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August 8, 2023

An Aerial View of Ida, June 2023

By Guy Scott

Between Mount Pleasant and Cavanville on the Centre Line of Cavan Township lies the hamlet of Ida. The crossroads hamlet was located at the top of a steep hill on the Centre Line. Legend has it teamsters would stop to rest their horses after the steep climb. Therefore, the first business was an inn/hotel with blacksmith facilities. It was quickly followed by a church and a general store. The general store at Ida was founded in 1840 by the Baptie family and continued in business into the 1980s. A diary left by the Baptie family gives the interesting fact that “Pig Day” was the highlight of the business cycle. On that day (date unknown), the local farmers would haul their pigs to the railway in Cavanville or Millbrook, where they were paid cash. On the way home, the farmers would stop off at the Cavanville store, flush with cash, to pay their bills and make additional purchases.  By 1960, Ida had lost its post office and was in decline. The only remain structure in the hamlet is St. John’s Anglican Church.

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