NAME: Indiana
CLIMATE: Snow in Winter, Warm Summer.
COMMENTS: Private Property.
REMAINS: Much to see!

Before the railroads, Canada depended upon its water highways and canals for transportation. During the 1830s, a canal was built between the town of Brantford and Lake Erie together with a series of locks that bypassed waterfalls along the route. Towns and villages were established at many of the locks, all of which survive today except Indiana. Originally a saw and gristmill site, it grew to a town of 120 inhabitants by 1846. It was during the 1850s that the Great Western Railroad began laying tracks in that area of Ontario. The result was predictable. Canal traffic virtually stopped and Indiana began to die. By 1900, only twenty-five inhabitants remained. Today, the site is privately owned and permission is required to view the ruins of Indiana. Submitted by: Henry Chenoweth

The history of Indiana is much the history of its founder, David Thompson. Born in 1793, he fought bravely in the war of 1812 and was rewarded with a large land grant on the Grand River. It was here he made a fortune as a contractor for the Grand River Canal. Near lock station number 3, he established the town of Indiana, owning a gristmill, lumber mill, tannery, distillery and general store.
In 1845, south of the townsite, he built his family home, a massive classical Greek revival mansion he called Ruthven. Overlooking the Grand River on nine hundred acres, he and his family enjoyed the good life including tennis, fishing and horseback riding. The grounds are replete with a gatehouse, coach house and other outbuildings. The mansion itself had 36 rooms on three floors.

When the railroads came they bypassed the townsite. The traffic on the canal dwindled and finally halted altogether. By 1900, Indiana was a ghost town. After remaining in the Thompson family for three generations, Ruthven became a national historic site in 1996 and in 1998 opened to the public.