Millbridge Ontario originated as a small community at the entrance to Hastings Road to serve travellers. It quickly grew to being one of the road’s most important settlements and soon became the chief community of Tudor Township. The town was first settled in the mid 1850s along Jordan Creek. The fledgling community was known as simply “The Jordan.”
About that time, two Veterans of the Crimean War Captain Ralph Norman and his wife setup a trading station here. Mrs. Norman was a nurse under Florence Nightingale, and both run the shop in military fashion. Captain Norman was said to always wear his full uniform. The Normans soon established a mill on the creek and the location became known as “the mill by the bridge” eventually shortened to Millbridge.
The first school in Tudor Township opened in 1859 in Mill Bridge. Both the first and second schools houses were destroyed in fire though and classes had to be moved to the town hall.
The Millbridge Post Office was opened in John Bull’s shop in 1860. He ran it until 1866 when it was moved to Ralph Norman’s store. He ran the post office until his death in 1911.
Millbridge’s population grew to 100 people in 1871. It had a hotel, an inn, a boarding house, blacksmith, carpenter and two stores. Mrs. Charlotte Potter ran the boarding house while John Armstrong was the carpenter, George Bigelow the blacksmith, and William Harper the township clerk.
In the mid 1880s, the Millbridge Fair was a huge attraction. The population had grown and the town now had three general stores and two blacksmiths. At the beginning of the decade, there was only one hotel. In 1866 it had three.
The big event that changed the town was the arrival of the Central Ontario Railway in 1883. The railroad station was established near Hogan’s Hotel a few kilometers to the east. This sparked a new building rush and at Millbridge Station. The new community here became known as Hogan before it faded away. The hotel still exists although it is now a private residence.
Hasting’s Road was never well maintained though. This led to the eventual abandonment of Millbridge. By the 1920s the town was gone, although the Post Office managed to stay open until 1969 when it was closed due to cost-cutting measures. Today the town still has many of it’s original buildings, but they all private residences.
Hogan’s Hotel (Now a private residence)