Hartney Rural Sites

Melgund & Hartney


The restored Melgund Cemetery


Southwest of Hartney on Melgund Road, there is a small cemetery at a crossroads. Established in 1887, it was the first graveyard in the region. Across the road, a cairn helps to mark the spot that was home for so many people over so many years.

Early in 1881 Samuel Long and John Fee came from Ontario to this area. The sod shack they erected that first season, soon known as “The Shanty” or “The Orphan’s Home”, was a stopping place and temporary home to many settlers over the next two years.

It would be nine years before the railway entered the district and the town of Hartney would be created.

In the meantime it was Melgund that seemed to be where things were happening     

Both Melgund and Hartney appear on this map from 1887. There were no towns as yet – the map shows post office locations.

The name Melgund first appears as a Post Office opened in 1882 in the home of W.J. Higgins. Rose School opened in 1884, one of the first in the area. It was also used as a church before the Melgund Methodist Church was built across the road. 


This small building served as the Melgund Post Office – and likely as a residence for a time as well.

Melgund Methodist Church, taken in 1946

When the first settlers arrived they had to build some shelter, break some sod, and plant some grain and vegetables.

Before long they would get together and build a school.  They might build a church, and then, perhaps, a general store or a blacksmith shop might open for business.
But most such settlements never did become towns as we know them, with rows of houses and a main street for stores and shops.

  Hartney Rural Highlights
Fred Turnbull Farm House
NE 28-5-23 on Melgund Rd
217.G.6 / 1899

Fred Turnbull purchased the property from Edgerton Black in 1899 and built the house

Owned by the Turnbull family until 1972
Well kept – many original features.

George Agnew Farm House
NE 14-5-23
217.G.11 / ca. 1890

George Agnew was a pioneer of 1881. His stone house has been painted.

River Park Farm
SE 17-6-23
217.G.2 / 1910 (House) 1913 (Barn)

This brick home, with its large gabled attic was built by Richard Fry from a prefab package that was delivered by rail. It has windows with leaded glass,  fir floors, cedar baseboards and some pressed tin ceilings.

John W. Thomas House
SW 31-5-23
217.G.8 / 1904

The house was built by John W. Thomas on property acquired by his father Charles in 1897. It is close to Melgund School and Church and in 2017 was owned by John W. Thomas’s Grandson.

Joe Grierson Farm Site
SE 8-5-23

The original builder was Elwood Hodgson. The site features a fine home and barn on what would have been a well-appointed farm yard.

John More House
SE 4-5-23
217.G.14 / 1905

The childhood home of educator Janet Louisa May More, whose parents farmed in the vicinity. It now stands vacant and open to the elements. A windmill stands along crumbling outbuildings.