Massey Area Museum
Massey, Ontario

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Hugh Cummings Photography Collection - Then & Now
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Walford in Victoria Township

Walford was first known as the Spanish River Settlement in Victoria Township. The lumber industry brought the first settlers to the North bank of the Spanish River in the late 1860s, including the McKies in Salter Township and the "Company Farm" in the Southeastern part of the community. Several Farms were settled in the West end of the Township about 1880. Construction of the railroad brought many workers and settlers to the township that stayed.

In 1881 the CPR began building the railroad between Sudbury and Sault Ste Marie. An article in a newspaper alerted Mr. A.G. Walford so he applied for the job of "Engineer" (foreman). He was hired to build three, six mile sections from Maytown to the Cutler area. Although he was established as a farmer by 1887 when the first trains started running, he was prevailed upon to be the first station agent until a replacement could be found. He also became the first Post Master. In about 1888, CPR told him they wanted to call the settlement Walford Station.

Walford was the main community in the area. It was the terminal for the stage coach that ran on the ice from Gore Bay to the North Shore, where spare teams of horses were housed for the return trip. As many as 32 teamsters drove supplies to logging camps up the Tote Road in the early 1900s. The first school was built by 1887. An ex-slave couple is the earliest burials in the Protestant cemetery. The Methodist Church opened first, in 1890; the Roman Catholic Church in 1894. Both Buildings are still in use.

Other Notes:

In Presbyterian records it says that in 1888 Sauble River Landing (Massey) is "merely a supply station for the lumber camps. By 1890 the name Massey is used and in 1894 Massey is a fast growing town and had become the "central point" of this Presbyterian field.

Submitted by

Margaret Clipperton (nee Walford)

Walford, ON

 

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