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South Wilberforce

November 12, 2023

South Wilberforce from the Air

By Guy Scott

The village of Wilberforce had its start in the 1870s, several miles south of its present site. The creek flowing out of Poverty Lake was the site of an early sawmill. Gradually, a village grew up around the sawmill on the Burleigh Road. A United Church and a school were built at the southern location which adopted the name Wilberforce. When the IB&O Railway ran through the area, circa 1890, it opened a flag station north of the ghost town and called the site “Pusey Station” after the owner of the railway and iron ore company (based in Irondale). The proximity of a railway stop was too tempting and the businesses, the sawmill and the post office eventually gravitated to Pusey Station, which inherited the name Wilberforce from its now abandoned southern neighbour. A last blow came when the road was altered to bypass the ghost town.

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