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Dalrymple

February 1, 2024

Lake Shore Drive, Lake Dalrymple (Photo Courtesy of Paul Zaborowski, Shedden Historical Society)

By Guy Scott

Along the western border of Carden Township lay a large lake called Lake Dalrymple. The large, shallow lake is divided in two by a narrow spit of land called Avery Point. Wendat (Huron) village sites are prolific along the lake which they call Kechebebobgong. The earliest settlers originally called it Mud Lake, a rather uninspiring generic name, before the name changed to Dalrymple Lake. The earliest settlers came from Beaverton or Kirkfield. The land surrounding Lake Dalrymple was some of the best farmland in the township, which attracted the first farmers.

A post office was established in 1870 and was called Upner. It was later changed to match the lake’s name. Dalrymple community was concentrated on the east side of the lake. Many settlers from the west and north sides got their mail from Sebright. In the 1891 census, 45 families gathered their mail from Dalrymple, the largest community in the township. A school section (SS#4 Carden) was opened in the early 1860s. It soon had 70 students and a larger, frame schoolhouse was located on the site of the last school, which closed and 1967 and was then used as a community hall. A church and cemetery was also located along the east side of the lake.

The Dalrymple community never contained a business section. Shoppers travelled north to Sebright (5 miles) or south to Kirkfield. Orillia was the largest local shopping centre.

An interesting story concerns two Dalrymple men who voted in an early election. In pre-Confederation days, each riding had only 1 polling station. The station for all the north country was located in Whitby. The two men walked all the way to Whitby to vote, a two day trip down and a two day trip back. Upon returning home, they discovered that one had voted Conservative and the other Liberal: effectively cancelling each other’s vote.

The municipal office for Carden Township was located at Dalrymple using the old school. The facility was too small and in the 1980s, a new community centre/township office was built on the site. The Carden Agricultural Society began to hold annual fairs at the community centre. The fair was discontinued in the 2000s. The growth of tourism led to a change in the community as Lake Dalrymple became lined with cottages.

Carden is an abandoned community that lay along the north boundary of Carden Township near the Dalton boundary. A post office was established as early as 1862 and was only closed in 1914. There was a school section (SS#5 Carden) but no businesses or churches. Only 9 families collected their mail at the Carden PO in 1891. The school was closed in 1911.

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