My Country Farmhouse – Day Trip: Tweed, Marlbank, Thomasburg, Madoc

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Today I decided to pick somewhere new on my map and head out on a nice little road trip. Snacks, bug spray, change of clothing (you never know) and water and I was set. Since Day Trip #1 to Perth ended with a quick stop in Tweed I decided to head back out that way to explore. I also drove to Marlbank and Thomasburg, Ontario to check out the sights in those little municipalities.

If you love country roads, hills, dips, valleys and blind curves this is the trip for you. The sights were absolutely breathtaking in every direction. I started from my house in Havelock headed East to Marmora where I turned (right) South onto the 14 which takes you into Springbrook. From there I made a Left turn (East) towards highway 62 where I turned right. From the 62 I immediately took a left turn (East) onto Crookston Road which takes you straight into Tweed.

I decided not to tour Tweed straight away rather I turned right onto County Road 13 which leads you past Stoco Lake. Stoco Lake is beautiful. Lined with homes and cottages and surrounded by nothing but nature.

Continuing on Country Road 13 (aka Marlbank Road) the landscape is mainly tree lined roads, farm fields and old farmhouses.

As you come into Marlbank you have the option of turning left or right… I went right. As I sat at that intersection to my left was an incredible century old building called the Marlbank Phoenix Tavern.

As I turned right I realized there was another right coming up that I thought might be a nice drive… and was I right. I was heading West again on Country Road 26. This road had many more hills and turns. As I came around one of the turns there was the most beautiful lake I’ve ever seen.  Dry Lake has the most crystal blue water I’ve ever laid eyes on in Ontario.  This little lake is off the beaten path so only locals or people who stumble upon it (like myself) will find it. There were about 8 cars on the side of the road and all of the passengers were taking full advantage of the warm clean water. It was so beautiful I too had to stop and take it in. (Pictures do NOT do it justice)

Continuing my drive west on the 26 I would soon find myself in Thomasburg, Ontario. Honestly, not much to see in this little municipality of tweed. But there were some nice homes.

Now heading North on ON-37 towards Tweed to take in the sights there. As you make your way into Tweed it is apparent that this town has some excellent history. There are many gorgeous brick victorian homes lining the main street. Each with well preserved detail.

There are two churches that I found – St. Andrews Presbyterian built in the 1890s with red brick and St. Carthagh’s Parish Roman Catholic Church Built in 1871, Catholic school and Manse all made from stone. I have to say I did not expect to see a Roman Catholic Church as big as this in a smaller town. It definitely stood out as I was driving up Hungerford Road.

Next to St. Andrews is North Americas smallest Jailhouse – Literally. Here are some of the facts:

“Designed by R.F Houston, a local who was the founder of the Tweed Lumber Company in 1893, the jail was built in 1898 and opened in 1900. The jail was built for $350.00 and R.F Houston was paid $10.00 for his contributions. This jail was to replace the original one that was located in the Municipality building in the basement after it flooded. The jail measures only 4.8 meters wide by 6 meters deep and originally held 3 cells and a lobby area.

The jail was operated for 50 years eventually closing due to a lack of crime in the town. Most prisoners or “vagrants” as described in documents from the jail were in jail for minor offences. Constables were paid 20 cents to watch over the “vagrants” and 30 cents if they had to feed them as well.

The most notorious prisoner to stay in the Tweed jailhouse was a man by the name of Gideon Butts. He was held there for one night in 1903, and then transferred to Nappanee. Butts murdered his wife because he was having delusions that she was a serpent.

After the jail closed the O.P.P renovated it taking away the three cells and making one large cells and a lobby area and used it for their offices for a time. Today the O.P.P maintain offices in the Municipality building and the jail is opened in the summer months as an information center.” –

Much of the Main Street (ON – 37) is lined with small businesses (restaurant, cafes, jewellers etc) and almost all of these buildings are century olds with tons of character which Tweed has done very well at preserving. There is definitely some history here.

Now that my tour was complete in Tweed it was time to head home. Heading West across Hungerford Road to Highway 62 where I would turn right (North) towards Madoc. A quick stop in the Foodland for groceries (as I do not shop weekends – overcrowding due to cottagers). And since Hidden Goldmine Bakery is right next door I had to grab something new to try – Some lunch: Grilled chicken sandwich with melted brie and blueberries with butternut squash soup and cream cheese cinnamon buns.  Yum!

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I had a lovely day driving around in the overcast and rain taking in the sights and visiting new places. Windows down, the smell of nature and rain made this day one of my favourite so far.

Until my next adventure – be kind, smile and have a little fun!



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