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Malta     ()    
No Longer Exists     

Other Names (also known as):
Former Name(s):

Geographic*: Bruce Township, Bruce County

1 My Grest Great Grandfather John W Chisholm was a postmaster and possibly a lighthouse keeper in the community. It was located on the west side of the Bruce Peninsula. The town was destroyed by fire before 1885. I believe there was a lumber mill there. L Hunter

2 The village of Malta and the village of Port Bruce (the latter not listed) briefly existed on the shore of Lake Huron immediately to the north of the present Bruce Nuclear Plant. This big bay is known as Baie du Dore. The pertinent information - with the dates of the founding of the villages and the date of the fire that destroyed them - is available on a historic plaque at the intersection of the 6th Concession of Bruce and the Lakeshore Road. I do not have access to that plaque at this time. But this should serve to locate more precisely the site of these two villages. More information is available in Norman Robertson, THE HISTORY OF BRUCE COUNTY.

3 There was a townsite by that name in the Township of Bruce, Bruce County. Small population in the mid-1800s, but village destroyed by fire and never rebuilt.

4 The second son of the Malta postmaster, John Wilson Chisholm, was the first white child born in Malta, Bruce Township. His name was Alexander Murray Chisholm, though one source informs us that his middle name was Maltas. Likely they were stating that he was Malta's Chisholm, and simply removed the apostrophe. He was born January 22, 1857. He was often called by his nickname 'Malt'. The reference (below) tells us that the devastating fire occurred July 4th, 1862. It was felt the village was too far gone to rebuild: Only 1 house was left standing. About 125 souls had lived there. In detail: On a map of the township of Bruce, some three or four miles north of Inverhuron, there will be seen the two town-plots of Port Bruce and Malta. Those adjoin one another, and together surround the expanse of water that bears the name of "Baie de Dore." [This spelling is said to be a corruption of what is claimed to be the original French name-Baie du Dard; or, Bay of Darts-applicable, owing to the large fields of reeds at the south end of the bay.] This bay impresses a stranger who views it for the first time, as possessing in a marked degree the shelter required in a harbor of refuge; as such, however, the bay can be used to only a limited extent, owing to the presence of extensive rocky shoals extending under the waters of the bay. The two town-plots mentioned above were surveyed at the same time. In the year 1855 George Butchart had the survey made of Port Bruce, and Capt. A. Murray McGregor that of Malta. The first settler at Port Bruce was Duncan Bannerman; he was also the first merchant. In the same line of business there were Cowan & Brownlee, and Walter MacFarlane & Co., John Lindsay ran a sawmill, and Wm. Turner and D. McCannell kept hotels, and Geo. Bridges did a conveyancing business. The total number of inhabitants was about 150. At Malta, Murray McGregor's two brothers, John and Gregor, put up the first sawmill; this, however, was burnt in the fall of 1858. The post-office, established in 1856, was in charge of W. Chisholm. George and John Foard were shipbuilders. In all there were about 125 inhabitants in Malta. These two adjoining villages seemed to be thriving and likely to develop into an important commercial centre, when, on July 4th, 1862, a conflagration wiped the two villages out of existence. Only one house was left. The inhabitants lost everything; not having the means to rebuild, there was no recovery from the blow, and the villages were not. The names are almost forgotten, and the locality where Port Bruce and Malta stood is now known as Baie de Dore.. This paragraph from History of the County of Bruce Ontario, Canada.Township of Bruce. Extract from the County Valuators, l901 available online. [p.s. John Wilson Chisholm (b.1826) was also my Great-Great Grandfather through his eldest son, Alonzo Donald Chisholm (b.May 9th 1844).]

Source(s) of Information:

  • 1Linda Hunter
  • 2cameron tolton
  • 3Heather
  • 4G. Dalziel
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