Situated on the scenic north shore of Port Hope, there’s a place where time seems to stand still. It’s the charming Wesleyville Village, a once-thriving 19th-century community that’s making a comeback.
The “near-abandoned” heritage village may be small, but its stories are mighty.
Back in the 1860s, this quiet farming hamlet was bustling with life. It had a school, church, post office, blacksmith shop, cobbler, and even a carpenter, says Port Hope Tourism.
But perhaps the most intriguing tale centers on the village’s tavern.
Legend has it that in 1964, the tavern’s owner, Tom Clark, suddenly “got religion” and, in a dramatic gesture, poured his entire liquor stash into the road!
Fast forward to the late 1960s, when Ontario Hydro entered the scene, with plans to build an oil-fired power plant nearby.
Many farmhouses fell victim to the wrecking ball, and barns disappeared over time. Yet, miraculously, Wesleyville’s heart endured.
Today, thanks to the passionate efforts of the Friends of Wesleyville, a cultural revival is in full swing.
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The 1860 church has been lovingly restored, and the 1899 one-room schoolhouse is next on the list.
There’s also a captivating nature trail and the historic Y-shaped Oughtred house to explore.
“The heritage village exudes a relaxed, peaceful aura, with the only sounds coming from the birds that flit from tree to tree and among the time-weathered headstones in the graveyard at the rear of the grounds,” say the Friends of Wesleyville.
But what truly makes Wesleyville come alive are its year-round events.
Picture yourself at the summer corn roast and barbeque, immersing in the nostalgia of the harvest festival in September, or joining the heartwarming Yuletide caroling during the holiday season.
Wesleyville may have weathered the years, but now it’s blooming with a vibrant revival that’s sure to capture your heart.
Where: Lakeshore Road West, Port Hope, Ontario