May 1, 1868
The general stoppage of colonization improvements by the Government last year necessitated a suspension of work on the road for the time being. It is expected that the work will be resumed at an early date, and we trust it will be vigorously prosecuted during the present season.
The opening up of the Monck Road is of great commercial importance to Orillia, as will be seen from the following description of the line and the country through which it passes, written a the time that the original survey was made. Since then the line has been slightly altered, and instead of starting about two miles north of the village of Rama it commences almost immediately opposite our picturesque village, on Lot no. 28, 13th Concession of Mara, about a mile north of the Narrows bridge; consequently it is within about four miles of this village. A distance of eight miles is partly finished, and affords a means of ingress and egresss to quite a number of settlers from the back part of Mara, and along a portion of the town line of Rama. A few miles from this point it passes into the township of Dalton, going through Young’s settlement.
“The survey of this road line commences at the east shore of Lake Couchiching, on the concession line between lots 12 and 13 of the Indian lands, in the township of Rama, and immediately opposite the beautifully situated and picturesque village of Orillia. The line passes along the south east shore of lake St. John, crossing the inlet at its mouth, at that point where Mud Lake enters into it. A bridge will be required here; it will be raised crossway, as there is very little current, and only two or three feet of water. Continuing our course, we pass into the township of Dalton, going thro’ Young’s Settlement, in this township, about 11 miles from Lake Couchiching. At twelve miles and six chains, the road crosses the inlet of Young’s Lake, where it will be necessary to build a bridge of about sixty feet span. At twenty miles from Couchiching we arrived at the Victoria Road. At twenty-one and three-eight miles we strike Head River, a span of about forty feet. Passing Head Lake, we go to Cross Head River, 23 ½ miles from starting point, where a large bridge will be built. By making a detour to the south of this lake, a much preferable route can be found. At 21 7/8 miles, cross Gull River, in the township of Lutterworth, continuing on to the Bobcaygeon road, about forty miles from Orillia, the termination of our line.
The Monck Road, when completed, will probably be one of the best colonization roads in the Province. It will open up a country at present but thinly settled, and will confer a great benefit on the counties of Victoria and Ontario—-particularly the townships of Mara and Rama, in the latter county. The settlers of Young’s, Johnson’s, and Victoria Road settlements, instead of going to Lindsay, will find a cash market for their produce at Atherley or Orillia, those villages being about twenty miles nearer than Lindsay. This road will also connect with the Muskoka Colonization Road. The road will pass through the townships of Rama, Ontario County, Dalton, Digby, and Lutterworth, in the County of Victoria. The length from Lake Couchiching to Bobcaygeon Road is forty miles. From the point where this road line intersects the Bobcaygeon road to Bobcaygeon village is twenty-three miles; and the county town, Lindsay, is twenty one miles from that village—-so that from Lindsay to the termination of the Monck Road line, the distance is about forty-four miles.