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Plevna / Buckshot / Wensley

Phone : (613) 479-2542
Your Host(s) : Frontenac Public Library

Plevna, ON (Nearby: Ardoch, Ompah, Arden, Cloyne, Mountain Grove)

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Plevna, Ontario
K0H 2M0

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Ontario Tourism Region : Ontario's Highlands

Pop. 104. In Frontenac C. on Buckshot Cr. and C. Rds. 506 & 509 86 km NW of Kingston.

The village of Buckshot, later Plevna, had its beginning when Elisha and Elijah Playfair settled on either side of the Frontenac Road where it crossed Buckshot Creek in 1861. They had helped their father build a Flour Mill and Saw Mill on the Mississippi River about four miles West of the Town of Lanark and could recognize a water power site.

Elisha picked the water power site on the downstream side of the road. Elijah did not stay long but Elisha, with the help of his son John, wasn''''''''t long in making his presence known. By December 1864, he had his house built, he had built a school on his lot (still standing with additions), had a saw mill in operation and a flour mill ready to commence operations if not already operative. He got a patent in 1865 indicating that he had cleared the requisite acreage in the minimum time required to get a patent.

George Kerr took over the lot vacated by Elijah Playfair and received a patent for it in 1876. In September 1876 he purchased Elisha Playfair''''''''s holdings excluding the Saw Mill and Flour Mill and sold his holdings to John R. Dawson in April, 1877. J.R. Dawson bought the mills from Elisha Playfair in May 1877. Geo. Walker Dawson was nineteen years of age and was anxious to start out on his own. He had been working for his brother for several years including driving a team and hauling freight to his brother''''''''s trading post at Ompah when he was fourteen. These purchases appear to have been a step taken by his brother, financed in part by his father, Abraham Dawson, to help get him started. John R. Dawson signed the deeds to the property over to his brother Geo. W. in 1881. Elisha Playfair was sixty-one years of age at this time and had been the leader in Buckshot for sixteen years. Evidently he was ready to see a younger man take over.

The Post Office Department had objected to the name Buckshot when the Post Office was established and had accepted it on an interim basis while requesting that a new name be forwarded for their approval. By 1877 they had given the local population an ultimatum to come up with a new name or the Department would name it themselves.

Wrangling had been going on for a few years with the local residents split into factions, each with its own selection and each adamant in its insistence on the acceptance of their name. They were almost fighting over the selection of a name. Sam Barton, Sr., suggested that the situation there was almost as bad as the situation which had existed for years at Plevna in Bulgaria. Plevna was a fortress town guarding a pass through the Balkan mountains and every time there was fighting in Southeast Europe there was a battle or a series of battles at Plevna. This state of affairs had existed from the times of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. The suggestion of Plevna brought a new name into consideration, one that was neutral and could be accepted by all without losing face.

Plevna was recommended to the Post Office Department and on 1 November, 1877 the Post Office became known as Plevna. The date of the submission is not known. There was fighting at Plevna at the time the name was changed and had been since about the middle of April 1877 as an incident in the Russo Turkish War.

However, having regard to the communication systems available at that time, there was little chance of the news of this fighting having reached Buckshot at the time the name change was submitted. Geo. W. Dawson arrived in the Area in April 1877 and took over as Postmaster on 1 October, 1877. He was not there for the arguments over the new name but he was behind the wicket when residents came in for their mail after the name change and no doubt learned from them of their pleasure in the cessation of strife over the choice of a new name. (The name Plevna in Bulgaria has been changed to Pleven on recent maps.)

The Dawsons purchased the land which became the Village of Buckshot in April and May of 1877 and must have worked fast for they had had the village surveyed and a village plan registered by the 27th of June 1877. The plan was registered and remains registered as the Village of Buckshot. A few months later the Post Office became Plevna.

Plevna had the flour mill as an added attraction plus all the services available elsewhere. Construction of the Laundrie Road and of the Mallory and Buckshot Lake roads routed traffic through Plevna which had been passing through Playfair Corner. It was only a matter of time until Playfair Corner ceased to be an independent community and joined Beech Corner, the Mountain and various side road settlements as adjuncts of the Community of Plevna.

from: Away Back in Clarendon and Miller Charles A. Armstrong 1976

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    Wensley – The influx of settlers at the north end of the Frontenac Road along the Northwest end of the Snow Road in Miller heralded the start of another settlement in 1861.

    Wallace Mallory and other members of the Mallory family settled along the Frontenac Road in 1861. Wallace left almost immediately and discovered the best farmland in that part of the area on Mallory Hill where he settled to establish his homestead. This community expanded to include settlers in Abinger and in Miller along the Mallory Road and settlers in Abinger along the Snow Road.

    Early in the life of this community, Indians from Buckshot Lake guided settlers across country from Mallory Hill to a saw mill at Long Mallory Lake. A trail was blazed followed by a winter road which was used by settlers for access to a saw mill and lumber. They had a lime kiln where they could get lime and a cooper to supply their needs for wooden pails, barrels, etc. One of the residents had a loom and wove cloth.

    A post office was located along the Snow Road on Lot 25 in the 1st Concession of Miller a short distance from where the Snow Road left the township. A cheese factory was located where the Matawatchan Road crossed Buckshot Creek. This road left the Snow Road about a quarter of a mile northwest of the Post Office. A school was located near the Post Office as was Frank Wensley's store.

Visitors to this page: 13,031     This record last updated: December 13, 2021

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