The Canadian ‘Blantyre’

Pictured is the ghost town of Blantyre, Onatario. During the 1860’s the population was only 50 people, founded by pioneering resident, James Paterson, a merchant. Although the town is empty, the sign still exists marking its location, as pictured here by Margaret Nimmo Lehmann during the Autumn.

Beautiful colours on the trees give the whole place an idyllic setting, so its easy to see why James chose this spot. An entry in 1871 records Blantyre, Ontario as, “

A Post Office in the N W part of the Township of Euphrasia, about 6 m. from
Griersville, 11 m. from Meaford, and 4 m. from Walter's Falls.
James Patterson, Postmaster and General Merchant.  There is also a Blacksmith
shop at Blantyre.  Mails Tuesdays and Saturdays from Griersville, Meaford,
and Walter's Falls."

Margaret went on to say, “By the 1860s, James had started a Mill and became a Post Master. For some reason he let his Blacksmith rename the Town, and Todd Burns chose the name of his hometown Blantyre, Scotland.  Just thought you would enjoy hearing about this, there is a lot of Scottish history in Ontario.

Blantyre, although a tiny almost deserted hamlet today, was a bustling community in the 19th century. Local businesses included two blacksmith shops, a stone shop and two weaving establishments. James Paterson, Blantyre’s first merchant and postmaster, was appointed Grey County Warden in 1874. By 1906, the population had grown to 150 people, but clearly such a small town was not sustainable. Thank you to Margaret who emailed her own photos from Canada.

On social media:

Elizabeth Dobson Grieve There are a lot of places in Ontario that have Scottish town names. It’s a beautiful region.

Jane Johnstone My cousin who moved from Blantyre lives in Hamilton, Ontario!

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  1. My family owns a house and the old blacksmiths place which is now a garage. My parents were married there and my grandfather and his siblings grew up there.

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