Hello everyone, before you dive into this great read I just wanted to let you know this is my first time hosting a Guest Post. I have Brought in my Friend Amanda over at Growing with Malcolm. I have been good friends with her for a while now and her website is awesome. Head on over and check her out.
The largest community within the Wellington County, a town nestled into the Grand River. From Guelph, 10-minute drive and a quick 5-minute drive to the well known Belwood Lake and Elora Quarry. From 1833 until 1999, Fergus was is own independent town before the the Wellington County was formed.
History of Fergus
The first people to settle here were freed slaves forming what was known as Pierpoint Settlement on granted land around what is now known as Scotland Street. The second people to settle into Fergus were Lawyers Adam Fergusson and James Webster who bought approximately 7000 acres of land and named is Little Falls. They chose this name due to the scenic waterfalls, ‘Little Falls’ located near what’s now the public library. Fergusson actually built the original bridge over the river in 1834 & founded the first ever curling club in Ontario back in 1834 which is still open to this day.
In 1855, James Wilson arrived, opening up many different kinds of mills. Using the waterfall on the Grand River, the settlers mad a huge economy. Building solid stone houses, many factories, churches and other buildings which are still in use to this day.
Scottish settlers eventually purchased the land that the original settlers claimed. Around 1850 Fergus became only for the Scottish, during this time, another town was founded by Webster named Arthur. By 1858, the little village had a population of 1,000 & was named Fergus in honour Adam Fergusson, one of the originals founders.
A ‘government-supported poorhouse’ that was ‘the shelter of last resort for the homeless and destitute, who traded spartan accommodations for domestic and agricultural labour.’
Opening in 1877 named the ‘House of Industry and Refuge’ with a hospital added on in 1892. The poorhouse housed around 1,500 ‘poor’ were housed in the the60-bed house over the years. The house was surrounded by an a30-acre farm with a barn for livestock that provided food to the ‘inmates’ and staff at the poorhouse. In 1947 the poorhouse was changed to the Wellington County Home for the Aged where they cared for the elderly and chronically ill. It ran as the WC Home for the Aged until 1971. It remained closed until 1975 when it was reopened as the Wellington County Museum and Archives. In 1995 it was changed to a designated National Historic Site of Canada.
More than 600 people died over the years. There is a cemetery on the property as well with plots for everyone who died there. If families or friends didn’t claim a body, then the remains are also held in the cemetery. It’s believed that the unclaimed poorhouse inmates now haunt the museum.
In 1982, Carole Davis, Psychic, was enlisted to investigate the museum. Her investigation concluded that they either tried to cleanse the building or perform some kind of ceremony there & that the grounds were definitely haunted.
The Wellington County Museum and Archives is just one of many haunted buildings within the town of Fergus. You can check out this youtube video for a quick glance and a handful of the other haunted places here.