Be a History Buff in Forest

Much of Forest was originally given in land grants to United Empire Loyalists by the British Crown in recognition of their loyalty and assistance during the American Revolution (1774-1783).  Forest was established in 1859 with the opening of the Grand Trunk Railway.  The town’s name was given to the station by railroad authorities due to dense surrounding bush.

  1. The Station Library, 1866

61 King St. W.:  The first station and freight room were used for church services before local churches built.  1985 – library constructed in the likeness of the old railway station.  Caboose installed to add authenticity.   Today, the Forest Garden Club maintains the beautiful landscaped grounds.

  1. 64 KING ST. W.:Through Windows Past B&B

One of the “truly regal homes in Forest”. Extensive renovations in 1946, 1980, 2005 and 2006, when current owners Gleen and Joy Starkey opened the bed & breakfast.

  1. First Roman Catholic Church, 1866

10 Jefferson St. W.: May 30, 1893, St. Christopher’s cornerstone placed on Main St. N. The new St. Christopher’s recently constructed on Union Street next to Canadian Tire Store.


  1. Forest United Church, 1927

21 James St. N.: Church formed by unification of James Street Methodists, Central Congregationalists and a few Presbyterians.

  1. The Gospel Hall, 1887

31 Main St. N.: Site of the Presbyterian church built 1867. Sold in 1891 to become the Gospel Hall.

  1. St. James Presbyterian Church, 1891

19 Main St. N.: Present cornerstone laid in 1890 with church dedication in 1891.


  1. Pentecostal Church, 1875

24-26 Prince St.: Present Pentecostal Church built in 1875 by Baptist Community. The Salvation Army moved the church from their barracks (former Baptist Church on King Street). 1939 – sold to the Pentecostal Church for $500.

  1. Private Home, 1877

16-18 King St. E.: Home was former Baptist Church built by Primitive Methodist in 1877. 1904 – sold to the Baptist congregation.

  1. Flavin Brothers Home, 1880

59 Broadway St.: 1880 – home built. 1887 – family came to Forest and opened tailoring business. May, 1964 – Forest Lambton Museum opened at this site. 2009 – building sold and now private residence.


      1. RONA, 1872

      Site of former Hamilton & Prout Lumber Company. Later operated Forest Planning Mills producing sawmill lumber and custom manufactured windows and doors. 1890 – installed steamer generator for mill and provided power for village lighting. 1994 – former McCahill Mill demolished (located in vicinity).


      20 Main St. S.: Church cost $3000 to build. Emily Murphy, wife of first rector, was an early feminist and first female magistrate in British Empire. (1916) Member of the famous “Persons Case” (1929). Appears on Canadian postage stamp (1985).

      1. “KILLANEN” AND “GLENRAVEN”, 1893

      17 & 19 Main St.: John and Fred Shaw built two of the most attractive homes in town. Both homes built of white brick. “Glen Raven” built in high Victorian style (“Second Empire”), characterized by multi-coloured slate Mansard roof. Later, top storey removed to create a cottage style.


      1 King St. W.: Newspaper’s office located in former CIBC. 1911 – Stoddard’s grocery store torn down to build the CIBC.

      1. MAYLOR BUILDING, 1884

      2-4 King St. E.: One of Forest’s architectural gems. Named for the family that built it; was site of town’s department store. Many bricklaying skills evident: main floor Gothic arches, second level Italianate paired windows and large and complex top cornice (now covered).

      1. CARNEGIE LIBRARY, 1911

      12 Main St. N.: 1910, council requested $3000 from Carnegie Institute to build a library. Town was to provide the lot and $500 annual maintenance fee. July 1911, council looked to secure site for the construction and selected 12 Main Street North, beside the Town Hall. Library built for $4,765 and is one of 111 Carnegie libraries in Ontario. 1987 – when new library built, old Carnegie library sold and has been home to several businesses. Building recognized as a “historical building” under Ontario’s Heritage Act.

      1. RUMFORD BAKERY, 1884

      8 Main St. N.: Site occupied by bakery for years. 1880 – Edward Rumford opened bakeshop and confectionary. 1906 – current building built. 2009 – purchased by Forest-Lambton Museum.

      1. SHAW BLOCK, 1882

      Present day Bargain Store and CDS Pharmacy. Block has had many owners and functions. Second floor extensively renovated in recent years.


      24 King St. W.: 1875 – Munro brothers built present 2-storey building; third level added later. 1905 – George Lundy and Floyd Rumford started a motion picture business. “Kineto” name comes from type of equipment used. Used for stage shows and motion pictures. 1976 -Kiwanis Club bought theatre and members now maintain and operate theatre. One of the few independent theatres in existence today.