History of Lisgar
Lisgar is named after the pioneer settlement that began around 1819 in the vicinity of the intersection of Derry Road West and Winston Churchill Blvd. The settlement was originally dubbed "Switzer's Corners" because five Switzer families lived in the area and a number of the original community buildings were built on former Switzer family farmland.
But, as with many pioneer communities, the prominence of Lisgar soon began to decline, and one by one, signs of the village began to disappear. The post office closed on August 31, 1915. The C.P.R. station closed shortly afterwards, its exact location lost. The old Dewdrop Inn burned in 1961 and was not replaced. The dwindling congregation moved to a new home and the old church was demolished in 1980. For many years, the old Eden School sat vacant and neglected until time and vandalism caught up with it. It was demolished in 1992.
Kindree Cemetery, located on the south side of Derry Road West between Ninth and Tenth Lines, is the burial ground for the seven children of Nathan and Mary Kindree that died between 1829 and 1839. Five of the Kindree's twelve children survived and raised their own families in the area.
The community was officially named "Lisgar" in 1871 in honour of Sir John Young Lisgar, the Governor General of Canada. By this time Lisgar had a log school house, a church, a cemetery, an inn and a small store with a post office. Also nearby was a blacksmith shop and a train station was added around 1880.
In 1868 the church congregation had moved to a new brick church opposite the cemetery and was named “Eden”. The original church cemetery still exists at the southeast corner of Derry Road West and Shelter Bay Road. The Lisgar community also added a new school in 1887, replacing the original log school house built in 1823. The new red brick school, S.S. #17, was constructed on the north side of Derry Road, near where Highway 401 crosses Derry Road today. The school served the community for 73 years, holding its last class in 1960.
None of the original buildings survive. The only reminders of the pioneer community are two cemeteries, a new church and a modern road named Lisgar. Switzer’s (Eden) Cemetery and the Kindree Family Cemetery (where the Sixteen Mile Creek crosses Derry Road) remain historic markers for the small village, while the new Eden United Church, at Winston Churchill Boulevard and Battleford Road was opened in 1987 and houses one of the oldest congregations in our area. Catholic Swamp is in the general vicinity of the present day Osprey Marsh.
Lisgar Map 1877
The DewDrop Inn - Lisgar
SS #17 Eden School
Lark Hill - Sparling House
Eden United Church