It’s 1880 and you’re walking from Carp to Almonte to visit your Irish relatives over Easter. Thankfully the snow’s finally gone, but you can’t take shortcuts through the swamps yet because the water’s still too deep. So, the main road it is—which today is what we’d know as March Rd., leading all the way to St. Michael Church on Corkery Ridge. There, the original road veered diagonally northwest to follow the ridge line until it met the eastern end of Carroll Side Road, which at that time went all the way to the top of the ridge through Martin Corcoran’s homestead. In this era, March Road did not continue west of Dwyer Hill Road because of a swamp at the bottom of the ridge. The main track to Almonte was instead Carroll Side Road, which passes through a stand of tall eastern white pines and a break in the limestone ridge towards Burntlands Road.
On top of the ridge, Carroll Side Road today remains a rough track over exposed limestone. On either side of the track was the homestead land of Cornelius Mahoney. Here was the Powell Post Office and hotel, with Mr. Mahoney the postmaster from at least 1876 to 1900. It’s unclear when the building fell into disuse, but remnants of the old stone foundations and split rail fences remain visible today.
Past Burntlands Road, Carroll Side Road veered diagonally across the land that is now a Provincial Park until it joined March Road near its intersection with Golden Line Road. Little of the original track over the parkland remains visible today.
I’d like to flesh out this story with pictures and other historical records that may exist in our local community—especially of the Powell Post Office and hotel. Do you have any interesting tidbits in your family archives that you’d be willing to share? I would be thrilled to scan or take pictures of them to help bring our history alive. Please get in touch!