mid-19th-century abandoned farmstead
A ruin colonized by the forest in Limerick South.

by Michael Whittaker

Explore the hidden history of the Limerick Forest Monday, May 13. At noon, join members of the Rideau Valley Archaeological Society, Forest Manager Geoff McVey, and Historian Dr. David Shanahan at the Limerick Forest Interpretation Centre to begin the visit to some of the mid-19th-century abandoned farmsteads.

The original part of Limerick Forest, Limerick South, was settled in the late 1840s by Irish immigrants. However, much of the sandy soils laced by marsh and limestone outcrops proved unsuitable for agriculture. Between 1900 and 1930, many families abandoned their land.

This will be an opportunity to identify obvious and obscure sites, which we will geo-position, and plot on maps to identify original owners in county records. We’ll have an eye open to potential First Nation sites.

The Limerick Forest Interpretation Centre is on Limerick Road, which runs south of County Road 20 west of Oxford Station, and east of County Road 18 south of Bishops Mills.

Apologies for this being a weekday; Geoff is a county employee. Those who attend will be able to lead a weekend walk in the near future for those unable to be with us.

Come rain or shine. Pack a lunch. Bring your camera.


  1. I would love to be able to attend but living in Cambridge, the drive would just be too much for me. In the 1950’s I helped to plant Limerick Forest and over the years have done a lot of hiking and hunting in it. Years ago I found an over-grown cemetery but have never been able to locate it again. There are many stone and split rail fences there as well to show that the land had been worked at one time, but long since abandoned.


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