Note: the local popular name for Chaffeys Locks is "Chaffey's Lock", Unfortunately the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographic Names, which is responsible for official names, does not like apostrophes and has officially named the community Chaffeys Locks
Chaffeys Locks Grist Mill photo by: Ken Watson
Samuel Chaffey, descendant of a family of woolen manufacturers in Somerset, England, came in 1816 with several members of his family to Canada. In 1820 he established a milling business at the outlet of Indian Lake into Mosquito (now Opinicon) Lake where the river dropped 13 feet (4 m). By 1827, when Samuel Chaffey died of swamp fever (malaria) his milling complex consisted of grist, carding and saw mills and a distillery. The building of the Rideau Canal required the demolition of Chaffey's mills to make way for the construction of the lock and the dam that converted a maze of swamps called Mud Lake into the navigable and picturesque Newboro Lake. Colonel By purchased the mills from Samuel's widow Mary Ann and completed work at this site in 1831. Today Chaffeys Locks is a thriving cottage and tourist community centred around the lock station and its famous resorts which attract tourists from across the continent.
Lockstation office (left) and Lockmaster's House Museum (right) photo by: Ken Watson
The lockmaster's house was built in 1844. Like many of the canal buildings, it has evolved over time to meet changing needs. Today it is operated as a museum. Other structures are hallmarks of the history of the community: the Opinicon Hotel which evolved from a private fishing lodge (built ca. 1870) to the gracious resort hotel of today; and the Chaffeys Locks grist mill, built 1872-73 and now a summer residence. The George Randall House (once known as the Wayside Inn and Dance Hall) located on the outskirts of town, was built in 1874.
On the way to nearby Clear Lake, the George Stanton Kerr Cheese Factory, (South Crosby Ward, Lot 21, Con 4) built in 1899 but no longer operational, and the Clear Lake Cemetery are important heritage sites.