The Perth Road was first laid out by Josias Richey, the Government Deputy Surveyor, as a road from Kingston to Pakenham throughPerth. According to Howard Brown in Lanark Legacy, the Perth road follows a Precambrian Ridge that runs through what was then known as Wolf’s Grove. This geographical feature created a natural trail that was likely a native travel route long before the settlement of the area.
With the later widening and paving of what is now Wolf Grove Road, the Old Perth road fell into almost total disuse. Parts of it are not maintained at all in the Winter. Because of this, the road remains almost frozen in time. Many essential arteries from the past were built ever larger as the demands of traffic grow, going from farm roads to highways and losing some of their rural charm in the process. The Old Perth Road is a wonderful example of a significant historical road that has not been modernized at all.
The Importance of the Eighth Line
In the 1820s, the Eighth Line was the main road connecting Ramsayville or Shipman’s Mills (now Almonte) with Pakenham. The Ninth Line (now Hwy 29) was only a path. The road from Morphy’s Falls (present day Carleton Place) to present day Almonte was built by statute labour in 1828. From Almonte to Pakenham, the road for many years was so bad that it could only be used for hauling supplies in winter. The road ran from Almonte to the Tannery hill on the Eighth Line and along it past the Bennie’s mill on the Indian River to Bennie’s Corners, that across to the Ninth Line at Snedden’s and on to Pakenham. With the Old Perth Road joining the Eighth Line between Lots 14 and 15, it is not difficult to imagine the Eighth Line as a most heavily travelled road. It was, therefore, only natural that schools, churches, and businesses would built along it. The present day Wolf Grove Road between Auld Kirk and Union Hall was not opened as a highway until 1967. Before that time, it was used only as a winter road.
#1792 Wolf Grove Rd – The Union Hall School was located on this site from 1847 until its closure in 1964 after which the building was moved to the Ramsay Township municipal offices where it was used as a maintenance garage. It was demolished in 2017. Education was a priority for early settlers and not surprisingly, the Union Hall School has an early, varied, interesting and sometimes controversial history.
# 1905 Wolf Grove Rd – Sutherland’s farm (now called Hobby Horse Farm). The first owner who received the original crown grant was Jock Sutherland, a Highlander with Jacobite ancestors who came with his wife from Glasgow. They could speak both Gaelic and English. His son, William, married Margaret Campbell, who was the daughter of a veteran of the Crimean War who was the first president of the Almonte Fair and was also a magistrate. The first post office for Union Hall was kept in the Sutherland home. The window frame had a slot cut into it through which letters were dropped. The mail came from Clayton. Later the post office was moved to the Penman home. The telephone came in 1908. Rural mail delivery started in 1911. The farm passed out of the Sutherland family ownership with its sale in 1980.
The Perth Road was first laid out by Josias Richey, the Government Deputy Surveyor, as a road from Kingston to Pakenham throughPerth. According to Howard Brown in Lanark Legacy, the Perth road follows a Precambrian Ridge that
runs through what was then known as Wolf’s Grove. This geographical feature created a natural trail
that was likely a native travel route long before the settlement of the area