AULTSVILLE, Osnabruck Township, Stormont County, Ontario, Canada
Excerpt ... attached to Roy Carlton Dafoe.
One of Ontario' earliest water highways was the St. Lawrence River. But with its many rapids, it could only be navigated with the use of locks and portages. Several villages grew around the locks and at various landings along the route.
Then, on July 1, 1958, the floodgates of the St. Lawrence Seaway were opened and the waters raced over the remains of these one-time riverside communities. Milles Roche, Farran's Point, Dickinson's Landing, Wales and Aultsville all disappeared beneath the river currents.
Many buildings from the doomed communties had been moved to the new towns of Ingleside and Long Sault, or to the historical park at Upper Canada Village. Most, however, were simply demolished. While almost all the abandoned village sites now lie well below the canal's waters, those of Aultsville still lie near the surface, leaving some the sidewalks and old backyards exposed.
Aultsville's origins date to the day when Richard Loucks, a United Empire Loyalist refugee, opened a tavern on his 400-acre farm in 1792. For several years, court sessions for the newly formed district of Lunenburg took place in Loucks' tavern. Travel was by the military road that hugged the banks of the swirling St. Lawrence River. As more settlers arrive to take up land, a settlement grew around the tavern and became known as Charlesville. With the beginning of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Company, steamers began to call, and a town plan was laid out with street names like Melburn, York, Nelson and Palace. Tan Bark Avenue led to Thomas Brown's tannery. During the 1840s the newly opened post office adopted the name Aultsville after another founding Loyalist family, the Aults.
In 1856 the Grand Trunk Railway opened its Aultsville station, and river traffic dwindled. With the arrival of the trains, the town grew to include, in addition to the tannery, four shoemakers, a sawmill, a shingle mill and two brickyards. The Riverview Hotel replaced the old Loucks Tavern, but following a plebiscite in 1903 was prohibited from serving liquor. The presence of three churchdes, United, Anglican and Presbyterian, may have had something to do with the success of the "dry" vote. Residents could also enjoy a riverside memorial park or send their children to the local school.
With the arrival of the auto age after the Second World War, Aultsville's industries and businesses began to move or to close. By the mid-1950s, only Borden's Chateau cheese factory and the Jarvis and Shaver general store remained.
Aultville lies south of the former Highway 21, a short distance east of Upper Canada Village and on the park road (formerly the Aultsville Road), which leads to Morrison and Nairn islands. While the road bends left, the pavement of the former Aultsville Road continues straight ahead.
Where the pavement ends and a causway over a man-made swamp begins, look in the bushes for the sidewalks, lanes and overgrown yards that once belonged to a thriving riverside town. Autlsville's Grand Trunk Station was relocated to a small roadside park 2 km (1.2 miles) west of the entrance to Upper Canada Village.
from "Ontario's Ghost Town Heritage", by Ron Brown, (ISBN-13: 978-1-55046-467-2).