In the 1840s, the area in Ramsay Township along the eight line about half a mile west of present day Almonte was a thriving community known as Leckie’s Corners. Most settlers had made their way from Perth along the Old Perth Road which was little more than a blazed footpath through dense forest. As part of all settlers’ duties, they were required to clear the road along their property which then became the 8th Line. Settlers were also to build a dwelling within the first 3 years. The first settlers were John Mitchell Jr and John Mitchell Snr who arrived in 1821. James Nicholson who arrives in 1822 and Patrick Slatery who followed in 1823.
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 as not opened as a highway until 1967. Before that time, it was used only as a winter road.
By 1863 the community of Leckie’s Corners was well established. There was a school, a general store, a tannery, a harness shop, a blacksmith shop, a town hall and no less than three churches.
Below is a diagram (not to scale) of the significant places in Leckie’s Corners: