, carding, and fulling mills. There were two blacksmith shops and two inns. A small church was located just north of the community. A post office ostensibly opened in 1851, however that date is in dispute.
In the late 1850s, the railway arrived. Shortly after that a small station village sprouted up just north of the tracks. The arrival of the railway had the effect of slicing the small hamlet in two as many businesses moved north to the station village to be closer to the railway. New businesses in the station village included a clothing factory, another flour and saw mill, and a cooperage.
Yonge Mills’ decline was largely due to depletion of resources. Following an overall decline in farming, the mills fell silent.
The construction of Highway 401 in the early 1960s led to the removal of much of the old village. The cemetery and a few mill foundations still survive. The station village still exists as a small rural backwater. The newer settlement contains a number of original homes and the schoolhouse, now a private home. The church, built in 1837, remains in use for special services. Learn more