May 24, 2023
The Railway Station at Tory Hill
By Guy Scott
The arrival of the Monck Road in the 1870s opened up southern Monmouth Township for settlement. A pocket of good farmland in the area attracted farmers, and John Anderson opened a store on the hill east of the village. The arrival of the IB&O railway led to the formation of a village in the valley along the tracks. Anderson’s Store moved off the hill and into the valley and the nucleus of a village grew up around the railway station. The village contained two stores, a post office, a church and a school. The lumber industry was a mainstay, but the hamlet also served as a transportation junction with roads east to Wilberforce and Bancroft (Monck Road), west to Haliburton and south to Kinmount.
Of course there is a story behind the name Tory Hill. For several elections, the poll in the area was solidly Conservative or Tory; the Liberals winning but 1 vote each time. The dissenter, who was well known in the area, sarcastically suggested the new post office be named “Tory Hill.” To his dismay, the locals adopted the name. The political name “tory” has a long, if somewhat less than honourable history. The term derives from the old Irish “torai,” an outlaw or robber. The first Tories were Royalist refugees from the English Civil War who turned into brigands or outlaws. Over the years, the Royalist Party or Conservatives were nicknamed Tories. In Canada, Tories were considered Monarchists or Loyalists during the American Revolution. The Conservative Party of Ontario relished the nicknames as part of its Loyalist/Monarchist tradition. The name is extensively used today.