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September 22, 2023

Hartley from the Air

By Guy Scott

Hartley is a small community in the south-east corner of Eldon Township. Like its neighbours Glenarm to the north-east, Cambray to the south-east and Islay to the east, it was a Scottish settlement. Hartley was located at a crossroads of the Lorneville Quarter Line and the 9th Concession Line of Eldon. There was some good farmland to the south and west of the village, but the land was less suitable north of the village.

Hartley received its post office in 1868. The office was located in the General Store. As the store changed hands, so did the post master. In 1980, the Hartley post office closed and the hamlet became RR#3 Woodville. The general store also closed in 1980. A school section SS#4 Eldon was in operation by 1860 and closed in 1973, when the students were bussed to Woodville.

While Hartley was a Scotch settlement, its only church was of the Methodist persuasion. Presbyterians could attend church in Cambray or Islay, With the union of the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches in the 1920, Hartley Methoidst opted to join the United Church of Canada. Besides the mandatory general store, Hartley hamlet also contained a blacksmith, carriage shop and later a grist and small sawmill. While Hartley did have a small stream, the flow was not enough for waterpower so all its mills were steam powered. And no hamlet would be complete without a hotel. Hartley (and area!) always contained at least one hotel in pioneer times.

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