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|Charlotteville | Lynedoch | Settlement|
Lynedoch is another important village. It is situated on Big Creek in the northwest angle of the township. The river banks are here very high and the valley wide. The location is therefore very picturesque. The village may be said to have been founded by Philip Wilson, who settled here in 1812 and built a mill. His son Abner still lives in the vicinity of the old mill. The name Lynedoch was not given to the place until about 20 years ago. The next early settlers here were the Reids, whose numerous descendants are now living in the neighborhood; also the Cowans, Lees, Loucks and Griffins. George Gray came about 1847 and commenced the business subsequently carried on by Gray & Charlton, and now by Charlton & Ross. John Bottomly built a store and hotel at the west end of the village in 1868, and now there is a large settlement on both banks of the stream.
Some very elegant residences have been added recently in this village. At the west end are the famous Sulphur Springs. These springs are visited by many individuals, with much benefit. They are known by the American chemists who have made an analysis of the water as the Lynedoch White Springs and are so named in their official reports. The water comes from a depth of 300 feet, although the well has been bored to 530 feet. The taste of the water is peculiar, but not unpleasant to many persons. The atmosphere of the valley is strongly charged with sulphuretted [sic] hydrogen gas.
The village now contains 4 churches, 1 school-house, 1 hall, 2 hotels, 2 stores, 2 wagon and blacksmith shops, 1 shoe shop, 1 tailor shop, 1 cooper shop, 1 harness shop, 1 grist and saw mills, 1 doctor.
For many years Lynedoch has had a lyceum or literary and musical society. Its meetings have been well sustained and its fame has spread abroad.
One of the earliest and most successful industries of western Canada was that of the Normandale Iron Works, established by Joseph Van Norman, Esq., at Normandale in 1809. The townships of Charlotteville, Woodhouse, Windham, Middleton and Houghton contain large beds of bog iron ore. This led to the establishment of a blast furnace by Mr. Van Norman and his father, and various other partners at different times. Among these were E. D. Tilson of Tilsonburg; Hiram Capron of Paris; Hon. E. Leonard of London, and Col. B. Van Norman of Dereham. Finally a new business was entered upon in Marmora and success was certain, when suddenly, without warning, all protective duties were taken off foreign iron, and the iron trade in Canada was at once destroyed. Normandale used to have about 700 inhabitants and was a most prosperous place. Now its desolate and ruined buildings only served [sic] to tell of its former greatness. Old settlers tell of its former glory when its annual business amounted to half a million of dollars. Its book-keeper in those days was Mr. John Tolmio, who is still living. Old Mr. Joseph Van Norman is now living in Tilsonburg.
Normandale is now a favorite resort in the dog days, on account of its pleasant location on the lake shore.
Besides these there are the
villages of Forestville, Portland and Charlotteville Centre, at which last
the Township Council meet in the Town Hall erected there.
Tilson, E. D.
Van Norman, B.
Van Norman, J.
From pages 60-61 of the Mika re-print of
1877 Illustrated Historical Atlas of Norfolk County