Plum Hollow is one of over a dozen Historic Settlements in Rideau Lakes. At this time of year, you will often hear stories about The Witch of Plum Hollow (scroll for the story link below). It's the perfect time of year to explore these former hamlets on a fall colour drive, and recount your favourite ghost stories. As you travel to Plum Hollow, consider visiting one of the following "ghost towns".
Blair(s) Settlement, also known as Centreville, was named for the large Blair family whose homes dotted Concession 9, which later became Perth Road and Country Road 10. Read more at Read more about Blair(s) Settlement
There are a lot of theories about why this historic settlement is called The Bush, but probably the best explanation is that it was in the “bush” – a wilderness area when the road was named. This part of historic South Crosby was one of the first settled areas in the Township of Rideau Lakes. Read more about The Bush
The historic settlement of California is located on the west side of Jones Falls in the Canadian Shield. Although there are pockets of soil for farming, the area is basically very rugged. The first question most people ask is about the origin of the name. Read more California
The Clear Lake Road area started as a pre-canal settlement with mainly Irish-Protestant and some English settlers who were part of the Perth Military Settlements. Read more about Clear Lake
Cranworth, a post village in North Leeds county ontario on the rideau river, 10 miles from the CPR station of Smiths Falls, 28 miles north of Brockville and 46 miles south of Ottawa city. It has 1 methodist church, 1 saw mill and 1 cheese factory. Population 100. Read more about Cranworth
Located northeast of the village of Delta, the Historic Settlement of Daytown starts at Cty Rd 42 in Delta along the Upper Beverley Lake through to Cty Rd 5 linking to the settlement area known as Plum Hollow. Read more about Daytown.
One of the largest early settlements in Rideau Lakes was the present-day location of Jones Falls. During the canal construction years from 1826-1832, the site was the home of at least 246 workers with additional family members. The contractor, John Redpath, a master stonemason from Montreal, recruited a number of Scots, Irish and French-Canadian workers for this project. In honour of John By’s wife Esther, the little settlement was called “Esthertown” also referred to as “Estherville.” Read more about Esthertown
Although the official name of this lock station has always been Davis Lock, most local people until this generation referred to it as Foster’s Locks. In the early 20th century, the area around here was also referred to as Fosterville. Around 1820, Walter Davis Junior, the son of an American settler took advantage of the waterpower at the future location of the locks and erected a sawmill. Unfortunately, the mill didn’t last very long. When the site was decided upon for a single lock, the mill was destroyed. Davis himself died in 1830 leaving a widow and five children. Read more about Fosterville
The community of Freeland, with the former Freeland Public School at its centre, is unusual in providing vivid evidence of mid 19th century agricultural prosperity. Read more about Freeland
Horace Sheldon Home
Thomas Graham home
The small hamlet of Newboyne, settled originally c1830, had grown by 1900 into a well-established farming community with numerous small farm based businesses, such as a general store (including a post office which was replaced in 1918 with rural mail delivery) a blacksmith shop, tailor and shoe shop. In the mid 1880s a cheese factory became part of the commerce of the community, lasting well into the 20th century.
The name “The Narrows” identifies the narrow point between what are today the Upper Rideau and Big Rideau Lakes. Before the Rideau Canal was built in the 1830s, the entire stretch of water was called, simply, Rideau Lake. At that time, the Narrows were referred to as the “Upper Narrows”, to distinguish them from the “Lower Narrows”, at what is now Rideau Ferry. Read more about The Narrows
Oliver’s Ferry, now known as Rideau Ferry, is situated on a narrow channel between Lower and Big Rideau lakes on the Rideau Canal system. It is the narrowest crossing point between the locks at Poonamalie and Rideau Narrows. Today the village spans the crossing, and the south part is situated in the Township of Rideau Lakes. Read more about Oliver's Ferry
Otter Lake, on the south shore of the Rideau waterway, drains into Otter Creek which meanders over ten miles to the Rideau River. The lake is situated on a limestone plain which formed the bed of the western part of the Champlain Sea from approximately 13,000 to 10,000 years ago. Read more about Otter Lake
It has been determined that Bastard Township was first settled by Elder Abel Stevens who arrived from Vermont in the early 1790s. In 1794, he was granted land where he finally settled and named the community Stevenstown, now known as Delta. Read more about Plum Hollow
By 1806, the land that is now North Crosby and Newboro Ward had been surveyed and divided up into 10 concessions by 27 lots. It was called North Crosby Township. What became Salem was on the western edge, near the boundary with what is now Frontenac County. It saw its first settlers in the late 1820s. Read more about Salem
The Witch of Plum Hollow
Rural Ontario has always had its mystics. In Ontario’s Leeds County, it was Elizabeth Barnes, better known as Mother Barnes, the Witch of Plum Hollow. Her date of birth is unclear. Some sources say 1794; others say 1800.