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November 12, 2023

Kennaway from the Air

By Guy Scott

The ghost town of Kennaway lies within the municipality of Dysart et al (Harcourt Township). The Canada Land and Emigration Company purchased a block of 9 townships in Haliburton County in the 1860s. This block included Harcourt Township, just north of Wilberforce. To open up settlement, the Company built a road all the way from Haliburton Village to Elephant Lake: the furthest point east in this block. The road was named the Kennaway Road after a shareholder in the company. A small settlement sprang up along the road between Fishtail and Elephant Lakes. The hamlet was based upon a sawmill, but also included a school and a number of farms. In 1880 it contained 9 farms, 50 people, 15 cattle, 9 sheep, 5 hogs and 2 horses. The community was very isolated; Harcourt and Wilberforce being the nearest centres. With the decline of the lumber industry, the settlement was gradually abandoned. By World War II, the school was closed, there being but 2 students left! The schoolhouse is all that remains today, being preserved as a hunting camp. However, the community is not totally abandoned, the nearby lakes now being filled with cottages.

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