Early visitors were awed by the sight of Eugenia Falls, calling it one of Canada’s most beautiful locations. “Romantically situated on the Beaver River”, enthused one early writer.
Ghost Towns of Ontario: a field Guide by Ron Brown,
Polar Bear Press, Toronto c1999
If you are a skier, or you snowmobile, cross-country ski, or otherwise outdoor winter enthusiast, and live near Southern Ontario, you probably have heard of the BEAVER VALLEY. If not, you don’t know what you are missing.
Winter, Summer, Fall or Spring, this area is surrounded by pristine woods and meandering paths, to hidden valleys and secret hideaways.
Location: Grey County, Ontario
Eugenia Falls is a mere shadow of its former self. Lost on the top of Campbell Hill, tucked away off the highway sits were the majority of the old town used to be on Pellisier. Still standing are the former hotel, and the ruins of one of the early power operations, and a couple original homesteads.
Initially what drew settlers to Eugenia was a misguided hunt for gold. Eugenia Falls the village has a festival every year called “Eugenia Falls Gold Rush Days”. Gold Fever in 1853 struck, but fizzled once 200 gold seekers “swarmed the boulder-strewn gully”, the fool’s. Which is what the “gold” amounted to – Fool’s Gold.
When the gold seekers had gone, the water power potential of the falls drew William and Robert Purdy, who started a store, opened a post office and built the first of several mills to line the river. John Somers opened a hotel, Robert Hogg and John Duncan ran general stores and T.W. Wilson a carriage factory and planing mill. The place contained blacksmiths, coopers, shoemakers and carpenters. Two churches were built, a Presbyterian and Methodist and the school opened nearby. The site was surveyed into an extensive townsite and named after Princess Eugene, the wife of Emperor Napoleon. It’s population grew to about 200.
As in many of these old abandoned towns, when the railway came through they were by-passed and eventually became the little summer vacation spot it is today.
Eugenia Falls is now more a village, than a bustling town. The winter people bring in some tourists, but the big Skiers of Beaver Valley are often tucked away in their own private little chalets, cabins and cottages that dot the landscape surrounding the valley.