The Conroy Farm Story On The York River Near And Conroy Marsh

When the first lumber gangs came up the Madawaska River from Ottawa in the early to mid 1800’s they encountered a great swamp where three rivers meet; Madawaska draining from Algonquin Park, York running through Baptiste Lake and Bancroft and Little Mississippi from the southeast from Little Ireland.

The lumbermen cleared a farm at the first rapids past the swamp, probably as early as 1845. It became a six hundred acre outpost, raising beef and vegetables, and storing supplies for hundreds of loggers working upstream. These supplies included barrels of salt, sugar, flour and salt pork.

Conroy Home
Conroy Home

The log buildings at the Conroy farm included a house, company store, blacksmith shop, carpenter shop, boat shop and a barn of uniform pine logs, each 60 feet long. In the early 1880’s many of these buildings burned down and the carpenter’s shop remained until mid 1900’s with its roofless log sinking into the soil.

As shipping was very expensive, everything was made locally. Charcoal for the blacksmith shop was made from red pine stumps at a place across the river and is still called “Charcoal Flats”

The first Conroy Post Office was opened in 1879 with the first postmaster W. H. Murphy. It was situated northeast of Boulter on the banks of the York River.

In February 1872, the 600 acre Conroy farm in the 8th and 9th concessions passed from the estate of the late Robert Conroy of Alymer, to his wife Mary and their seven children.

Conroy Farm
Conroy Farm

John Campbell bought the original Conroy property in 1881 and later built a four- story mansion, with basement and attic, completely surrounded with verandahs on two floors.

Eventually the property was split and various owners included Stewarts’, Lavoys’