A Bit of the Past

General Store 1930

The General Store, shown here in  was a vital part of the community, having many owners and operators over the years. Presently it is a privately owned residence.

Walton has many houses and sites with interesting histories. The house known as the Wollaver girl’s house is most likely the oldest structure in Walton. Captains Sam Godfey, Elias Card, Avard Starratt, John Vaughan, D. Morris and Issac Foley built stately homes in Walton. Many of these homes are still standing as are the homes of the last two lighthouse keepers, Harry Lake and Arthur Sanford. In 1897, The General Store, managed by Edwin Shaw was opened by Osmond O’Brien and Company of Noel. Eza Churchill, son of George W. Churchill, who owned the gypsum rights for Walton, took it over and operated under the name Shaw and Churchill until 1916.

 

 

Walton School 2

Top: Walton School, c. 19__. Bottom: Walton School was converted to a residence, c. 19__.

A two room school building was located across from the Catholic Chapel Cemetery. Completed in May 1877, the land, construction fees and teacher wages for one year totaled $860. A third room was added and in 1885 outhouses were built. In 1944 electric lights, running water, bathrooms and a furnace were installed. In 1963, a new eight room consolidated school was built on Highway 215. It closed in 1985. Children are now bussed to schools outside the community but the two former schools are still standing.

 

 

Older residents recall skating on the Walton River. In the 1930s, hockey was played on an outdoor rink. There was a club house, heated by a wood stove. Electric lights were provided for night hockey and public skating. Teams from surrounding communities played against Walton’s team for a trophy.

Walton Field Day Princess presenting a prize

Walton Field Day Princess presenting a prize

A baseball field, with canteen services was located on the dykeland, adjacent to the lower side of south Mountain Creek. From the 1950s to the mid 1980s the ball field on the west side of the river was used. It hosted the United Church Field Day and later the Firefighters Field Day.

 

 

The first community organization in Walton was likely the Temperance Lodge, Walton Division No. 321, dating back to 1849. The Sons of Temperance Hall was demolished in the 1970s. Ypres Lodge No. 132, Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized in 1915. In 1949, the Eleanor Rebekah Lodge No. 119, a branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was organized.

In the late 1940s, the Spool Mill cookhouse, was sold and converted into a dance hall, called The Spruce Grove. In later years, the old Walton school was sold and used as a dance hall. The United Church hosted teenage dances in the church hall. At one time, summer street dances were part of Field Day events.

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