Saturday May 17, 2014
The morning was overcast and cool at only 7 Celcius. We parked again in the lower parking lot at the foot of the Old Mill bridge on Catherine street. Here we met two guys preparing to go treasure hunting with metal detectors. They told us that last year they had found a musket ball in this area. French forts at this site date to 1720 when Magasin Royal stood near present day Baby Point. The Toronto Carrying-Place trail, a main route to the upper great lakes, also ran up this side of the Humber River making this an ideal location for treasure hunting.
Keeping to the main trail we rounded Baby Point (home to last week’s stone ovens) before entering the woods on the north side of the point in an area known as Magwood Park. There are several places along here where someone has taken the time to balance a lot of flat stones on top of each other. This set is just below the third of six little waterfalls between Bloor street and Dundas street.
This person obviously had a lot of spare time and a very steady hand.
Along the top of the hill are several more impressive stone walls and decks looking out over the edge of what is often a hundred foot drop down to the river below.
Along here we found an old utilities pole standing alone in the woods at the top of the hill. It still had wooded steps at the bottom and metal rungs near the top from when someone used to climb it. Those a little older than me might think of Eva Gabor climbing the pole to answer the phone in the late 60’s tv show Green Acres.
Following the river you will come to the old town of Lambton Mills at Dundas street. William Cooper opened a mill here in 1807 and the hamlet of Cooper’s mills was started. In 1851 the name was changed to Lambton mills. Soon a town of 500 people stood on either side of the Humber where the Dundas street bridge crossed. The bridge in the photo below was destroyed in 1954 by Hurricane Hazel.
Lambton House was operated as a hotel from 1847 until it closed in 1988. At one time it was surrounded by mills and a general store. A fire in 1915 destroyed all the wooden structures on the east side of the river leaving the brick hotel standing by itself. Today it is tucked in among a bunch of apartment buildings. Along with the old bridge abutments this is all that’s left of the historic village of Lambton Mills.
This week the trees are much greener than last week and visibility in the woods is becoming limited which makes it easy to walk right past a point of interest and not even see it. The woods is an ever changing pallet of colour and this week Ontario’s Provincial Flower, the Trillium, appeared for the first time this season.