About the year 1885, as we can remember the village, there were two hotels, one kept by Thomas Prat who was a bit lame and who had a pretty little wife, but no family. The other by McIlmoyl Brothers. There were also two stores. One was kept by T. G. Eastland and the other by Ratcliff and Son. Our earliest recollection of a stage driver was Hughie Sutherland, who came from Peterborough on Monday, returning on Tuesday and so on through the week, making 3 mails per week. The old house built up on Mr. McColl’s property (Mill Lake Road) was built by an Englishman by the name of Vizzard. It was the first house in this locality. He also named our village “Apsley” after his hometown in England. There was a grist mill on the same property owned by James Golborne who ground our flour by stone process, which was more healthy than the present process.
Duncan Anderson then “Crown Land Agent” built near the village, now known as the United Church Manse (United Church parking lot), which was once considered a beautiful home. The Andersons owned a black horse named Jack, which always won the races at our fall fairs. The race track being from the bottom of the church hill to Brown’s corner, back and forth as many times as required to make a mile. At our fair the stock was tied to the fence inside the town hall yard. The other exhibits were inside the town hall. We venture to say there
was more grain exhibited in one year than there would be now in 10 years. Just inside the gate there was a tent and a man inside taking pictures. There were family groups taken as well as other styles. Some of us are proud possessors of those heirlooms today.
The first cheese factory was built in the village by William Wilson, which was a great help to the farmers of the surrounding country.
Then we had good picnics which we drove to with our teams and wagons. We were just as happy sitting on a board across the box as we are today sitting in the front seat of a “Limousine”.
In 1917 there were fifty two inhabitants of the village, two hotels, three stores, two churches, one blacksmith shop, a Post office, ten dwelling houses, town hall (Presently the Royal Bank. The hall burned March 31, Good Friday 1961) and orange hall (presently the Apsley Pharmacy). Today there are four stores, two hotels, two barber shops, two garages, one butcher shop, two churches, a parish hall, one town hall, an orange hall, one forestry hall, a Red Cross outpost, two saw mills, a new school, three service stations, agricultural buildings, thirty three dwellings. The streets are lighted by